Biden’s Amnesty Executive Order Set To Face Legal Challenges

President Joe Biden announced an executive order on Tuesday aimed at providing amnesty to over 500,000 illegal immigrants, a move expected to face a barrage of legal challenges. At a White House event marking the 12th anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, Biden unveiled his plan to grant deportation protection, work permits, and a pathway to legal status to certain illegal immigrant spouses who meet specific criteria.

To qualify, applicants must have resided in the United States for at least 10 years, be legally married to a U.S. citizen, and be approved by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Eligible individuals will have three years to apply for permanent residency, allowing them to stay in the U.S. and gain work authorization.

However, the executive order is poised to face significant legal opposition from conservative groups and immigration hardliners. Critics argue that the move is unconstitutional and stretches the statutory limits of executive authority. Matt O’Brien, director of investigations for the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) and a former immigration judge, labeled the order as an “attempt to create an amnesty by abuse of the parole authority.”

The Biden administration plans to use “parole-in-place” to circumvent existing U.S. law, which typically requires illegal immigrants to leave the country to apply for legal status. This authority allows noncitizen spouses who entered illegally to obtain green cards without leaving the U.S., offering them a path to permanent legal status.

Under current immigration law, parole is intended to be applied on a temporary, case-by-case basis. By extending it to such a large group, critics argue that the administration is overstepping its bounds. Joey Chester, communications manager for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, stated that the “politically motivated” order violates immigration law by broadening the use of parole beyond its intended scope.

James Massa, CEO of NumbersUSA, also criticized the move, stating, “Rather than stopping the worst border crisis in history, President Biden has overreached his executive authority to use an unconstitutional process, circumventing voters and their elected representatives in Congress, to send a message that amnesty is available to those who enter illegally into the United States.”

The concept of “parole-in-place” has its roots in the Reagan administration and was intended to allow paroled noncitizens to apply for green cards while in the U.S. legally. However, during the Clinton administration, this authority was interpreted to include granting parole to illegal immigrants, a practice that critics argue lacks statutory basis.

In addition to the amnesty order, Biden announced an acceleration of work visa processing for DACA recipients and other “Dreamers” who have graduated from U.S. institutions and secured job offers related to their degrees.

This executive order comes two weeks after Biden issued another order aimed at curbing illegal immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border. This order temporarily suspends the illegal entry of noncitizens across the southern border once the average daily border encounters exceed 2,500 over a week.

Facing a tight re-election race against former President Donald Trump and low approval ratings for his handling of immigration, Biden’s latest actions are likely to be contentious. The U.S. has recorded over 7 million illegal border crossings during Biden’s presidency, according to Customs and Border Protection data.

Upon taking office in 2021, Biden moved swiftly to reverse many of Trump’s immigration policies. In his first year, he took 296 executive actions on immigration, with 89 specifically aimed at undoing Trump-era policies.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation regarding the executive order. The legal battles ahead will determine the fate of Biden’s ambitious immigration reforms.