October 22, 2014
While the U.S. Congress has failed in its responsibility to act on this urgent issue, the president is certain to act.
It was revealed that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued a contract proposal for card stock to make as many as 34 million permanent residency cards and immigration work permits over the next five years.
From the Associated Press:
The Associated Press reported earlier in the day the contract proposal suggested that the Obama administration appeared to be preparing for an increase in the number work permit applications form of immigrants living illegally in the country. The U.S. government produces about 3 million work permits and residency identification, known as green cards, annually. The new contract for at least 5 million cards a year would provide the administration with the flexibility to issue far more work permits or green cards even if it chose not to exercise that option.
"I think those who are trying to read into those specific orders about what the president may decide are a little too cleverly trying to divine what the president's ultimate conclusion might be," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said. "What I would caution you against is making assumptions about what will be in those announcements based on the procurement practices of the Department of Homeland Security."Immigration reform must advance with or without the unresponsive U.S. Congress. This issue impacts every American, socially, politically, economically and yes, morally.
More and more Americans support a pathway to citizenship for undocumented aliens as polls indicate. Additionally, an increasing number of local and state law enforcement agencies are refusing to cooperate with federal officials in detaining suspected undocumented aliens.
The L.A. Times reports:
"Emboldened by recent court rulings, more and more counties and cities across the country are refusing to jail inmates extra days to give federal authorities time to deport them."Previously local and county jails would hold detainees suspected of being undocumented aliens for 48 additional hours to allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE ) officials to step in and deport them. No more. Now there are 225 localities that ignore the ICE detainers or requests to hold inmates. Some stopped the practice because of feared lawsuits and others to provide more space in overflowing jails.
Courts and states have determined that a person's constitutional rights cannot be denied because another agency wants time to investigate. Colorado passed a law to ignore immigration detainers. California passed a law saying the detainers could be ignored unless an inmate was being held for a serious offense. Still many police departments, including that in Los Angeles adopted policies to ignore the detainers that are considered unconstitutional.
From the L.A. Times:
"In March, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Pennsylvania ruled that states and local law enforcement agencies had no obligation to comply with immigration hold requests because the requests did not amount to the probable cause required by the Constitution to keep someone in jail. Other courts have come to similar conclusions."
"On Monday, another federal judge in Chicago reaffirmed that local law enforcement agencies should not consider the ICE holds mandatory."
"In New Mexico, all county jails are no longer honoring immigration holds, said Grace Philips, general counsel for the New Mexico Assn. of Counties."Meanwhile, Leon Rodriguez, the new head of USCIS spoke at Georgetown University this week saying his agency would be ready for any executive action that President Obama will take after the elections. As many as 11 million undocumented aliens could be impacted by President Obama's executive order.
What about the legal nonresidents in the CNMI. Will the President consider them? Or will the selfish, self-serving cries of elected officials and influential business owners be heard over the pleas of the CNMI's legal nonresidents who deserve and have earned a pathway to citizenship?