October 27, 2011

Center for Immigration Studies: Amnesty by Any Means – Memos Trace Evolution of Obama Administration Policy

Posted by D.A. King at 12:37 pm - Email the author   Print This Post Print This Post  

Center for Immigration Studies

Amnesty by Any Means
Memos Trace Evolution of Obama Administration Policy

By Janice Kephart
October 2011

Janice Kephart is the Director of National Security Policy at the Center for Immigration Studies.


Analysis of a series of leaked memos from within the Department of Homeland Security‚Äôs highest ranks shows that the Obama administration has sought for the last year and a half to form a strategy to achieve amnesty for the illegal population without input from Congress. The goal? Ultimately, according to a June 2010 memo, the administration seeks to ‚Äúreduce the threat of removal for certain individuals present in the United States without authorization.‚ÄĚ Well aware of the potential political fallout among both Congress and the American people, the administration provided internal briefs on the pros and cons of varying strategies to gain an administrative amnesty.

The course eventually decided on appears to be the now infamous June 2011 ‚Äúprosecutorial discretion‚ÄĚ memo issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton. This memo, embraced by the White House a few weeks ago, sets a course that prevents the enforcement of immigration law, provides a de facto amnesty, and is effectively worker authorization for much of the current illegal population. The current course of non-enforcement is in contrast to the initial proposed strategies of proactive immigration law rewrites.

In this memo is a thorough analysis of the extent the Obama administration is willing to go to deceive America into accepting unprecedented executive branch immigration law rewrites and changes in immigration processing to get around their federal responsibility to enforce immigration law. Obama administration actions taken to peel back visa interviews abroad, reduce enforcement on our physical borders, replace worksite enforcement to worksite audits, take actions against states seeking to enforce the law but no action against sanctuary cities, and support of only two immigration enforcement programs ‚ÄĒ Secure Communities and E-Verify ‚ÄĒ make sense when placed against the backdrop of these memos. On September 29, 2011, more evidence that this agenda is on track came in a Washington Post front page story describing the Obama administration‚Äôs overt actions to discourage states from attempting to get their illegal populations under control:

Obama Administration Escalates Crackdown on Tough Immigration Laws

“The Obama administration is escalating its crackdown on tough immigration laws, with lawyers reviewing four new state statutes to determine whether the federal government will take the extraordinary step of challenging the measures in court.

‚ÄúJustice Department attorneys have sued Arizona and Alabama, where a federal judge on Wednesday allowed key parts of that state‚Äôs immigration law to take effect but blocked other provisions. Federal lawyers are talking to Utah officials about a third possible lawsuit and are considering legal challenges in Georgia, Indiana and South Carolina, according to court documents and government officials. The level of federal intervention is highly unusual, legal experts said.‚ÄĚ

None of these actions have been pursued without a foundational goal of ‚Äúamnesty by any means.‚ÄĚ That is why 9/11 Commission findings of fact and recommendations have been rolled back or purposefully misconstrued; these policies fly in the face of our national security and our economic security. Below is a detailed account of a DHS/White House pursuit of amnesty.


Four administration memos, taken together, show the evolution of the immigration law enforcement meltdown currently underway. The story begins in February 2010 with proposals to amend immigration law categories and policies through a series of regulatory rewrites. In addition, the memos consider prying open narrow immigration exceptions into wide cross-cutting remedies to permit the entry and legalized stay of large classes of illegal immigrants through an expensive ‚Äúregistration process.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúPolitical Considerations‚ÄĚ riddle the first two memos, with chief concerns including ‚ÄúThe Secretary would face criticism that she is abdicating her charge to enforce immigration laws‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúA program that reaches the entire population targeted for legalization would‚ÄĚ be characterized by opponents as amnesty…