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As Unauthorized Amnesty Begins, No Safeguards in Place to Prevent Fraud

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
The unlegislated Obama amnesty for illegal aliens under 30 begins August 15 as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) begins accepting applications for “deferred action” and work authorization. Initially, the White House estimated that about 800,000 illegal aliens would be covered under this amnesty, when the policy was first announced in June. That figure that was immediately disputed by the Pew Hispanic Center, which estimated about 1.4 million beneficiaries. In the interim, the goal posts were moved (in favor of the illegal aliens, of course) and the latest estimate from the pro-amnesty Migration Policy Institute is that 1.76 million illegal aliens will be eligible.

In fact, the number illegal aliens who are allowed to remain in this country and seek legal employment may be much higher, warn the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee. In an August 13 letter to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) assert that as the application process begins, there are no mechanisms in place to detect, deter, or to punish fraud. None.

The lack of fraud control is not an accident; it is by design. According to the letter, DHS officials have confirmed that the Department will not use fraud prevention or detection methods that are “too expensive,” “time consuming,” or which would “unduly impact” the expedited processing of applications for deferred action or other functions of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency.

In other words, there will be no vetting of the people whose applications the Department intends to rubber stamp. There will be no meaningful background checks because the Department can’t be bothered to spend the time and is not inclined to charge applicants the fees necessary to make sure that the people who are being granted quasi-legal status in the U.S. are not perpetrating fraud, and are not criminals or terrorists. As a matter of fact, illegal aliens seeking deferred action and authorization to work in the U.S. will not even have to show up in person for an interview with anyone from DHS.

A mere affidavit that an individual arrived in the U.S. prior to his or her 16th birthday and is under the age of 30, accompanied by some easily acquired school or health records will suffice. In an otherwise sluggish economy the affidavit and fake records business seems destined to become a growth industry over the coming months.

And just in case anyone might think twice about perpetrating fraud, the Department has established strict guidelines to ensure that on the remote chance anyone is caught, there will be no punishment for giving it a try. USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas has assured illegal aliens that the immigration enforcement division of DHS (what’s left of it, anyway) cannot use information from deferred action applications against the alien during subsequent removal proceedings – which is probably an unnecessary assurance given the fact that USCIS apparently has no intention of denying applications.

Amazingly, in spite of the fact that the Obama administration is essentially nullifying numerous laws that Congress has enacted and is implementing one that Congress rejected as recently as December 2010, with no safeguards to prevent massive fraud or to weed out criminals and terrorists, the response from Congress can best be described as feeble. Aside from Smith, Grassley and a relative handful other stalwarts who still care about Congress’s constitutional responsibilities, not to mention the interests and security of the American people, the implementation of a massive unlegislated amnesty program without a modicum of restraint, has failed to evoke even a peep of protest from congressional leaders.

What is about to unfold in the coming months epitomizes the anger and frustration that Americans feel toward Washington. A massive unauthorized amnesty that will cost American taxpayers billions of dollars and millions of Americans opportunities at jobs, riddled with gaping loopholes that guarantee there will be massive fraud, is about to be carried out and Congress cannot even be bothered to interrupt their summer vacation to delay it, much less stop it.

As Edmund Burke astutely noted, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” A massive, fraud-ridden sell-out of the interests of the American people is taking place and “nothing” is precisely what they are getting from just about everyone in Washington.

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