Leah Barkoukis
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Remember when President Obama stood in the Rose Garden and told the American people of his administration’s new plan to stop the deportation of younger illegal immigrants if they met certain criteria? Remember when he promised the policy change isn’t amnesty?  

 

Over to you, Washington Times:

Federal immigration authorities have begun granting tentative legal status to illegal immigrants under President Obama’s deportation halt — and in some cases are even ignoring the administration’s eligibility rules to stop deportations for those who shouldn’t qualify, according to the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.  

Rep. Lamar Smith, Texas Republican, said he’s learned some illegal immigrants who have been in the U.S. less than five years have had their deportations canceled, even though Mr. Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Janet A. Napolitano had listed the five-year mark as one of their criteria.

Mr. Smith also obtained documents laying out how U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) officers should actively search for illegal immigrants who are “apparently eligible” to have their cases dropped. Those illegal immigrants then would be granted tentative status.

“President Obama is granting amnesty to illegal immigrants behind Americans’ backs,” Mr. Smith said. “Although administration officials told congressional offices that it would take 60 days to implement the president’s amnesty plan, internal ICE documents show that illegal immigrants have already benefited from it, even though there are no standards in place.”

To refresh your memory, the criteria: Illegal immigrants must have been brought to the U.S. by age 16 and are younger than 30, have no criminal record, have been in the U.S. for at least five continuous years and graduated from high school or received an equivalent degree or served in the military. At the time of the June announcement, administration officials said the new policy will impact roughly 800,000 immigrants.  

 

Apparently the criteria are not taken too seriously.

 

"Ms. Christensen, the ICE spokeswoman, said the agency has broad authority to halt deportations on a case-by-case basis, even when illegal immigrants fall short of the new standards, especially in “humanitarian” cases in which the people in question were brought to the U.S. as children."

 

“As part of ICE’s overall effort to focus the immigration system on public safety threats, border security and public safety, and in keeping with the spirit of the secretary’s memorandum, deferred action has been granted on a case-by-case basis to some individuals whose cases may differ from the specific criteria set forth in the memorandum,” Ms. Christensen said.

 

And remember, those granted a stay of deportation can work in the U.S, where Gallup puts the unadjusted unemployment rate at 8.0 percent. So how does the new policy really affect Americans if a stay of deportation can be granted to illegal immigrants who “fall short” of the standards?

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Leah Barkoukis

Leah Barkoukis is the Assistant Editor at Townhall.com/Townhall Magazine.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography