Have to call -------- on JeffJ. Here is the text of the immigration law which specifically gives the power to grant work permits to the Attorney General (power since transferred to Homeland Security.)
Section 274 of the Immigration and Nationality Act gives the President power to direct Homeland Security to defer deportation and grant a work permit.
"(3) Definition of unauthorized alien. -As used in this section, the term "unauthorized alien" means, with respect to the employment of an alien at a particular time, that the alien is not at that time either (A) an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, or (B) authorized to be so employed by this Act or by the Attorney General."
Section B. Case closed.