Josh Earnest must think the possibility of giving out nine million green cards to amnestied individuals is hilarious.
During the White House press briefing Wednesday, Earnest laughed at CBS’ Major Garrett — among others — for questioning why green-colored paper is being ordered in possible preparation to give legal status to up to nine million illegal immigrants.
The government is gearing up for President Barack Obama’s long-awaited executive action that could give legal status to up to nine million illegal immigrants, having published a draft contract to buy green card stock to create green cards, The Associated Press reports Tuesday.
“Are you saying [the order of green-colored paper] is unrelated or coincidental?” Garrett asked, following up on questioning from ABC’s Jim Avila.
“What I am saying is that there are decisions that are made by lots of agencies, including the orders of specific colored sheets of paper,” Earnest said, struggling to hide his laughs. “Those sorts of decisions are not micro-managed by the administration.”
“Don’t be absurd with us,” Garrett shot back. “That’s not just an ordinary colored piece of paper. It is central to what the president has promised in public to do.”
Earnest ensued to refer the CBS News reporter to the Department of Homeland Security, since it made the reported order and handles green cards generally.
“I would tell you that any body who tries to look at the order…I mean, this is crazy!” Earnest said while openly laughing.
“You could accuse us of being clever, and that’s a rare thing, but it’s not a dot that’s unconnected to the underlying policy,” Garrett responded. “If the president has said that ‘I’m going to do this,’ and there’s a mechanism by which it can be achieved once the executive order’s put in commission, and suddenly there’s this contract to print more of them, why isn’t it just obvious that this seems to be related?”
Earnest, once again referred the question to DHS.
“You would not want to be in a position, no president would want to be in a position, and no one who works for the president would want to be in a position to have the legal work that DHS has gone through, and the Department of Justice has gone through to propound an executive order that the president signs and someone looks up and says ‘oh Christ, we don’t have any paper for this,'” Garrett openly questioned.
“You wouldn’t want to do this! That would be irresponsible. that would be malpractice at a procedural level. Wouldn’t it be?! Wouldn’t you want to be prepared for an executive order that the president has said to the public he intends to sign?!” Garrett added.
“What I would caution you against doing is making assumptions about what is in those announcements based on the procurement practices of the DHS,” Earnest answered, ending the back and forth.
Following the exchange, Avila can be seen fist-bumping Garrett with a big grin on his face.