DHS Will Use “Discretion” to Let More People In

In June, the Director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency instructed his personnel to exercise broad “prosecutorial discretion” to allow people who are in the country illegally to remain here. Yesterday, Alejandro Mayorkas, Director of the U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS) agency, announced that his agency would exercise similar “discretion” to expand the number of visas allowing foreign nationals to gain permanent residence in the U.S.

Under existing immigration law, USCIS has the discretion to issue National Interest Waivers (NIWs) to allow foreign guest workers to remain permanently in the United States, even if they do not have a job offer here, if their continued presence “is in the national interest.” The newly announced policy emphasizes that an “entrepreneur” may act as an employer and petition for him/herself as an employee.

If you’ve never heard of NIWs, you’re not alone – but, no matter how obscure, if it exists you can count on the current administration to abuse it. The new liberal issuance of NIWs would apply to foreign nationals who can be classified as EB-2 workers. EB-2 is the classification for “Professionals with advanced degrees or exceptional ability.” The existing standard for receiving an NIW requires that they be individuals of “substantial intrinsic merit” and that the benefit of their work must be “national in scope.”

Under the initiative announced by USCIS, it appears that the standards for qualifying for an NIW will be relaxed and “national interest” will be more loosely defined. A USCIS press release states vaguely that individuals may qualify for NIWs “if they can demonstrate that their business endeavors will be in the interest of the United States.” In the “interest of the United States” is a substantially lower standard than possessing intrinsic abilities that makes one’s work “national in scope,” and seems to allow USCIS wide latitude to overestimate the value of people seeking NIWs. In other words, the current administration appears to be ignoring the law as it is written and implementing it as they wish it was written.

About Author


Ira joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 1986 with experience as a journalist, professor of journalism, special assistant to Gov. Richard Lamm (Colorado), and press secretary of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. His columns have appeared in National Review, LA Times, NY Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and more. He is an experienced TV and radio commentator.


  1. avatar

    These people are nothing but traitors to the Amerian citizen, which D.C. couldnt’ give a hoot about. It’s not about Republican vs, Democrat…………..THEY’RE BOTH BAD. If Americans don’t get involved in the immigration fiasco they will be out in the streets or working jobs that have become so depressed wage wise, because of greedy employers. And, it isn’t only about labor jobs any longer. Republicans and Democrats will outsource or insource any job even engineering, nursing, computer tech, doesn’t matter, just to assure the big tech companies of cheap labor.

  2. avatar

    When do we say enough? When the entire country of Mexico and s. America are here. How about all of Africa, all of India, China? you get the picture. They also have people desperate for a “better life”. What makes the peoples of Mexico and S. America believe they don’t have to wait in line like the rest of true law abiding citizens. My next door neighbor waited 25 years going through all the legal hoops to get citizenship. Not marrying the first one who comes along for baby after baby to stay here. The keystone congress people say we just can’t deport 12 million illegals. I say yes we can Start by fining all employers one hundred thousand dollars for every illegal they hire and stick to their guns. No work, they will go home. They should try and make their own country ameniable to their own people rather than come here and glory in the country already made up. A rebellion is on the horizon. I don’t know why they think we owe them something. I’ve heard all the stories. They pick a tomato or a melon and they think they feed all americans What would we do without them. They are working a job. what more do they claim. My parents gen. did all that work before them. 1920-1950’s.Go back to your own country. Most prople don’t want you here. and don’t like you.

  3. avatar

    I lived through the worst part of the Great Depression and in some ways, I think we’re in worse shape today than
    we were then I cannot imagine anyone with any common sense at all wanting to bring in more immigrants,
    legal or illegal or making those already here legal citizens until this country is much better off.

    • avatar

      tom, these people in D.C. are not stupid. They know exactly how they are screwing Ameriacan citizens. They don’t care. By the way, gov. Perry Texas, is an open borders shill who might run for President. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED AMERICANS.