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No Back Door Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants

There has been a push by pro-amnesty groups to get the President to prevent the deportation of millions of illegal immigrants in the United States.  A newly obtained document shows that lawyers within the Obama Administration have been working on ways to circumvent Congress and provide backdoor amnesty to illegal immigrants.

The recommendations include expanding the executive branch’s discretionary authority to grant “deferred action” or “parole” in order to give safe haven to individuals who are here illegally.  The document also outlines a way to reduce the “hardship” standard so that more illegal immigrants can get benefits.  If the administration follows through with these creative proposals, large numbers of lawbreakers could be put out of the reach of immigration enforcement officials. 

I’ve asked questions and, so far, the administration hasn’t provided answers.  No reassurance has been given that they won’t take such extraordinary steps.

The first letter I sent, along with seven other senators, to President Obama on June 21, urged him not to reward law breakers by unilaterally extending “parole” or “deferred action” to them.  Since then, 11 senators have joined me in a second letter asking Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano about the administration’s use and potential abuse of this authority.  Our letter asks for statistics on how many people already have received benefits through this authority.  We also request reports of all future use of the power to grant “deferred action” and “parole.”

My goal is transparency and to get the administration to level with the American people.  If the administration wants to claim that discretionary authority is being used on a case-by-case basis, it should allow access to the data and let Congress determine if it has been abused or used meritoriously. 

Our first order of business must be to secure the border and enforce the laws on the books, not look for back channel ways to reward illegality. 

The June 21 letter is available here.

The July 26 letter is available here.

The internal memo is available here.

A Washington Times article about the effort is available here.

A video clip of a CNN story is available here.