- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 22, 2014

President Obama’s spokesman laughed off as “crazy” Wednesday reports that the Homeland Security Department is preparing for an increase in the number of immigrants living illegally in the country by ordering enough paper to print as many as 5 million “green” cards annually.

“There are decisions that are made by lots of agencies, including the ordering of specific colored sheets of paper,” said White House press secretary Josh Earnest. “Those sorts of decisions are not micromanaged by the White House.”

The president is preparing an executive order, which he has delayed until after the midterm elections on Nov. 4, that is expected to allow a significant number of illegal immigrants to remain in the country legally.

When reporters persisted in the line of questioning about green cards, Mr. Earnest began to laugh.

“You would have to ask the Department of Homeland Security,” he said. “I mean, this is crazy.”



The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has published a draft contract proposal to buy the card stock needed to make work permits and Permanent Resident Cards, more commonly known as green cards.

The proposal calls for providing material for at least 5 million cards a year, with as many as 9 million “during the initial period … to support possible future immigration reform initiative requirements.”

The contract calls for as many 34 million cards over five years, the Associated Press reported.

Activists said the report is evidence that Mr. Obama is planning to issue an executive order that is broader in scope than they feared.

“The administration is preparing to issue a minimum of 4 million ID and work authorization cards a year, with a special ‘surge scenario’ requiring 9 million cards in 2016,” said Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform. “This is no longer a limited executive action, but an obscene power-grab that dwarfs the 1986 amnesty that was lawfully passed by Congress.”

On page 28 of the draft contract, DHS states that “the Contractor shall demonstrate the capability to support potential ‘surge’ in … card demand for up to 9 [million] cards during the initial period of performance to support possible future immigration reform initiative requirements.”

A spokesman for the USCIS said the order was routine and that immigration applications can increase for a variety of reasons.

When he stopped laughing, Mr. Earnest said journalists were being too “clever” in trying to discern the president’s intentions on immigration.

“What we’re talking about here is an order from the Department of Homeland Security to a contractor related to ongoing operations at [DHS],” he said. “They are responsible for issuing green cards. I think those who are trying to read into those specific orders about what the president may decide are a little too cleverly trying to divine what the president’s ultimate conclusion might be.”

The president has been urging the House to take up a Senate-passed bill on immigration reform that would include a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S.

When House Republicans said this summer that they would not address the overall bill this year, Mr. Obama immediately vowed to take executive action on immigration by early September.

But Mr. Obama later announced he would delay his decision until after the election, under pressure from Democratic candidates who fear his presidential order would incite conservative voters to turn out in large numbers on Election Day.

Mr. Stein said a contract to order millions of new green cards is “almost too fantastic to believe.”

“Yet keep in mind that Obama has affirmatively declared he will use his executive authority to grant millions of illegal aliens amnesty,” he said in a statement. “Therefore, the administration must get its ducks in a row now and that includes even the minutia of printing ID cards.”

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