U.S. citizens forced to wait to reunite with foreign-born spouses as Obama’s DREAM amnesty takes precedence
posted at 11:21 am on February 10, 2014 by Allahpundit
Via Mark Krikorian, a visit from the Ghost of Amnesty Future. Remember when O decided he needed a shiny object to show Latino voters before the 2012 election and issued a new executive rule essentially amnestizing DREAMers? He’d been hoping to convince dopey congressional Republicans to pass comprehensive immigration reform instead — after all, it’s the president’s party that’ll get most of the political credit once an immigration bill makes it through Congress and onto his desk — but when Boehner couldn’t pull it together, Obama concluded he had to act. Not only did he issue the new rule but he made it a top priority for Citizenship and Immigration Services, so much so that other routine but important business, like approving green cards for the spouses of American citizens, had to wait. And wait. And wait. And wait.
And so it came to be that half a million families, many of them with children, remain split to this day purely because Obama needed a mega-pander to protect his own ass electorally. Both parties swear up and down that this won’t happen with comprehensive immigration reform. Illegals will be sent to the back of the line for green cards, behind people like the foreign-born spouses of American citizens who’ve followed the rules and waited patiently for approval. But there’s no more reason to believe that than there is a reason to believe that “probationary” legalization under the House GOP’s plan would be rescinded if the border isn’t expeditiously secured. The political pressure on Republicans to keep up with Democrats in the pander sweepstakes is tremendous; it’s no coincidence that the House GOP leadership has been quietly working on its own version of the DREAM Act for months to try to recoup some of the glory Obama won with Latinos in 2012 from his administrative rule. Once a broader amnesty passes Congress, we’ll be back in the same dynamic of Democrats demanding expedited processing of illegals and Republicans panicking over the political fallout if they resist. And the losers, again, will be these people:
The trouble that American citizens have faced gaining permanent resident visas for their families raises questions about the agency’s priorities and its readiness to handle what could become a far bigger task. After Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio said on Thursday that the House was not likely to act on an immigration overhaul this year, immigrant advocates are turning up their pressure on Mr. Obama to expand the deferral program to include many more of the 11.7 million immigrants in the country illegally…
Until recently, an American could obtain a green card for a spouse, child or parent — probably the easiest document in the immigration system — in five months or less. But over the past year, waits for approvals of those resident visas stretched to 15 months, and more than 500,000 applications became stuck in the pipeline, playing havoc with international moves and children’s schools and keeping families apart…
“First it was surprise,” Mr. Varma said. “Then dismay. Then it just becomes very discouraging. You feel helpless. You feel as if you did things the right way and you are penalized for it.”…
After Mr. Obama announced the deferral program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, in 2012, he gave Citizenship and Immigration Services only two months to get it running. Agency officials scrambled. As of last week, 521,815 youths had received deferrals, with the agency handling more than 2,000 applications a day.
As you’ve already guessed, in order to process the DREAM applications as quickly as possible, CIS has had to cut corners where it can. Among those corners, per Krikorian, is background checks. If that’s less of a priority now, how much less of a priority will it be once a full amnesty passes Congress and a new load of applicants 10 to 20 times the size of the DREAMers ends up in front of the agency? Why any immigrant spouse would choose to follow U.S. law at this point and wait their turn abroad, knowing that the feds are about to be swamped with an immigration bureaucratic nightmare to end all nightmares, I don’t know. They’re better off getting a visa to “visit” and then just staying put. Obama and ICE wouldn’t dare deport them after media attention to this problem.
Via the Daily Caller, if you missed it yesterday, here’s George Will taking the libertarian position on immigration and Laura Ingraham taking the … not libertarian position. Say this much for Will’s open-borders position: It certainly would minimize bureaucracy. Just pat illegals down to make sure they have no weapons when they cross the border and then wave them through.