Non-Enforcement, Deception,
Intimidation and Unilateralism


(Washington, D.C.  July 24, 2012)  In June, President Obama announced that he would administratively implement key provisions of the DREAM Act, effectively allowing upwards of a million illegal aliens to remain in the U.S. In doing so, the president unilaterally nullified numerous federal statutes and is implementing a law Congress has repeatedly rejected. However, as the latest report from the Federation from American Immigration Reform (FAIR) demonstrates, the president's action was not an aberration, but rather the culmination of his administration's assault on the enforcement of U.S. immigration laws.

President Obama's Record of Dismantling Immigration Enforcement provides a comprehensive analysis of the Obama administration's relentless effort to undermine the enforcement of most U.S. immigration laws. The study details dozens of incremental steps taken by the Obama administration to weaken and restrict immigration enforcement, acts of raw intimidation against state and local governments that have attempted to enforce our immigration laws, and a campaign of deception designed to convince the American public that immigration laws are being respected and executed.

"In just three and half years, under the guise of exercising executive discretion, President Obama has effectively rewritten U.S. immigration policy without approval from Congress, the body which the U.S. Constitution grants plenary authority over immigration law." charged Dan Stein, president of FAIR. "The Obama administration has imposed its policies and priorities without regard to the security of the nation, or the impact of non-enforcement on the interests of the American people. Remarkably, even as he has brazenly defied the authority of Congress over immigration policy, he has encountered almost no resistance from the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue."

Since taking office in 2009, the administration has:

  • Ceased meaningful worksite enforcement against employers who hire illegal aliens as well as the removal of illegal workers from the country.
  • Severely limited immigration enforcement in the interior of the country.
  • Undermined, and in some cases completely terminated, effective partnership programs with state and local law enforcement designed to identify and detain deportable aliens.
  • Turned the Department of Justice (DOJ) into the administration's attack dog, filing lawsuits against state and local governments that have adopted immigration enforcement laws, and used the Department's Civil Rights Division to harass local governments when the lawsuits fail. At the same time, DOJ has ignored actions by states and localities which defy the administration's attempts to remove criminal aliens.
  • Appointed advocates for illegal aliens to key policymaking positions within the Executive Branch.
  • Repeatedly misrepresented and manipulated data in order to convince the American people that immigration laws are being enforced.
  • Effectively nullified numerous immigration laws through excessively broad exercise of prosecutorial discretion.

"President Obama came to office pledging to enact a comprehensive amnesty for illegal aliens during his first year in the White House. He quickly recognized that neither Congress nor the American people were prepared to go along with his agenda," noted Stein. "Rather than respect the will of the American people and the constitutional authority of Congress to determine U.S. immigration policy, he has, through a series of incremental steps, gutted immigration enforcement and assured illegal aliens who have not committed serious felonies that they will be allowed to remain in this country.

"President Obama's Record of Dismantling Immigration Enforcement lays bare the tactics employed by this administration for all to see. It is now incumbent upon Congress to reassert its constitutional authority and ensure that laws that were enacted to protect the security and the interests of the American people are carried out," stated Stein.


Media Contact:
Kristen Williamson at 202-328-7004 or kwilliamson@fairus.org.