248-409-1900 dburke@mi-worklaw.com

By: Dan Cohen – 12/4/14

           On November 20, President Obama bypassed Congress and granted amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants through an Executive Order. Reports place the number of illegals affected at 4.9 million. When those illegals receive work authorizations under the Executive Order, they will find their job search is aided by a three thousand dollar incentive to hire them over U.S. citizens.

          Through executive fiat, President Obama trumped the debate that has precluded a legislative fix: Republicans know that any proclamation of amnesty (i.e., a proclamation that some illegal aliens will not be deported) will prompt even greater waves of illegals, and have thus required border security first, and immigration reform second.   Despite a promise on the USCIS website “to crack down on illegal immigration at the border,” and Obama’s audacious proclamation during his illegal immigrant welcome speech that the border is more secure today than at any other time in history, anyone who has tuned into Fox News and watched video proof of illegals crossing the Rio Grande knows that is simply not true. Does he think we do not remember the flood of children that illegally entered the U.S. this summer, estimated at more than 37,000? Closer analysis indicates that only apprehensions of illegal aliens have declined (since 2008). If illegal border crossings have declined, that is more likely because job opportunities declined during the same period.

          Obama who seems unable to craft a policy that appeals to anyone except left-leaning Democrats, circumvented the pending legislative debate as if he could make law. He can’t. Under our Constitution, Congress makes the law, and the President is responsible for enforcing it.

          The amnestied illegal immigrants will eventually become Social Security and Medicare eligible, which will put even more stress on an already stressed-out pair of entitlement programs. Stephen Miller, a spokesman for Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, a leading opponent of Obama’s executive actions, said making immigrants illegally in the U.S. eligible for Social Security and Medicare “is an attack on working families.” According to Miller, “[t]he amnestied illegal immigrants are largely older, lower-wage and lower-skilled and will draw billions more in benefits than they will pay in.”

          Obama’s unilateral action also has the effect of infusing illegals into the “red” states of Texas and Arizona, further straining their budgets and potentially changing the political balance. 70% of Hispanic voters vote Democratic, so once the US-born children of illegal aliens turn 18 and can vote, expect closer elections in these states that Republicans traditionally carry. Sources predict that the Hispanic vote will tip Arizona to a blue state in 2025.

          Finally and most importantly, Obama’s executive action will also provide an incentive for businesses to hire the illegals over U.S. citizens because the illegals are not eligible for government subsidies and credits on the health care exchanges under Obamacare. Whoops! This wasn’t very well thought-out. Quite frankly, if I was an unemployed citizen, I wouldn’t be too happy that the amnestied illegals now have a $3000 advantage in hiring, since businesses won’t have to pay Employer Mandate penalties in 2015 if they don’t offer health care benefits to this group.

          ObamaCare architect, Jonathan Gruber, has been caught on film admitting that the Affordable Care Act only passed Congress because of “the stupidity of the American voter.” Well, here we go again: Is the Executive Order stupid by missing the point that employers benefit by hiring illegals and that citizens suffer? Or are we stupid for turning a blind eye to what Obama is doing?