Interest Groups Petition Government to Ignore the Immigration Laws

By Dan Cadman on February 4, 2014

Last month I penned a short report for the Center expressing concerns about a policy memorandum issued by Alejandro Mayorkas, then Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), now promoted to the number two spot in USCIS's parent, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The policy memorandum had to do with requiring USCIS examiners to grant parole-in-place to the relatives of U.S. military and ex-military. I say "ex-military" as opposed to "retired," because the policy memo was so broad that it even covers those who have been cashiered from the armed services under dishonorable conditions.

In addition to my concerns about the substance of the memo, I expressed the belief that, like many of the other doctrines issued in the past few years by DHS and its immigration-related components, the way the memo had been issued violated the federal Administrative Procedure Act (APA), a "sunshine in government" type of statute that requires agencies to permit public input before enacting broad-based regulations or policies – something that did not happen.

Imagine my surprise, then, that today's Washington Post carried an item with the headline, "With an immigration deal possible, advocates mount new push to end deportations".

I will not touch on the Post's willingness to use largely discredited statistics designed to mislead the public into believing the Obama administration has been tough on immigration enforcement because, to me, the heart of the story can be found in this paragraph:

In a 41-page rulemaking petition to be filed Tuesday with the Department of Homeland Security, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network says that "it is sound policy and consistent with the President's authority to make a categorical determination to prioritize resources away from the estimated 8 million" people who would qualify for legal status, and possibly citizenship, under a plan approved by the Senate last summer.

So that readers will understand, rulemaking petitions are provided for by the Administrative Procedure Act – the selfsame law which the administration has so constantly and blithely ignored in order to achieve its goal of undercutting effective immigration enforcement.

So let's get this straight: special interest groups and unions – whose illegal alien members have largely benefited from the administration's willingness to ignore the APA as well as the immigration laws – are now seeking to use the APA to encourage DHS to ignore even more immigration laws so that it can administratively amnesty those illegal aliens that the administration has not yet reached with its imperial decrees and government-by-fiat.

Does their chutzpah know no bounds?

I hope that Republican members of the House of Representatives are attending to this charade: it is a shade of things to come, should they be so naïve as to believe that they can negotiate a "grand compromise" that balances amnesty with enforcement.