According to Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano, the Obama administration will insist on a path to citizenship for illegal aliens when it pushes for comprehensive immigration reform in 2010.
Just like the Bush administration, the Obama administration's legislation will grant illegal aliens amnesty from serious job-related felonies including document fraud, perjury on I-9 forms and even identity theft. This is necessary because virtually all illegal aliens who work in the United States are committing these crimes.
In anticipation of the forthcoming amnesty debate, the Obama administration is doing everything possible to show that it is taking strong action against employers. At the same time it is quietly ensuring that illegal aliens who lose their jobs are allowed to remain in the United States rather than being prosecuted and/or deported for the job-related felonies that they are committing.
The result of this pre-amnesty amnesty policy can be seen in the dramatic decline in the arrests of illegal alien workers. According to the Washington Times, criminal arrests, administrative arrests, indictments and convictions of illegal immigrants at work sites all fell by more than 50 percent from fiscal 2008 to fiscal 2009.
During the past several months, ICE has identified over 3,000 illegal aliens working for just two companies -- American Apparel and ABM Industries. In both cases, the illegal aliens had their employment terminated because ICE compelled the companies to fire people who could not prove that they were legally in the United States. However, ICE did not take into custody the illegal aliens who had fraudulent documents, who had perjured themselves on I-9 forms, and who were using Social Security numbers belonging to American citizens. Rather, they granted them effective amnesty from prosecution as well as amnesty from deportation, thereby leaving 3,000 illegal aliens free to continue committing felonies in order to get replacement jobs.
In addition to ending virtually all arrests, prosecutions, and deportations of illegal aliens resulting from workplace actions, the Obama administration has restricted state and local law enforcement's ability under the 287(g) program to help immigration authorities identify and remove illegal aliens who commit crimes or otherwise pose a threat to American citizens. Once again, the administration is doing everything possible to ensure that illegal aliens are free to stay in the United States until comprehensive immigration reform and its amnesty provisions are passed.
These restrictions were necessary because the 287(g) program was simply too effective in identifying and removing illegal aliens from the United States as evidenced by a recent CIS study by Jessica Vaughan and James R. Edwards Jr. This study revealed that state and local law enforcement agencies with 287(g) authority:
• reduced local crime rates, lowered inmate populations, and cut criminal justice costs.
• saved taxpayer money because 287(g) is less expensive than other criminal alien identification programs such as Secure Communities and Fugitive Operations. For example, in 2008 ICE spent $219 million to remove 34,000 fugitive aliens (mostly criminals). In 2008, ICE was given $40 million for 287(g), which produced more than 45,000 arrests of aliens who were involved in state and local crimes.
Thus, the Obama administration is sending a loud and clear message to millions of illegal aliens:
At the same time, the Obama administration is telling American citizens and legal residents:
The Obama administration has made it absolutely clear whose side it is on and it is definitely not the side of American citizens and legal residents.