The head of a union representing 12,000 federal immigration workers is warning that President Barack Obama's plan to expand legal status for millions of illegal immigrants would do serious damage to the national security of the United States.
Ken Palinkas, president of the National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council, said the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service workers he represents are already being asked to speed up the process of letting people in the country, which poses real risks to security today.
This image provided by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services shows the new version of the Permanent Resident Card, more commonly known as a green card. The Homeland Security Department appears to be preparing for an increase in the number of immigrants living illegally in the country to apply for work permits after President Barack Obama announces his long-promised plans for executive actions on immigration reform later this year. (AP Photo/U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services)
Palinkas said USCIS workers are "the world's rubber-stamp for entry into the United States," and said dangerous elements are already being allowed to enter the U.S. under the Obama administration.
"Whether it's the failure to uphold the public charge laws, the abuse of our asylum procedures, the admission of Islamist radicals, or visas for health risks, the taxpayers are being fleeced and public safety is being endangered on a daily basis," he said.
Palinkas said USCIS is anticipating even less attention to applicants in order to implement Obama's plan.
"There are plans to waive interviews of applicants who seek adjustment of their status in the U.S. to ready our workforce for the coming onslaught of applications unforeseen in previous administrations," he said.
"I write today to warn the general public that this situation is about to get exponentially worse — and more dangerous," he added. "[I]f you care about your immigration security and your neighborhood security, you must act now to ensure that Congress stops this unilateral amnesty."
Palinkas suggested that people contact their representatives and senators in Congress "before it's too late."
His statement was a reaction to news that USCIS has ordered supplies that will allow it to produce 34 million new green cards over the next five years — green cards confer "permanent resident" status to people who hold them. Thirty-four million is more than double the number of green cards it has normally produced in that time period.
That order has led to suspicion among Republicans that Obama is planning to unilaterally produce more green cards as part of his plan to let more illegal immigrants stay in the country. Last week, however, White House spokesman Josh Earnest downplayed any connection between Obama's plan and the green card order.