President Obama’s Policies Will Establish a Country Within a Country for Illegal Immigrants – Unproven!
Summary of eRumor:
President Obama plans to establish a country within a country where 13 to 15 million illegal immigrants would be allowed to live.
Reports that President Obama’s policies would lead to a country within a country are based on speculation about the impact of two different federal actions.
And speculation can’t be proven right or wrong, so this claim remains unresolved. Still, taking a closer look at the stated purposes and details of those federal actions may be helpful.
The two main ingredients of this eRumor are a rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in July of 2013, and a presidential memorandum issued in November of 2014.
On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced a series of executive actions to “crack down on illegal immigration at the border, prioritize deporting felons not families, and require certain undocumented immigrants to pass a criminal background check and pay taxes in order to temporarily stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation.”
Then, on November 21, 2014, Obama signed a memorandum that created the White House Task Force on New Americans. That memorandum is one of the key components of this eRumor.
The stated purpose of the task force is to support local efforts to “fully integrate” new immigrants, Obama explained in an official statement:
“I am establishing a White House Task Force on New Americans, an interagency effort to identify and support State and local efforts at integration that are working and to consider how to expand and replicate successful models. The Task Force, which will engage with community, business, and faith leaders, as well as State and local elected officials, will help determine additional steps the federal government can take to ensure its programs and policies are serving diverse communities that include new Americans.”
The president said the task force would focus on efforts to improve civic, economic and linguistic integration of new Americans. At the time the eRumor went viral, the task force had not yet submitted any specific recommendations to accomplish this. The committee was scheduled to deliver recommendations to the president in March of 2015.
The second ingredient of the eRumor is the Affirmatively Further Fair Housing (AFFH) rule that was proposed by HUD in July of 2013. The stated purpose of the rule was to improve the Fair Housing Act’s “obligation for state and local governments to improve and achieve more meaningful outcomes from fair housing policies.”
HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said the rule would, “provide data for every neighborhood in the country, detailing the access African-American, Latino, Asian and other communities have to assets.”
Claims that the proposed rule would give rise to a country within a country began to circulate the web in February of 2015 after an Independent Sentinel report was picked up by a number of websites and blogs:
“The rule would give the government the power to redistribute illegal immigrants, drug addicts, criminals, everyone who fits into a ‘protected class’ according to the government’s definition throughout every neighborhood in the country and do it according to racial quotas.
“The rule ties government zoning rules to HUD grants and it opens communities up to lawsuits if they refuse their quota.
“It transforms neutral policies and actions into racism.”
But a summary of the HUD rule states that local governments wouldn’t be required to take any action based on community data supplied under the rule:
“However, the concrete actions of a local government that would generate benefits for protected classes are not prescribed, obligated, or enforced by the proposed rule. Instead, the rule encourages a more engaged and data-driven approach to assess the state of fair housing and planning actions to affirmatively further fair housing.”
The proposed rule had not yet taken effect when the eRumor went viral, and its fate was uncertain. A legal challenge held up its implementation, and the outcome of the judicial process wasn’t known.
So, in summary, the stated purposes of the federal actions were to help integrate lower-income citizens and immigrants into communities. But the Independent Sentinel story theorized that the federal a
ctions would have the opposite effect because citizens would be “pushed into the shadows as the ‘new Americans’ come out of the shadows.”