- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The White House has ordered federal authorities to inquire of any illegal immigrants they happen to come across during the course of duty: Do you know whether you qualify for any type of amnesty grant under President Obama’s recent deportation order?

The Associated Press obtained internal documents detailing the new procedure for federal authorities — namely, agents with Customs and Border Protection and with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The directive, which comes from the Department of Homeland Security, is a decided departure from normal U.S. immigration enforcement proceedings, AP reported. Rather than putting immigrants in charge of proving their qualifications for staying in the United States — under the terms of Mr. Obama’s policy — it puts the government in charge of identifying those individuals who might qualify for leniency.

AP reported that the policy shift would be like the Internal Revenue Service offering up information to taxpayers on how they might have used certain deductions and exemptions.

Federal immigration agents have also reportedly been ordered to sift through government files to see if any immigrants who are currently in jail would qualify for freedom under Mr. Obama’s amnesty order, AP said.

“Agents are being discouraged away from anything other than a cursory view” of an immigrant’s status, said former deputy assistant attorney general to the Justice Department, John Malcolm, AP reported.

Mr. Obama announced months ago a program that would allow about four million illegal immigrants whose children are U.S. citizens to apply for the right to stay and work in the country for three years.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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