Barack Obama’s Executive Order to suspend deportations of illegal aliens for two years will act as a magnet to motivate millions of people from around the world to come to the United States and claim they have been quietly living here with relatives for the last five years. The legal term for the President’s directive is “deferred action”, which has the effect of a two-year blanket suspension of INS deportations for most “unlawful” aliens.
This will allow “lawful permanent residents” to work, go to school, and possibly join the direct pathway to citizenship. Although the Form I-551 Permanent Resident green card has not always been colored green, President Obama just made a gift of billions of green dollars to buy the loyalty of tens of millions of future voters and their extended families.
Aliens who desired the opportunity to come to the U.S. and become lawful permanent residents have been required to qualify under a preference system each year for a finite number of visas set by Congress. Preference was given to direct family members, then specialty employment skills, and then political refugees. In 2010 there were a total of 480,000 green cards issued. Family-based green cards were issued to 226,000 relatives of citizens and permanent residents, 150,000 to specialized workers and another 100,000 to refugees and political asylum seekers.
By law, no nation’s citizens were allowed to receive more than 25,000 green cards.
The Presidential Order implements most of the Dream Act legislation that pro-immigrant Congressional Representatives have tried and failed to pass for a decade. President Obama dishonestly claimed his Executive Order was focused on giving permanent residence status to children when he said:
These are young people who study in our schools, they play in our neighborhoods, they’re friends with our kids, they pledge allegiance to our flag. They are Americans in their heart, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper. They were brought to this country by their parents — sometimes even as infants — and often have no idea that they’re undocumented until they apply for a job or a driver’s license, or a college scholarship.
But research by the Center for Immigrant Studies determined that of the 1,998,000 individuals expected to be covered by the Dream Act; 1,139,000 (57%) would have been adults and only 859,000 (43%) would have been minors.
In the past, citizens and permanent residents who applied for direct family member visas for their relatives to come to the U.S. legally were required to provide financial sponsorship by signing Form I-864 Affidavit of Support. This contractual agreement made the sponsors personally liable to pay back the government if their sponsored relative became a “public charge” and collected public assistance benefits based on need. Millions of lawful permanent residents undoubtedly reapply for green cards on deferred status to get financial releases for their sponsors.
There are approximately 18.5 million “lawful permanent residents” in the U.S. and 15 million unlawful permanent residents. No one knows how many people around the world would like to immigrate to the United States. But each year an average of 15 million people apply for the United States “green card diversity lottery” to compete for 50,000 visas, with the odds of winning at 300 to 1. Mexicans are not eligible to participate in the lottery, because more than 25,000 Mexicans enter the U.S. each year. But if Mexicans, who represent 30.1% of all current U.S. immigrants, had been allowed to apply for the lottery, the number of lottery participating would have risen to at least 21.5 million and the odds of winning would have jumped to 428 to 1.
Given there will be no way to prove if a person has been quietly living in the U.S. for five years or just arrived, I estimate at least six million people will eventually apply to become “lawful permanent residents” as a result of the Executive Order. The flood of new applications will generate billions of dollars of business for key Obama supporters. For each application, an immigration lawyer will collect $4000 in fees and a local newspaper will pocket $1000 to publish the required “legal notices”.
Last year, deportations of U.S. illegal immigrants reached an all-time record high of 400,000. But President Obama described his suspension of deportations in a speech from the White House’s Rose Garden as: “It’s the right thing to do, period.” At a time when there are 20 million unemployed Americans, the President’s Executive Order will act as a magnet to attract millions of aliens to take American jobs, burden our schools and suck up social welfare benefits, period!