U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) posted a notice on the FedBizOpps.Gov (Federal Business Opportunities) website recently announcing the imminent solicitation for card stock that will be used to print Permanent Resident Cards and Employment Authorization Documentation cards. While this in itself isn’t unusual, the number that USCIS plans to order has raised some eyebrows. We read:
The requirement is for an estimated 4 million cards annually with the potential to buy as many as 34 million cards total. The ordering periods for this requirement shall be for a total of five (5) years.
A U.S. Permanent Resident Card (USCIS Form I-551, formerly known as an “Alien Registration Card” and informally known as a “green card”) is an identification card attesting to the permanent resident status of an alien in the United States.
An Employment Authorization Documentation card (EAD, Form I-766), known popularly as a “work permit,” is a document issued by USCIS that provides its holder with a legal right to work in the United States.
According to information provided by USImmigrationLawyers.com:
There are limits on the number of U.S. green cards (lawful permanent residence) made available under the U.S. immigration laws, at least in certain categories….
Green cards allocated annually to employment-based categories, including investors and Special Immigrants, number 140,000 worldwide. Approximately 480,000 green cards worldwide can be issued each year in the family categories.
In addition to the fixed worldwide totals, 50,000 extra green cards are given each year through the ethnic diversity visa or lottery category.
Figures compiled by Immigration Road.com indicate that 150,262 employment-based green cards and 226,651 family-sponsored green cards were issued in FY 2010, a total of 376,913.
NumbersUSA (an organization that favors reductions in the number of immigrants legally allowed to enter the United States) notes that 912,735 EADs were issued in FY 2008. Britain’s Daily Mail on October 20 cited figures from USCIS saying the agency processed 862,000 EADs overall between January and June of this year, which works out to 1,724,000 annually. If the number of green cards is added to that total the figure is 2,100,913.
This immediately raises the question of why USCIS will need 34,000,000 cards over the next five years — 6,800,000 annually — starting with an initial order of 4,000,000.
A USCIS official told the Daily Mail on Monday that the draft was published “in case the president makes the move we think he will.”
Breitbart.com, which broke this story based on information uncovered by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), quoted a statement from CIS’s Jessica Vaughan, who said the USCIS document suggests a new program of remarkable breadth. The RFP (Request For Proposal) “seems to indicate that the president is contemplating an enormous executive action that is even more expansive than the plan that Congress rejected in the ‘Gang of Eight’ bill,” Vaughan said.
Breitbart noted that it is not unusual for federal agencies to plan for contingencies, but USCIS’s card request specifically explains that the surge is related to potential changes in immigration policy. “The Contractor shall demonstrate the capability to support potential ‘surge’ in PRC and EAD card demand for up to 9M cards during the initial period of performance to support possible future immigration reform initiative requirements,” the document says.
“Immigration reform” — not only as proposed by President Obama and his Democratic congressional allies, but also by the Republicans members of the “Gang of Eight” who helped draft the bipartisan bill passed by the Senate June 2013 — usually includes a “path to citizenship” for illegal immigrants, a euphemism for amnesty. When the Republican-controlled House refused to take action on such legislation, Obama criticized Congress and threatened to act on his own.
On June 30, the president declared:
I have also directed [Department of Homeland Security] Secretary [Jeh] Johnson and Attorney General [Eric] Holder to identify additional actions my administration can take on our own, within my existing legal authorities, to do what Congress refuses to do and fix as much of our immigration system as we can.
Obama’s plan was to implement proposals rejected by Congress though executive actions, much as he had done when he put into effect portions of the DREAM Act by executive action via the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA), after Congress had repeatedly turned down the proposal.
DACA is a memorandum authored by the Obama administration on June 15, 2012 that directs Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), to practice “prosecutorial discretion” toward some individuals who were brought to the United States illegally as children and have remained in the country illegally.
Obama’s strategy was thwarted, however, when the crisis caused by the massive surge of illegal immigrant children across our southern borders made many Americans much less inclined to accept “reform” that included amnesty for illegal aliens. And with control of the Senate at stake, some Democratic senators asked Obama to hold off on his executive actions, for fear they would alienate enough voters to harm Democrats running for election.
Realizing that “immigration reform” by executive action was becoming unpopular, the White House issued an e-mail statement to major news organization on September 6 stating that President Obama “believes it would be harmful” to his immigration policy to announce any administrative action on immigration before this November’s elections. The statement blamed “the Republicans’ extreme politicization of this issue” for the president’s delay.
Delay did not mean cancellation, however. During a speech before the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s 37th Annual Awards Gala in Washington on October 2, Obama bragged about his commitment to circumvent the separation of powers by implementing through executive action immigrations policies that rightfully should be approved by the legislative branch:
I’ve said before that if Congress failed to live up to its responsibilities to solve this problem, I would act to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, and I meant what I said. So this is not a question of if, but when.
While we can be certain that it is only a matter of time before Obama implements “immigration reform” by executive action that includes amnesty for illegal aliens, we still do not know the “how many.” USCIS’s proposal to order a large number of Permanent Resident Cards and Employment Authorization Documentation cards far in excess of the amount needed to accommodate the present number of legal aliens gives a chilling indication of what the Obama administration has planned for the future.