Immigration showdown in 2015: Green card applications to be processed soon

By Dan Springer, FOX News

The President's immigration executive actions have set up a showdown on Capitol Hill and in the courts, but none of that has stopped the administration from hiring more bureaucrats to go full steam ahead on implementing the changes. 

The Federal government has put up the help wanted sign.  And this shiny building in Arlington, Virginia will soon be teeming with 1,000 workers hired to carry out President Obama's executive order on immigration.

"This is about who we are.  Who do we want to be," said the President.

They'll be needed in the Citizenship and Immigration Services agency to process the applications of up to five million illegal immigrants seeking green cards so they can avoid deportation.

The cost to taxpayers: $8 million a year to lease the building and $40 million per year for worker salaries.

"This is once again the government usurping power to invest in itself as opposed to investing in America and Americans in the private sector. And again, immigration reform is something we have to resolve. But the way to resolution in Washington always seems to begin and end with spending tax dollars," said Republican consultant Adam Goodman.

The size of the Federal government is often a political football.  Presidents from both parties have said they can run it better than their predecessor.

"The Era of Big Government is over," said President Bill Clinton, who did trim the Federal payroll.

The total number of contract and full-time jobs was under 4.5 million when President Bush took office.  Then September 11th happened and the Federal government ballooned.  The Department of Homeland Security was created and with it, the Transportation Security Administration.

"You may not like the fact that this particular executive order or this particular legislation or how those authorities are used, but those authorities are there. And I think they're important to be there incidentally.  And you may not always agree with how they're used, but we need a flexible workforce that can meet the demands that this country has," said former office personnel management director Kay Cole James.

But Mr. Obama's executive action on immigration is unpopular to begin with.

A FOX News poll conducted in early December, showed 51 percent of Americans disapprove, while just 43 percent agree with the President.

Republicans, who in days will hold majorities in the House and Senate when the new Congress is sworn in, say they control the purse strings and will look for ways to withhold funding for the immigration order.

"I believe we've got to fight for our future, fight for our country and fight for the very rule of law that's made us so prosperous," said Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions.

The Republicans had better hurry if they hope to slow down this train.  Hiring has begun and those jobs will only be added to an executive branch that has already grown under President Obama by 171,000 employees.


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