DHS Admits: "Non-legislative amnesty" would be "controversial, not to mention expensive."

By Jon Feere and Jon Feere on August 22, 2011

The White House and the Department of Homeland Security remain tight-lipped about any details on the Obama administration’s attempt at an administrative amnesty, more than three days after the news story first broke. The president is conveniently on vacation leaving only one lone staffer, former La Raza operative Cecilia Munoz, to post a three-paragraph blog on the radical administrative changes. Policy analysts and journalists are scraping together bits of information in an attempt to make sense of the scope of this administrative amnesty. For example, there is nothing from the administration confirming the extent of the work authorization planned for the millions of illegal immigrants in the country, nor any discussion of how the administration can justify giving jobs to illegal aliens when millions of Americans are desperately looking for work.

Thus far, the only source providing some insight on how the administration views this attempt at administrative amnesty can be found in a draft memorandum from USCIS officials titled, “Administrative Alternatives to Comprehensive Immigration Reform.” It was leaked last year and is available online in PDF form. NumbersUSA has a nice write-up on this memo, as does ABC News. At the time of the leak, DHS officials assured the public that the memo “should not be equated with official action” and that “DHS will not grant deferred action or humanitarian parole to the nation’s entire illegal immigrant population.”

What a difference a year makes.

While the memo raises a number of questions, perhaps most telling is that the agency referred to this effort as a “non-legislative amnesty” that would be “controversial, not to mention expensive.”

Although the media loves to refer to the commonsense program Secure Communities as “controversial” (see here, here, and here) that descriptor has been oddly absent from news articles on this non-legislative amnesty, despite the fact that this administration itself has called it controversial. Instead, the Washington Post writes that Obama “deserves enormous credit,” the New York Times gleefully (and myopically) proclaims that it will help “youths,” while the Boston Globe calls the move one of the administration’s “boldest steps yet.” In newsrooms across America the word “controversial” is only reserved for immigration policies that actually uphold the rule of law.

Hopefully more information on this controversial and expensive non-legislative amnesty will be available soon.