Grilled by reporters, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest addressed an order for a“surge” of immigration IDs of up to 9 million in one year, but said the move is no confirmation President Obama will issue a major executive amnesty after the election.
“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,” he said.
As reported by Breitbart News, USCIS is soliciting the materials to required to print green cards and employment permits of the type used to implement Obama’s “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” program. The draft solicitation says that in addition to a minimum order necessary to print 4 million such IDs per year, vendors must have the capacity to produce materials for a “surge” of 9 million IDs in 2016.
“The Contractor shall demonstrate the capability to support potential ‘surge’ in PRC and EAD card demand for up to 9M cards during the initial period of performance to support possible future immigration reform initiative requirements,” the document says.
Earnest explained that he had a chance to read reports about the issue after declining to address it at yesterday’s press briefing, but dismissed questions about it as aa “relatively clever way” of trying to predict Obama’s decision.
Earnest denied that the order was a indication of what Obama was planning to do.
“Don’t be absurd with us!” replied White House CBS reporter Major Garrett. “That’s not just an ordinary piece of paper it’s central to what the president has promised in public to do … is that coincidental or is it unrelated?”
“You would have to ask the DHS about orders of green colored papers that they’ve ordered,” Earnest said.
“I mean this is crazy,” Earnest chuckled as Garrett continued to press him on the issue.
“Why isn’t it just obvious that that seems to be related?” asked Garrett.
Earnest laughed and again suggested that the orders for more “card stock” associated with making IDs was just part of their daily operations.
“You would have ask them about the policies that govern their procurement of green paper. Right?” Earnest said, insisting that he was not trying to be clever with his response.
Garrett replied that it would be difficult for the DHS to be caught without a proper supply of materials – if the president decided to issue an executive order.
“There are a lot of things we don’t know,” Earnest replied, adding that there were still decision to be made about Obama’s executive actions.
“What I would caution you against doing, is making assumptions about what will be in those announcements based on the procurement practices of the Department of Homeland Security.”
According to the USCIS solicitation, the “surge” capacity would allow the agency to issue more than double the baseline number of immigrant IDs it would issue as part of its current “ongoing operations.”
The document describes the materials sought by the agency as “100% polycarbonate solid body card stock with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and holographic images embedded within the card construction substrate layers, card design service, and storage.”
Top Republicans including Speaker John Boehner have denounced Obama over the issue, and immigration experts said the solicitation suggests the administration is already beginning to implement a broad executive action.