I guess it’s getting tougher and tougher to work the immigration beat on the southern border. In the old days, you looked for people sneaking across, tried to catch up to them, rounded them up and shipped them back home so we could begin the process all over again. These days, with new orders being handed down from Washington, you need to put them through a quiz show application first to make sure they know whether or not they might qualify for amnesty.

The White House has ordered federal authorities to inquire of any illegal immigrants they happen to come across during the course of duty: Do you know whether you qualify for any type of amnesty grant under President Obama’s recent deportation order?

The Associated Press obtained internal documents detailing the new procedure for federal authorities — namely, agents with Customs and Border Protection and with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The directive, which comes from the Department of Homeland Security, is a decided departure from normal U.S. immigration enforcement proceedings, AP reported. Rather than putting immigrants in charge of proving their qualifications for staying in the United States — under the terms of Mr. Obama’s policy — it puts the government in charge of identifying those individuals who might qualify for leniency.

The report from the Associated Press makes a rather odd comparison, saying this is like the Internal Revenue Service offering up information to taxpayers on how they might have used certain deductions and exemptions. But that’s really not an apt comparison at all. Legal taxpayers know that they have to pay their taxes and the IRS is supposed to follow the rules while ensuring that the taxes are properly collected. It would be nice if they wrote back to you and said, Hey! You missed an exemption! But it’s really the worker’s job to find all the exemptions and the IRS would never be able to provide that level of service to everyone. By contrast, illegal immigrants coming over the borer aren’t starting from a position of having some fully formed set of rights. What many of them are looking for is temporary forgiveness and a way around the rules with the help of the White House.

Of course, it’s not as if those fence jumpers are unaware of these policies. In fact, they’ve been all over the amnesty news for some time. Back in 2013, before it was fully kicked into gear, illegals were taunting border agents with just this premise.

Linda Vickers, who owns a ranch in Brooks County, which is Ground Zero for the immigration debate, pins the blame directly on talk of ‘amnesty’ and a ‘path to citizenship’ for people who entered the U.S. illegally.

She recalls one man being arrested on her ranch not long ago.

“The Border Patrol agent was loading one man up, and he told the officer in Spanish, ‘Obama’s gonna let me go’.”

Border Patrol agents report that immigrants are crossing the border, and in some cases surrendering while asking, “Where do I go for my amnesty?”

Since they were already asking the questions, they should be pleased to learn that the agents will now have to sit down with them and see if they’ve got a back door into the country.