President Barack Obama deputies are secretly preparing to print work permits for up to 11 million illegal immigrants over the next two years, despite the nation’s high unemployment, stalled wages and increasing automation.
If Obama actually goes ahead with the plan that is sketched in a federal contract document, he would provide employers with the ability to legally hire 13 million foreign workers even as 12 million Americans turn 18 in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
The plan to print millions of work permits and green cards — dubbed “permanent resident cards” — is outlined in Oct. 3 and Oct. 6 federal announcements to contractors.
The contract plan was discovered by the Center for Immigration Studies, which favors a lower level of immigration.
“The objective of this procurement is … to produce Permanent Resident Cards (PRC) and Employment Authorization Documentation (EAD) cards,” said the Oct. 6 official announcement at FedBizOpps.gov.
“The requirement is for an estimated 4 million cards annually with the potential to buy as many as 34 million cards total,” the document says.
But the proposed five-year contract includes a so-called “surge” capability to produce an additional five million work-permit cards in one year.
“The Contractor shall demonstrate the capability to support potential ‘surge’ in PRC and EAD card demand for up to 9M [nine million] cards during the initial period of performance to support possible future immigration reform initiative requirements,” said the government’s description of the pending contract.
Those contract terms would give Obama the technical ability to hand out more than nine million work permits in one year, or 13 million in two years, as part of his much-touted unilateral immigration plan.
The plan could give work permits to more foreigners than the total number of U.S. jobs that have been created by businesses during his tenure.
“Over the past four and a half years, our businesses have created more than 10 million new jobs,” Obama declared at an Oct. 19 campaign speech in Maryland. “For the first time in six years, unemployment is below six percent.”
Currently, the federal government awards green cards to one million people per year. That’s roughly one new immigrant for every four Americans who turns 18.
If legal immigrants are given first priority, the proposed contract would still leave 11 million cards for illegal immigrants in the first two years.
The current inflow of legal immigrants — and the resident population of roughly 1.5 million guest workers — already increases the supply of blue-collar and professional workers. Few of the immigrants work in the agriculture sector. The extra labor supply flattens wages when the economy grows slowly, or as technology replaces lower-skilled workers, say economists.
Obama has promised progressives and advocates for immigrants that he will take major action on immigration by the end of the year.
He made that promise after Democratic lawmakers pleaded with him to delay the executive action until after the election.
Obama has repeatedly threatened to roll back enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws because the GOP won’t agree to his political priorities.
In early 2014, national polls and primary voters prompted House Republicans to reject the Senate’s 2013 comprehensive immigration bill.
The Senate bill was backed by Obama, progressives, the Chamber of Commerce, Silicon Valley, many established media outlets, universities, labor unions, the agricultural sector and Wall Street.
The bill would have provided a path to legalization to at least 12 million illegal immigrants, and boosted the annual inflow of legal immigrants and guest workers. It would have also provided more money for border security and a national E-Verify system.
Overall, in combination with existing laws, the Senate’s bill would have annually added up to nearly three million working-age immigrants and guest workers to compete for jobs against the four million Americans who enter the workforce each year.
Obama has taken similar — but much smaller — unilateral immigration actions before.
Collectively, those actions are providing works permits to roughly one million illegal immigrants or foreigners.
Since June 2012, Obama used the legally questionable “Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals” program to give work permits to more than 600,000 illegal immigrants. That DACA number may go above 1.5 million.
Since 2011, he’s allowed roughly 200,000 Central Americans adults, youths and children to apply for green cards via immigration courts. That application process allows the adults and youths to work during the multi-year lawsuits.
In May 2014, Obama’s deputy announced a plan to give work permits to roughly 100,000 resident spouses of foreign guest workers.
On Friday, Obama’s deputies announced they would award work permits in 2015 to 110,000 Haitians who were expected to migrate over the next several years.
He’s also scaled back enforcement efforts so much that immigration officials have not deported 900,000 illegals — including 167,000 foreign criminals — who have been given deportation orders by federal judges. In 2013, for example, fewer than one percent of illegal immigrants living in the United States were repatriated.
The public opposes Obama’s immigration plans by a ratio of roughly three to one.
Polls show Obama’s policies are unpopular, even among his core supporters, such as unmarried women and Hispanics. Others polls shows that GOP voters, many Hispanics, Democratic voters, swing voters and people worried about jobs also oppose Obama’s immigration priorities.