President Obama’s executive amnesty for an estimated five million illegal aliens is, from the perspective of Republicans, an unconstitutional power grab that threatens the republic. In Obama’s telling, over soft piano music in a campaign-style YouTube video, it “just comes down to people.”
Another version is the one agents of U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) experience in trying to enforce U.S. immigration laws – specifically a five point checklist they were provided Friday evening and obtained by Breitbart News.
The bureaucratic document uses the Orwellian title “Parental Accountability Checklist.” The line below that explains it is a “Checklist for NOT Arresting/Removing Individuals Under Deferred Action Expansion.”
First, agents must ask detained aliens: did you have a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident child on Nov. 20, 2014? Have you resided in the U.S. since Jan. 1, 2010? Were you physically present in the U.S. on Nov. 20, 2014? And were you “without lawful immigration status” on Nov. 20, 2014?
If the alien answers “yes” to these questions, and they have not been convicted of serious crimes, “the individual should be released from custody or not removed, and referred to USCIS to seek deferred action,” the document instructs.
As one might imagine, apprehended aliens theoretically facing deportation may not always provide truthful answers to these questions. So ICE has established the robust policy of taking people completely at their word and letting someone else check it out later, should the alien ever later apply for official amnesty from the Obama administration.
“It’s not our job to make any kind of initial investigation or ask for anything…just take them at their word and release so they can apply in Jan and let CIS figure it out,” an angry ICE agent explained.
Aliens referred to USCIS to apply for “parental accountability” are obviously likely to follow-up with the agency, providing phone bills, birth certificates and other documents for USCIS to investigate. After all – when tens of thousands of unaccompanied children streamed across the border this summer, a whopping 6 percent of them later showed up in court, abiding by their notice to appear. And federal agencies like USCIS are known for their ability to competently handle a sudden surge of more than double their normal capacity, as contemplated by the executive order and the agency’s early order for materials to print millions of additional id cards for its recipients.
The checklist also explains the DHS “enforcement priority” system that has been discussed in recent days that kicks in once aliens have bypassed the initial questions.
“Priority 1” includes “suspected of terrorism or espionage, or who otherwise pose a danger to national security,” people apprehended while in the act of crossing the border, “aliens with a conviction for active participation in a criminal street gang” (so long as they are older than 15), and those convicted of a felony crime – “other than a state or local offense for which an essential element was the alien’s immigration status.”
To fall under “Priority 2,” an alien must have been convicted of at least three misdemeanors, on three separate occasions (other than traffic incidents and immigration-related offenses), or have been convicted of a “serious misdemeanor.”
The latter term has the following definition, according to the document.
*”Significant misdemeanor” means: an offense of domestic violence; sexual abuse or exploitation; burglary; unlawful possession or use of a firearm; drug distribution or trafficking; or driving under the influence; or an offense for which the individual was sentenced to time in custody (not including suspended sentences) of 90 days or more. Domestic violence-related crimes should be carefully assessed to determine whether, as a mitigating factor, the individual was also the victim of domestic violence. Feel free to consult your local OPLA office if you have questions about whether the subject’s criminal history meets this definition or whether the individual is otherwise a DHS enforcement priority.
As Byron York wrote in the Examiner, “the administration views convicted drunk drivers, sex abusers, drug dealers, and gun offenders as second-level enforcement priorities.”
“Priority 3” consists of aliens who have been ordered to be removed after Jan. 1, 2014.
Asked about the documents and and remarks from ICE agents, a spokeswoman for ICE did not provide comment for publication.