Illegal immigrants lined up in droves on August 15 to apply for Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals, President Obama’s youth amnesty, but the number who will apply may be well more than double the first estimate. The New York Times reported on Monday that 1.7 million illegal alien “youths” will likely apply for the amnesty and, then, to get work permits. The program, two Republican legislators say in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, is likely to be rife with fraud because the government has not erected the necessary barriers to ensure that all the “youths” who apply for the amnesty are eligible for it.
According to the Times, the amnesty, which Obama announced in June, is the president’s “most ambitious” immigration initiative yet: “The program, which grants two-year deportation deferrals and work permits to illegal immigrants brought here as children, creates a herculean job for the federal agency in charge, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.” The Times continued:
Agency officials are expecting the biggest load of paperwork in the shortest amount of time for a new program since 1986, when more than three million immigrants who were here illegally became legal residents under an amnesty.
Because deferrals are temporary and must be renewed after two years — when Mr. Obama may no longer occupy the White House — administration officials have been uncertain how many illegal immigrants would come forward to apply.
Frighteningly, the Times reported, the work permits Obama will provide these illegals, in an economy where unemployment is soaring at more than 8 percent, are a path for other legal documents. “The work permit young immigrants can receive with the deferral opens many doors that have been firmly shut. They can obtain valid Social Security numbers and apply for driver’s licenses, professional certificates and financial aid for college,” the newspaper reported.
That means illegal immigrants may well be impossible deport. Once the land of the free provides all these benefits, there isn’t much chance politicians will have the courage to take them away.
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Photo of immigrants in Maryland lining up for Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals applications August 15: AP Images