How Big Is 'Real Big' for Lawless Amnesty?

By Mark Krikorian on September 9, 2014

Harry Reid is urging President Obama to "go real big" when he decrees his lawless amnesty after the election. This echoes a comment made to BuzzFeed over the weekend by Angela Kelley, head of immigration policy at the Center for American Progress:

Kelley said news of the delay Saturday morning was "like a sucker punch" for activists and warned the White House will have to rebuild its relationships with Latino groups now. She said activists will now expect sweeping executive actions come the fall.

"If you think a guy's going propose to you and he suddenly says, 'Oh, I'm going to do it in a couple of months,' you want a 2-carat ring instead of a 1-carat ring," she said.

Apart from the fact that this sounds uncomfortably like Ray Rice's relationship with his wife, what would the 2-carat ring look like? Up to now, boosters of lawless amnesty have been talking about 3, 4, or 5 million illegal aliens being given work cards, Social Security numbers, driver's licenses, etc. as a result of Obama's prospective edict. The Migration Policy Institute — the main think tank of the immigration-expansionist movement that nonetheless does useful work — has estimated that there are about 4.2 million illegal aliens who are either (or both) the spouses of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, or the parents of minor children who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.

Since that's in the range of what the anti-borders crowd was expecting to be lawlessly amnestied before their recent disappointment, they must expect millions more to be amnestied by the new end-of-year deadline. One way to expand the number would be to include illegal aliens who are the parents of adult U.S. citizens; MPI estimates there are about 560,000 of them. Or, amnesty could be extended to illegal aliens who join the military; An earlier MPI report estimated the number of illegal aliens who might have gotten amnesty through the DREAM Act's military service provisions at less than 31,000, and even that was described as "generous" given the high standards for enlistment.

These additional amnesty numbers are puny from the open-borders perspective, barely rhinestones. A more likely way to "go real big" would be to amnesty all the illegals who've been here for, say, five years; MPI estimates that number (minus those already eligible for DACA, the president's previous lawless amnesty for "DREAMers") would be 8.5 million. Add the 400,000 parents or spouses of U.S. citizens/LPRs who've been here less than five years, and you get almost 9 million possible recipients, double the original expectation.

So, Kelley's image of a 2-carat ring replacing the formerly promised 1-carat diamond might be apt after all.