Listen Live
Listen Live

On Air Next

Biden announces widespread amnesty plan for illegal immigrants

SHARE NOW

(The Center Square ) – President Joe Biden announced a new plan on Tuesday that will fast track a path to citizenship for hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals who’ve been living in the country illegally for more than 10 years and married a U.S. citizen. He also expanded protections for DACA recipients, according to several reports.

In a statement issued by the White House, the president blamed Republicans in Congress for not securing the border and fixing the “broken immigration system.”

Because of Republicans putting “partisan politics ahead of national security,” he announced additional measures to implement deportation protections to some illegal foreign nationals. Doing so reflects his commitment to “expanding lawful pathways and keeping families together,” he said, arguing that those who entered the country illegally “who have been in the United States for decades, paying taxes and contributing to their communities, are part of the social fabric of our country.”

His new action will help “people who have been here many years to keep American families together and allow more young people to contribute to our economy,” according to the statement.

The Wall Street Journal first reported that the plan zeroes “in on the population of mixed-status families, where typically the children and one parent are U.S. citizens, because they believe that demographic is the most compelling, according to administration officials and advocates who have spoken with them.”

One way to do this would be to implement another parole policy called “parole in place,” enabling illegal foreign national spouses of U.S. citizens to obtain green cards and U.S. citizenship. They would also receive work permits and deportation protections, according to several reports on Monday.

In order to be eligible for the new parole program, noncitizens, as of June 17, 2024, must have resided in the U.S. for 10 or more years and be legally married to a U.S. citizen. On average, those who are eligible have resided in the U.S. for 23 years, according to the White House statement released Tuesday.

Advocates in support of providing amnesty estimate there are more than one million spouses who could apply to the new parole program, the Journal reported.

The announcement at the White House came on the 12th-year anniversary of former President Barack Obama creating by executive order the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). DACA shielded children from deportation who were brought into the country illegally by their parents and has been in litigation for 12 years. A federal judge has twice ruled that the program is illegal. The most recent ruling was in a multi-state lawsuit led by Texas to end DACA once and for all, The Center Square reported. The case is expected to ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Biden announced an expanded program for DACA recipients to “streamline the process” for them “and other undocumented immigrants to request waivers that would make it easier for them to obtain temporary visas, such as H-1B visas for high-skilled workers,” CBS News reported.

DACA recipients who earned a degree at an accredited U.S. institution of higher education and who received an offer of employment from a U.S. employer in a field related to their degree will be able to quickly receive work visas, according to the White House statement.

Numerous reports suggest between 700,000 and 800,000 people living in the U.S. are DACA recipients. The Los Angeles Times reports there are 578,680 DACA recipients on record with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services as of March 2023.

After announcing earlier this month he was limiting asylum claims, the president is now proposing a measure to ensure those in the country illegally aren’t deported. Both announcements made five months before the election aren’t solutions but political ploys and will only incentivize illegal immigration, critics argue.

“It is definitely an incentive and will drive more illegal immigration,” former acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Tom Homan told The Center Square. “In a time where we are facing historic numbers on the southern border, President Biden announces yet another giveaway program, another reward for illegally entering this country.

“This reinforces that you can enter this country illegally and if you can hide out long enough, you get legal status. This will drive more illegal immigration and they know that and that is why they are doing it.”

If the president really cared about border security and reforming immigration law, he would “reimplement the Migrant Protection Protocols; … restore Asylum Cooperative Agreements with Central American partners; finish construction of new border wall system that Congress funded years ago [which he halted]; and … end mass catch-and-release,” U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Mark Green, R-TN, said in a statement. The president “could stop the flow of hundreds of thousands entering this country via unlawful mass-parole programs created by his DHS secretary. And he could encourage Senate Democrats to pass H.R. 2, the only border bill passed by either house of the 118th Congress, to further close loopholes and end avenues for exploitation of our borders by the cartels.

“But he won’t, because the rabidly anti-enforcement, open-borders left is calling the shots for the Biden administration. And the rest of us are paying the price.”

Any executive actions taken related to newly created parole programs or DACA are likely to be challenged by Republican attorneys general.