January 16, 2015
More than 2 million illegal immigrants will be approved for President Obama’s deportation amnesty over the next few years, and they will be eligible to collect Social Security and Medicare benefits as well as claim a special tax break for low-income families, the Congressional Budget Office said in an analysis Thursday.
Mr. Obama predicted that up to 5 million illegal immigrants could be eligible for his amnesties, but the CBO numbers predict only 2.25 million will have signed up and been approved by 2017.
The estimate was released as the administration defended the law in a federal court in Texas on Thursday, asking a judge to reject a request by Texas and two dozen other states to halt the program even before it gets started.
Judge Andrew S. Hanen, sitting in Brownsville, said he won’t rule before the end of the month. Applications for the first part of the amnesty are scheduled to begin in the middle of February.
“There aren’t any bad guys in this,” Judge Hanen told attorneys for both sides, according to The Brownsville Herald. He gave no indication of which way he is leaning in the thorny case, which is likely to determine Mr. Obama’s legacy on immigration.
Texas and its allies argue that Mr. Obama overstepped his legal bounds in November when he announced a program to halt deportations for illegal immigrant parents who have legal resident or U.S. citizen children, and to expand a 2012 amnesty for illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children.
To win, the states first must prove that they were injured by the amnesty, which would give them “standing” to sue. Then they must prove that Mr. Obama’s actions are either unconstitutional because they try to rewrite the laws, which is Congress’ job, or else they are official policies that should have been submitted to the public for comment and revisions before they were enacted.
Administration attorneys told Judge Hanen that Mr. Obama isn’t rewriting law, but rather deciding whom to prosecute under it based on his powers of prosecutorial discretion. The attorneys say presidents going back to the 1950s have used similar powers to halt deportations, albeit on smaller scales.
The Obama administration said if it declares most illegal immigrants off limits for deportation, it will be easier to pursue the recent illegal immigrants and the serious felons who won’t qualify for the leniency
Written by STEPHEN DINAN | THE WASHINGTON TIMES
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