An internal memo from Citizen and Immigration services outlined plans to ease the path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who are spouses and family of Americans serving in the military.
“In the absence of Comprehensive immigration Reform, USCIS can extend benefits and/or protections to many individuals and groups by issuing new guidance and regulations, exercising discretion with regard to parole-in-place, deferred action and issuance of Notices to Appeal (NTA) and adopting significant process improvements,” the memo said.
“… This would enable thousands of individuals in (Temporary Protected Status) to become lawful permanent residents,” the memo continued.
Republicans immediately denounced the memo, alleging the Obama administration is trying to circumvent Congress and legalize millions of illegal immigrants.
“The document provides an additional basis for our concerns that the administration will go to great lengths to circumvent Congress and unilaterally execute a backdoor amnesty plan,” GOP Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, who released the memo, told the Associated Press.
Immigration agency officials have reportedly denied such a plan, telling the New York Times that the memo’s proposals were largely notional.
According to the memo, it is “theoretically possible to grant deferred action to an unrestricted number of unlawfully present individuals,” but the the option is too politically controversial and expensive, the Times noted.