Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, December 9, 2014
The man who will oversee President Obama’s new temporary amnesty said Tuesday that part of the reason for the program was to get the illegal immigrants working on the books, making it economically impossible for them ever to be deported by a future president.
Leon Rodriguez, speaking during a town hall meeting with his employees at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said illegal immigrants shouldn’t fear coming forward to report for the program because the order Mr. Obama issued last month will cement their place in society.
“If this program does what we want it to do, you will now have literally millions of people who will be working on the books, paying taxes, being productive. You cannot so easily by fiat now remove those people from the economy,” said Mr. Rodriguez, who took over as agency director earlier this year.
His comments came the same day that Mr. Obama, speaking in Tennessee, also said he doubted any future administration would want to repeal his policy for fear of running afoul of voters.
So far, polls show voters aren’t too keen on Mr. Obama’s actions.
But Mr. Rodriguez said that as illegal immigrants are granted work permits and take jobs legally, they will become integral parts of the economy. He said that’s why the government hasn’t done more to deport most illegal immigrants.
“That’s one of the major reasons, by the way, why they haven’t been removed,” he said. “Because whether we acknowledge it or not, a lot of those individuals have actually been working, contributing in the economy, and if they were to be removed in fact that would have pretty dire economic consequences on the regions in which those individuals live. Now that’s all going to be above board, and the potential consequences to our economy could potentially be quite severe.”