Irresponsibility: Homeland Security Kicks the Can to the States

The Obama administration has been battling efforts of states to adopt policies that discourage the settlement of illegal aliens by filing lawsuits against them with the argument that the federal government has sole jurisdiction over immigration policy. Now the administration has adopted a policy of granting a provisional amnesty for illegal aliens under age 31 and giving them work permits. But the administration – in its haste to put this program in operation ahead of the November election – has failed to think through what this program means for the states that bear the brunt of this encouragement of these illegal aliens to stay and become further embedded in our society.

Specifically, the administration has neglected to tell the states what – if any – state programs are affected by the policy to protect these illegal aliens from deportation and to give them work permits. This lack of foresight is most apparent with regard to the issues of the issuance of driver’s licenses to the illegal aliens and whether they can be treated as residents for tuition purposes.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said that each state could determine whether to issue licenses or extend other benefits to young immigrants who qualify for the deferred status.” It seems that DHS has no problem with states creating their own immigration policies when it comes to giving benefits to illegal aliens, only when trying to cope with the problem. The DHS position also implies that it is unable to interpret the REAL ID legislation enacted in 2005 that was designed to stop the practice of states issuing driver’s licenses to aliens in the country illegally.

About Author


Jack, who joined FAIR’s National Board of Advisors in 2017, is a retired U.S. diplomat with consular experience. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform and has authored studies of immigration issues. His national and international print, TV, and talk radio experience is extensive (including in Spanish).

1 Comment

  1. avatar

    When the federal government waives the sovereignty rights unique to each state, something is really amiss in Washington. This especially highlighted that this administration has gone after any state that tries to enforce its immigration laws. Arizona, Georgia and Alabama have been sued by the Eric Holder in a Department of Justice completely out of control. Since the exemption of the 1986 Immigration Control and Reform Act that designated that employers who hire foreign workers over legitimate citizens and permanent residence should be given hefty fines and possible imprisonment, only the Obama government has actually carried out this policy; this has even waned to a crawl. Neither political party has placed illegal immigration as a series threat to the 8.3 percent of U.S. workers seeking work or just given up.

    The driving undercurrent is the Liberals who are still mobilizing for open borders, no matter the disastrous consequences of America. They are trying to force a Socialist agenda down the throats of the middle class. There has always been opposition to closing the border completely, which has included the failure of the 2006 Secure fence Act. ICE has completely ignored Sanctuary cities and even states, which seem to think they are above the law. I haven’t heard California being held accountable for not taking into custody the overwhelming number of illegal aliens settled there.

    Here are a few of the paramount concerns that can be altered by the TEA PARTY LEADERSHIP:

    1. The TEA PARTY can force a vote on the ‘Legal Workforce Act’ (E-Verify) and enact it as mandatory in every business nationwide. Those who feel they are not accountable will be looking at hefty fines, loss of assets and even prison. All those who ignore the I-9 audits in not implementing the computer to detect illegal aliens in the workplace will be sanctioned?

    2. The TEA PARTY will force a vote on the ‘Birthright Citizenship Act’ concluding once and for all, that pregnant women can no longer gain citizenship through a misguided loophole for a child, just by slipping past Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) at the border or over staying a visa, leading ultimately to yet another ‘Blanket Amnesty’. What about American teenagers, who have been pushed out of jobs that were the monopoly for our kids a couple of decades back? Absolutely—because of Birthright Citizenship for any illegal alien parent who slips past our borders, we now have the massive problem caused over decades of the Dream children. If there was no free citizenship (an amendment to this law) these children would never be here and no DREAM ACT. The parents should be held accountable and investigated by ICE and deported. The issue is deportation doesn’t work, because they return?

    Only true and fully operational way to halt this travesty of our laws is cut off work with THE LEGAL WORKFORCE ACT and place employers in prison and in addition to this law, demand that the amendment to the 14th amendment, so baby cannot become a U.S. citizen, without at least one parent being a U.S. citizen themselves. The alternative future is, where we have the same multibillion dollar issue endless, with further DREAM ACTs and a through the ceiling amnesty. Nobody can blame these children for the fact their parents brought them to this country illegally, and in fact the parents are not strictly to blame. It’s been a year of eroding the immigration laws since 1986, which shows the government is entirely to blame for this financial chaos. California with its own huge financial deficits is likely to give Dream Act scholars a drivers licenses; what’s next free tuition, when our own kids are still paying off their educational mortgages on their young lives?

    Both major political parties wants NO true end to illegal immigration, but the millions of citizens and residents in the TEA PARTY will insure that citizens and lawful immigrants always get first priority—not pandering to foreign nationals. Incidentally—readers should go to and then judge for you, if Obama is Liberal friends in the press are concealing the truth?

    ATTN: The TEA PARTY will be safeguarding the nationwide election procedure, watching for non-citizens voting in November. With the all out war on voter rights, it’s obvious to most Americans that certain groups of the entrenched Socialists in the Democratic party hate the idea of voters having to show proof that they are a citizen? The ACORN organization opened a Pandora’s Box when the election agencies in eleven states revealed significant numbers of non citizens, felons, dead people and even illegal aliens were voting in not only local elections, but the last presidential cycle. Incompetence or just plain election officials failing to purge election rolls of thousands of deceased, migrating Americans to another state and non citizens. Every radical group including the contentious Department of Justice has drawn their claws to just keep laws as they are? However–America for two three decades have been under the bombardment of poverty pouring in from across the world, with limited means to halt the human avalanche. America has always needed immigrants of the Stem variety (Science, technology, engineers and Mathematics) of the highest professional standards, but we cannot assimilate foreigners who break the law to begin with, then demand full rights as regular citizens.

    These people are draining hundreds of billions of dollars from state treasuries, because the federal courts say we must give them welfare. In the prior years amongst the illegal desperate migrants and immigrants have arrived the criminals. Hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars have been appropriated to seal them in prisons. Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, has been badly damaged by the infestation with from south of the border, the majority looking for a free handout. It’s impossible to calculate the unimagined costs in just these states, backed by the Liberal-Marxist intensity in the state assemblies. Find time to achieve your own research on the Internet and learn the true costs, statistics and corruption that permeates from Washington and your home state. With both parties and no penetration by the TEA PARTY leadership, nothing will change. Under Obama as of now the Democrats are freely giving out food stamps to just about everybody. The poor that includes a large overload of illegal aliens get free health care, education for their children and a good source of other programs, which American workers have accepted for years.

    In Washington it’s Quid Pro Quo (a favor for a favor) that will never produce anything different for the common man or women. The readers shouldn’t listen to the Liberal advocates in the national press as the lies are still coming with full force for the gullible. The TEA PARTY is not just for white populace, but every one of different Conservatives in thousands of chapters is a mixture of legal blacks, Hispanics, Asians and Caucasians and other races. Learn more about Illegal Immigration and its costs at NumbersUSA, Federation of American Immigration reform. Learn about the corruption in every state, municipality and in the federal government at Judicial Watch. Make your own assessment and hopefully do the right thing for your family and this nation, when you vote this November.