Legal Battles Loom Over Biden’s Amnesty Executive Order

President Joe Biden’s executive order, designed to provide amnesty to over 500,000 illegal immigrants, is poised to face a series of legal challenges. Announced during a White House event celebrating the 12th anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, Biden’s order aims to offer deportation protection, work permits, and a path to legal status for certain illegal immigrant spouses.

To qualify, applicants must have lived in the United States for at least 10 years, be legally married to a U.S. citizen, and receive approval from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Those eligible will have three years to apply for permanent residency, allowing them to remain in the U.S. and obtain work authorization.

However, conservative groups and immigration advocates are gearing up to challenge the order, arguing it is unconstitutional and improperly extends executive authority. Matt O’Brien, director of investigations for the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) and a former immigration judge, described the order as “an attempt to create an amnesty by abuse of the parole authority.”

The Biden administration intends to use “parole-in-place” to bypass existing U.S. law, which typically requires illegal immigrants to leave the country to apply for legal status. By expanding this authority, noncitizen spouses who entered the country illegally can apply for green cards without leaving the U.S., creating a pathway to permanent legal status.

Critics argue that current immigration law allows for parole on a temporary, case-by-case basis, and that applying it to such a large group constitutes an overreach. 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, added, “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” dates back to the Reagan administration, intended to allow paroled noncitizens to apply for green cards while in the U.S. legally. The Clinton administration later interpreted this authority to include granting parole to illegal immigrants, a practice 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 follows another recent directive aimed at addressing illegal immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border, which temporarily suspends the illegal entry of noncitizens once the average daily border encounters exceed 2,500 over a week.

With a close re-election battle looming and low approval ratings for his handling of immigration, Biden’s latest actions are likely to be contentious. Over 7 million illegal border crossings have been recorded during Biden’s presidency, according to Customs and Border Protection data.

The White House has not yet responded to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation regarding the executive order. The forthcoming legal challenges will be pivotal in determining the fate of Biden’s immigration policies.