When President Obama first announced his highly suspect “executive order,” the collective groaning over the rule of law was deafening. Still, there was one minuscule hope spot amidst the darkness – at least now that Obama was saying what laws he would and wouldn’t enforce, he had no excuse if he didn’t enforce the ones he chose to follow.
Now, that tiny point of light has apparently also been blotted out. The Washington Times reports that President Obama’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Department has already begun handing out amnesties not only to people who qualify under the President’s new executive order, but even to some people who still don’t:
Rep. Lamar Smith, Texas Republican, said he’s learned some illegal immigrants who have been in the U.S. less than five years have had their deportations canceled, even though Mr. Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Janet A. Napolitano had listed the five-year mark as one of their criteria.
Mr. Smith also obtained documents laying out how U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) officers should actively search for illegal immigrants who are “apparently eligible” to have their cases dropped. Those illegal immigrants then would be granted tentative status.
“President Obama is granting amnesty to illegal immigrants behind Americans’ backs,” Mr. Smith said. “Although administration officials told congressional offices that it would take 60 days to implement the president’s amnesty plan, internal ICE documents show that illegal immigrants have already benefited from it, even though there are no standards in place.”
Smith reportedly supplied documents to the Times proving his accusations. Specifically, he claims that ICE is not deporting people who have spent less than the (under the executive order) requisite 5 years in the United States. In fact, according to Smith, ICE is even refusing to deport people who have been in the United States for an unknown length of time. Not exactly the sort of thing you expect from a department dedicated to “homeland security.”
Now, to be fair to the Obama administration, they have deported a record number of illegals since coming into power. However, draconian application of the law is only admirable if it’s also consistent with what the law actually commands. This story suggests that the Obama administration’s actions do not fit the latter requirement.