WH: Immigration Plans Not Final

WASHINGTON (AP) -

The White House on Wednesday cautioned against making assumptions about President Obama’s changes to immigration rules based on a new federal contract proposal from the Homeland Security Department to buy enough supplies to make as many as 34 million immigrant work permits and residency cards over the next five years.

The Associated Press reported earlier in the day the contract proposal suggested that the Obama administration appeared to be preparing for an increase in the number work permit applications form of immigrants living illegally in the country. The U.S. government produces about 3 million work permits and residency identification, known as green cards, annually. The new contract for at least 5 million cards a year would provide the administration with the flexibility to issue far more work permits or green cards even if it chose not to exercise that option.

“I think those who are trying to read into those specific orders about what the president may decide are a little too cleverly trying to divine what the president’s ultimate conclusion might be,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said. “What I would caution you against is making assumptions about what will be in those announcements based on the procurement practices of the Department of Homeland Security.”

Earnest did not say whether Obama plans to issue more work permits.