The Obama administration is extending legal status and military benefits to thousands of illegal immigrants who are the spouses, parents and children of American military members.
Supporters say the policy — which only applies to active-duty military, reservists and veterans — is not amnesty.
“Those veterans and those men and women who serve in the National Guard certainly deserve the peace of mind that their family members will not be deported,” immigration attorney Faye Kolly said.
However, opponents say the policy is essentially backdoor amnesty, and it is simply not in the president’s power to unilaterally implement.
“A whole class of aliens with no right to be in the United States are suddenly going to be allowed to live and work here on the basis of their relationship with military and veterans,” said Dan Cadman, with the Center for Immigration Studies.
Even the liberal law professor Jonathan Turley is also severely concerned with the Obama administration’s lawless treatment of illegal immigrants. Though he agree with much of the liberal-held position, he views it as far more important to maintain the balance of power in our constitutional republic. Recently, Turley said that we were “at a constitutional tipping point” under President Obama, warning that checks and balances were more important than individual issues.
The policy, which is called parole in place, was intentionally concealed from the American people. It came down the pipe by way of a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services “policy memorandum.” However, it was not submitted to or approved by Congress, and the regulations were not published in the Federal Register, which allows for public comment prior to a rule taking effect.
“I don’t want to overstate it, but it sounds very similar to imperial decree if you ask me,” Cadman said. “The public had no chance to comment on this new policy. I believe the way this was done was illegal.”
Obama administration officials say the new rules do not require congressional action because they’re based on existing statutes.
“It’s clearly within the president’s authority to enforce the law and choose which immigrants he thinks are the priority,” said Brent Wilkes of the League of United Latin American Citizens. “These folks aren’t threats. They’ve got a relative that’s serving our nation.”