The Obama administration may have been creating its own immigration laws on the fly for years, newly released documents suggest.
The documents, obtained by Fox News, show the administration has issued 5.5 million work permits to non-citizens since 2009 – over and above the 5 million green cards and 3.5 million guest worker permits issued by Congress.
Critics say the work permit program has created a “shadow” or “parallel” immigration system that is hurting wage growth and siphoning jobs away from Americans, Fox News reported.
The information, obtained by the Center for Immigration Studies through a Freedom of Information Act request, prompted U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions to call for an investigation.
“This request has unearthed the operation of a shadow immigration system previously unknown to the American public,” Sessions said, according to Fox News. “A full investigation is warranted.”
Jessica Vaughan, the study’s author, said the administration is using the permits to operate outside congressional limits to implement Obama’s executive actions.
“Some of those people are on track to get a green card,” she said Tuesday on Fox News Business’ “Lou Dobbs Tonight.” “But the vast majority of them entered illegally or on a tourist visa or the visa waiver program. It’s not like there’s a labor shortage here.
“There’s no reason to issue (work permits) to people here illegally or whose status is unknown,” she added.
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