Last week represents yet another in an endless series of weeks that saw President Obama trample existing immigration laws, circumvent Congress and rewrite regulations to appease vocal and highly critical special interest groups. Obama’s actions undermine unemployed Americans hoping to catch a break.
First, Obama decreed that spouses of H-1B visa holders, who enter the U.S. under a special H4 visa, will be allowed to work. Previously, their visas allowed them certain privileges but not employment. Now, with a stroke of Obama’s infamous pen, thousands of spouses, mostly women who have accompanied their husbands to the U.S., will have the legal right to compete with more than 90 million Americans not currently attached to the job market. Many of the 90 million are skilled but long-term unemployed IT engineers.
Here’s the back story on the visas. Last June, the Senate passed S.744, a bill that increased the H-1B visa cap from 65,000 annually to between 115,000 and 180,000. Silicon Valley, led by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, had pushed for months to raise the cap. When the House refused to take up the Senate bill, the proposed H-1B visa increases never developed. But with Obama’s new edict, hundreds of thousands who might have qualified under the Senate bill will now get an official USCIS Employment Authorization Document card. About 94,000 H4 visas have been issued in recent months with many more to follow.
More misuse of federal power followed the H4 outrage. Again responding to special interests, in this case the Hispanic lobby and its inside the White House advocate and Domestic Policy Council director Cecelia Munoz, Obama is mulling bond hearings for several thousand jailed aliens. If immigration judges are allowed to review their cases, they could be freed.
ICE’s lax treatment of criminal aliens is already at crisis levels. Last year, ICE released 68,000 convicted criminal aliens instead of pursuing the available methods to deport them. Releasing known criminals puts the public at risk, a concern the Obama administration doesn’t share even though in 2012 House Republicans tracked 26,000 illegal and criminal immigrants who were re-arrested. The House findings showed that, once let go, the aliens were subsequently linked to 58,000 crimes and violations, including major criminal offenses like murder and rape.
Finally, here’s the cherry on top. Besides focusing on criminal aliens, ICE agents are also legally bound to concentrate on expelling those who have entered the country within the last three years, so called recent arrivals that are considered a priority. Under the proposed revisions, the time frame would be shortened from three years to two weeks, thus eliminating millions of aliens’ priority status.
Many believe that Obama has openly defied the Constitution by repeatedly suspending, delaying, and waiving portions of laws that he taken an oath to uphold. When he has disagreed with federal immigration laws, he had mandated the Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security to cease enforcing them.
Because of the president’s persistent pattern of lawlessness that’s Americans are left to wonder what his next constitutional violation will be. Once the mid-term elections are over, Obama will be a lame duck and many expect him to act more brazenly than ever especially on his pet project, immigration.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1987. Contact him at [email protected]