Obama to Protect Illegal Aliens Based on “Accrual of Unlawful Presence” in U.S.
Three years after the Obama administration quietly rewarded illegal immigrants with “unlawful presence waivers” it has a new plan in the works to shield them from deportation based on the “accrual of unlawful presence” in the United States.
That’s right; illegal aliens with the longest record of violating our laws will be rewarded by our government, according to the proposed plan obtained by Judicial Watch this month from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). It’s all part of the president’s mission to grant amnesty to as many illegal immigrants as possible before he leaves office. This includes special executive programs created to help illegal aliens brought to the U.S. as children and “family reunification” measures that shield relatives and spouses of a broad range of immigrants.
In 2012 Judicial Watch reported on the administration’s behind the scenes effort to halt the deportation of certain illegal immigrants by granting them “unlawful presence waivers.” That measure applies to illegal aliens who are relatives of American citizens. Before the Obama administration changed the rules, aliens had to return to their native country and request a waiver of inadmissibility in an existing overseas immigrant visa process. This often caused U.S. citizens to be separated for extended periods from their foreign—and undocumented—relatives, according to DHS, and the change significantly reduced that.
The latest amnesty measure—based on accrual of unlawful presence—further relaxes the rule and drastically expands the pool of eligible candidates by, among other things, eliminating the requirement that applicants must be relatives of U.S. citizens. Here’s language straight from the government document obtained by JW and signed by Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson: “DHS proposes to expand its current provisional waiver process in two principle ways. First, DHS would eliminate current limitations on the provisional waiver process that restrict eligibility to certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens. Under this proposed rule, the provisional waiver process would be made available to all aliens who are statutorily eligible for waivers of inadmissibility based on unlawful presence and meet certain other conditions.”
DHS also plans to eliminate a requirement that the illegal immigrant demonstrate that denial of the waiver would result in “extreme hardship” to their U.S. citizen spouse or parent. The proposed rule would expand who may be considered a qualifying relative for purposes of the extreme hardship determination to include lawful permanent resident spouses and parents, according to the DHS document obtained by JW. This is all being done in the “interests of family unity,” according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the DHS agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States.
The agency explains in its new proposal that aliens who are in the Unites States and seeking lawful permanent resident status must either obtain an immigrant visa abroad with the State Department or apply to adjust their immigration status in the United States, if eligible. “Aliens present in the United States without having been inspected and admitted or paroled are typically ineligible to adjust their status in the United States,” the DHS document says, adding that because these aliens entered the country illegally, “their departures may trigger a ground of inadmissibility based on the accrual of unlawful presence in the United States…”
In fact, DHS confirms in its proposed rule that an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States for more than 180 days and less than a year who departs voluntarily before the commencement of removal proceedings is inadmissible for three years from the date of departure. An alien who is unlawfully present in the United States for one year or more and then departs (before, during, or after removal proceedings), is inadmissible for 10 years from the date of the departure. These violators will benefit tremendously under the new program.
Another interesting tidbit is that the administration is actually encouraging aliens to “complete the visa process abroad, promoting family unity, and improving administrative efficiency.”