A new report from the Center for Immigration Studies, obtained in advance by Breitbart News, argues that under President Obama’s executive amnesty certain undocumented immigrants are being released from detention facilities and are eligible for work permits.
“Starting almost immediately after the president’s announcement in November, ICE offices around the country were directed to go through their caseload of illegal aliens in the process of being deported and start releasing all those who by the stroke of the president’s pen were no longer priorities for enforcement,” the report, authored by CIS expert Jessica Vaughan reads.
“And, under current policy, many of these illegal aliens – many of whom have criminal records and/or prior deportations — are getting work permits too,” Vaughan adds.
As Breitbart News reported late last year, from the November announcement to the end of 2014, ICE released more than 600 detained immigrants from custody.
“That includes detainees who appear to qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Legal Permanent Residents (DAPA), as well those individuals who, based on their case histories, no longer fall within DHS’ specified enforcement priorities,” an official said in a statement Breitbart News in December.
“Serious criminal offenders and other individuals who pose a significant threat to public safety remain a priority for ICE detention,” the official added.
Vaughan reports that an unnamed ICE official told her that the immigrants being released from custody will likely “qualify” for work permits.
“These aren’t even necessarily people with family, kids, ties or equities in the United States. This directive/policy toward ‘non-priorities’ applies to anyone simply in the United States as of January 1, 2014 with no significant criminal convictions,” Vaughan quotes the officer. “Yet even if they were ordered deported by a court and are actually IN custody, awaiting removal, per this order, we now cannot execute that order or detain them, as a ‘non-priority.’ And yes, many will qualify in some way for work permits and leave to remain in the United States.”
In her report Vaughan further detailed the types of people who are being released:
- Illegal aliens with pending criminal cases;
- Illegal aliens criminal charges that were dismissed or dropped (sometimes local prosecutors drop charges because they believe the alien will be deported);
- Illegal aliens with significant traffic violations, usually drunk driving, but also vehicle theft and hit & run ;
- Illegal aliens who have been deported once or many times before, but who have minor or no criminal convictions, and who are often filing last-ditch asylum claims;
- Illegal aliens without criminal convictions who are contesting deportation in protracted court cases (at taxpayer expense), which will now be dropped;
- Illegal aliens already ordered deported who are awaiting travel documents, which in some cases are deliberately delayed by their home countries.
Vaughan called the ability for released undocumented immigrants “stealth amnesty.”
“They don’t qualify for DACA or DAPA, or if they did they would also be walking out the door. But they are considered ‘in proceedings,’” Vaughan explained. “Their case is technically still open and this administration’s policy has been that somebody ‘in proceedings’ is eligible for a work permit. This is a totally discretionary thing.”
According to Vaughan, the policy is intended to allow people awaiting the resolution of their cases to support themselves while remaining in the country.