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Judicial Watch Probes Obama Backdoor Amnesty Plan


Judicial Watch continues its aggressive probe of the Obama administration’s scheme to bypass Congress and enact stealth amnesty by hook or by crook.

We recently filed a FOIA lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security. And here’s what we’re after:

Any and all correspondence (including, but not limited to, email) between USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) Director Alejandro Mayorkas and David Shahoulian, from December 3, 2010 through February 3, 2011. Fulfillment of this request should include any emails exchanged between Mayorkis and Shahoulian via their respective personal accounts where such personal email mentions or refers in any way to agency regulations or policy issues of any kind, including the planning or scheduling of meetings to discuss agency regulations or policy issues of any kind.

Judicial Watch filed its original FOIA request on February 4, 2011. Homeland Security was required by law to respond by March 23, 2011. However, the agency has failed to respond to the request in any manner.

The name Alejandro Mayorkas may sound familiar to you. Remember the USCIS memo that described “administrative alternatives” to going through Congress to implement blanket amnesty for illegal aliens? Well that document was prepared for the agency’s director, Mayorkas. (Perhaps even at his direction?)

Let’s review a few of the smoking gun memo’s key conclusions.


The following items – used alone or in combination – have the potential to result in meaningful immigration reform absent legislative action….

Allow TPS [Temporary Protected Status] Applicants Who Entered Without Inspection to Adjust or Change Status

…Thus, USCIS should no longer adhere to the 1990 General Counsel opinions, and instead permit individuals in TPS to adjust or change status. Opening this pathway will help thousands of applicants obtain lawful permanent residence without having to leave the U.S….

Expand the Use of Parole-in-Place

USCIS has the discretionary authority under [federal law] to parole into the U.S. on a case-by-case basis for “urgent humanitarian reasons” or “significant public benefit” any applicant for admission…Granting parole to aliens in the U.S. who have not been admitted or paroled is commonly referred to as “parole-in-place” (PIP).

By granting PIP, USCIS can eliminate the need for qualified recipients to return to their home country for consular processing, particularly when doing so might trigger a bar to returning….

Lessen the Standard for Demonstrating “Extreme Hardship”

…By statute, DHS has discretion to waive these grounds of inadmissibility for spouses, sons and daughters of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents if the refusal to admit these individuals would result in extreme hardship for their qualifying relatives. Generally the “extreme hardship” standard has been narrowly construed by USCIS.

To increase the number of individuals applying for waivers, and improve their chances for receiving them, CIS could issue guidance or regulation specifying a lower evidentiary standard for “extreme hardship.”…

Increase the Use of Deferred Action

…USCIS has previously allowed the use of deferred action to provide relief to non-immigrants whose period of admission had expired, or otherwise had failed to maintain lawful immigrant status….

While it is theoretically possible to grant deferred action to an unrestricted number of unlawfully present individuals, doing so would likely be controversial, not to mention expensive….

Rather than making deferred action widely available to hundreds of thousands and as a non-legislative version of “amnesty,” USCIS could tailor the use of this discretionary option for particular groups….

This is among the most brazen and shocking documents I had ever read. There is no way to misinterpret the intent. The Obama administration seems dedicated to forcing amnesty down our throats with or without Congress. And that, perhaps, is where Mr. Shahoulian comes in.

Shahoulian is currently the Democratic Chief Counsel to the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement and formerly an immigration attorney. He is also a self-professed supporter of open border policy.

Judicial Watch has reason to believe that Shahoulian and Mayorkas may be cooking up some additional schemes to enact stealth amnesty. And that’s why we’re after these documents.

The fact that Homeland Security is withholding these documents is not a shock. As a recent congressional hearing held by Rep. Issa’s House Oversight and Government Reform Committee concluded, Homeland Security has a history for inappropriately withholding documents for political reasons.

In fact, so egregious is the Homeland Security policy that stonewalls requests by “unfriendly” media outlets, Congressman Issa quipped during the hearing that this policy “reeks of a Nixonian enemies list.”

But we’ve been able to break the Obama stonewall before. And we intend to do so in this case as well.

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