With the right-wing blogosphere crying “Oh Noes Amnesty”!”, late last night a memo was leaked from the Department of Homeland Security revealing that the White House is at the very least considering “Administrative Alternatives to Comprehensive Immigration Reform”.
I hate giving the NRO traffic (full disclosure, I went to high school with the online editor there), the 11 page document looks at ways outside of the legislative process to provide relief for some of the millions of undocumented in the U.S.
From the memo:
This memorandum offers administrative relief options to promote family unity, foster economic growth, achieve significant process improvements, and reduce the threat of removal for certain individuals present in the United States without authorization…
The right is calling the memo, which lays out possibilities like allowing some with Temporary Protective Status (TPS) to make the move to permanent residents and expanding the use of the “extreme hardship standard” to apply to allow spouses and children of permanent residents to remain in the U.S. without fear of being separated from their families, amnesty, when in reality, it reads like an administration at attempting to make some effort to keep true to it’s promises and respond to the overwhelming sentiment in the U.S. that something needs to change with the way immigrant familias are treated.
The memo, which is not dated, refers specifically to the DREAM Act as a way to promote the targeted use of “deferred action”, which according to the Department of Homeland Security is a minimal humanitarian status that they can give to a portion of the undocumented population.
The release of this memo, attributed to Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa according to Pro-Publica, is certainly suspect given that portions of Arizona’s anti-immigrant law SB1070 went into effect yesterday and can be seen as a right wing pushback against the injunction temporarily stopping parts of the law from being implemented. Everyone should be clear though, that this memo, is far from comprehensive immigration reform (and therefore not “amnesty”) but rather perhaps, in the face of falling poll numbers, an attempt by the administration to save some face with the Latino voters. This memo does not protect the overwhelming majority of undocumented and it promotes the use of criminalizing programs such as “Secure Communities”. This memo also goes against what Obama said in his recent speech on immigration, where he strongly stated that administrative relief goes against the rule of law.
A ver where this path leads.