Grassroots Groups Call Obama Amnesty on Carpet

By James R. Edwards, Jr. on August 23, 2010

Eighteen grassroots organizations, including NumbersUSA, Eagle Forum, ProEnglish, and Let Freedom Ring, have today released a jointly signed letter opposing an administrative end-run around Congress by the Obama administration. The scheme entails amnesty by bureaucratic means to legalize millions of illegal aliens through what are supposed to be exceptional-case powers.

At the National Press Club in Washington, representatives of several of the signatory groups called on the White House to back off its plans to exploit narrow authorities to create a de facto amnesty. Their correspondence took issue with the recently leaked plan spelled out in a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services memo titled "Administrative Alternatives to Comprehensive Immigration Reform." In other words, USCIS is exploring authorities already available in law that, if blown wide open beyond the congressional intent for allowing case-by-case exceptions, may "result in meaningful immigration reform absent legislative action."

This is a live threat from the Obama administration. It's not merely academic or even solely potential. The New York Times recently reported how the administration has backed off removal actions on potential recipients of legalization, were the DREAM Act amnesty to become law. The Obama administration is outright refusing to carry out deportations for an entire class of illegal aliens – just as the leaked USCIS memo outlines.

The grassroots organizations standing against this arrogation of power by this administration represent millions of Americans. And given that Congress alone holds plenary power over immigration policy, this executive abuse of power risks angering the checks-and-balances bunch on Capitol Hill. And if the American people roundly reject amnesty by legislation, they aren’t very likely to take kindly to this end-run amnesty either.

This joint activity by leading grassroots organizations may represent the tip of the iceberg of pushback against an administration already developing a reputation for running roughshod over laws and rules and proper procedure.