With immigration reform stalled in Congress, the Obama administration is considering ways to let some illegal immigrants stay in the country without changing any laws, according to a draft memo written by several officials at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The memo says that in the absence of legislation, the government might be able to provide "relief" to illegal immigrants who have been in the country a long time, or who arrived as children, by delaying their deportation or, in some cases, by giving them green cards. Republicans accused the administration of trying to "circumvent" Congress and relax immigration laws on its own. Are those accusations grounded in fact? (Watch a Fox report about the immigration memo)
This "amnesty memo" is "outrageous": This is unbelievable, says Rosemary Jenks at National Review. The administration is considering doling out work permits to anybody who broke into the country as a child, and indefinitely deferring the deportation of many people who have overstayed their visas. No wonder Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid "seem content to avoid a legislative battle over immigration." Obama has the folks at Homeland Security "hard at work on ways to implement its own amnesty."
"What the 'amnesty memo' means"
The memo means nothing — it's Obama's actual policies that count: It's "predictable" that conservatives would try to beat up the administration over this memo, says Jocelyn Fong at Media Matters. But Obama doesn't have a "secret amnesty plan," as anybody who bothers to consider his "actual immigration policy" would know. The Obama administration is deporting record numbers of unauthorized immigrants, and Obama has explicitly rejected the idea that we should stop deporting people until we have better immigration laws.
"Do media think a discussion memo tells us more about Obama's immigration policy than Obama's actual immigration policy?"
If Obama wants amnesty, he'll have to go rogue: Nobody knows if the administration will actually try to deliver "a blanket amnesty" to the 12 million people who are in the U.S. illegally, says Andrew Zarowny at Right Pundits. But it's hardly paranoid to think that, if so, Obama might resort to "skirting Congress." Obama knows that Democrats are afraid to vote on anything controversial before November's midterm elections — so if he wants amnesty for illegal immigrants, he'll have to grant it himself.
"Obama considers skirting Congress on immigration laws"