MARCH 04, 2015
The U.S. government will spend nearly half a billion dollars, expand its workforce by 3,100 and open a 280,000-square-foot compound in Virginia to carry out President Obama’s amnesty order, according to detailed government figures provided to Judicial Watch.
The numbers are breathtaking and include a $647,590 monthly rent bill for a new facility at 2200 Crystal Drive in Arlington Virginia. It will be the processing headquarters for two Obama amnesty plans—Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA)—that will allow millions of illegal immigrants to remain in the U.S. Last month a federal court in Texas blocked the amnesty order, but records show the administration is ready to pull the trigger if it succeeds in appealing the ruling.
In fact a few weeks ago Judicial Watch reported that, despite the court order, the administration continued working behind the scenes to quickly award multi-million-dollar contracts to firms that can expeditiously process millions of illegal immigrants. A Request for Proposal (RFP) from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) estimates that the population of potential requesters for the president’s deferred action will be “approximately four million people” and that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) anticipates the initial filing of “approximately five to six million forms” related to the amnesty order which also covers the illegal immigrant parents of U.S. citizens and lawful residents.
It’s clear in the RFP’s pricing spreadsheets that it’s a huge taking that will cost American taxpayers a chunk of change, but now we have actual figures provided by government sources close to the negotiations. The Crystal City headquarters will get $1.5 million in “renovations/furniture,” $4 million in “telephone/data electronics,” $2.6 million in “workstation/desktop equipment” and $850,000 in “security upgrade,” according to the documents reviewed by JW. Around $3 million will be spent on an immigration processing program known as Computer Linked Adjudication Information Management System (CLAIMS) and $900,000 will go to video teleconference equipment. The annual rent will be $7,771,082, the document shows, and on-site guard services will run over $1 million.
Other expenses include over $1 million for barcode readers and printers, $90,000 for overtime utilities and tens of thousands for things such as employee background checks, drug testing, “instructor travel expenses” to train new hires and basic training books. The projected payroll for fiscal year 2015 alone is $21 million for an initial 1,000 extra federal workers. If the court injunction is lifted, the document says, and the initial planning estimate holds true, USCIS “might ultimately need to increase its total program costs of between $324 and $484 million per year.” That’s based on the assumption that 60% of all individuals who may be considered for DACA or DAPA would elect to file a request, according to the government memo.
Just this week the administration revealed in a federal court advisory that it had already approved and processed about 100,000 amnesty applications before the recent injunction. This mainly applies to so-called “Dreamers,” children brought to the U.S. illegally through no fault of their own. The recent ruling halting the broader amnesty shouldn’t apply to these folks, according to the advisory filed by the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ). “It is defendants’ understanding that the preliminary injunction does not require them to take affirmative steps to alter the status quo as it existed before the court’s order,” the filing reads. “For this reason, defendants do not understand the order to require defendants to take affirmative steps to revoke three-year periods of deferred action and work authorization.”
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