BELOW IS ONLY ONE MORE EXAMPLE OF HOW BARACK OBAMA IS SABOTAGING OUR BORDER SECURITY TO APPEASE HIS LA RAZA PARTY BASE AND KEEP THE NATION FLOODED WITH “CHEAP” LABOR ILLEGALS, MANY OF WHOM ARE CRIMINALS!
FAIR Legislative Update August 1, 2011
House Immigration Subcommittee Holds Hearing on HALT Act
On Tuesday, the House Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement held a hearing on H.R. 2497, the “Hinder the Administration’s Legalization Temptation” or “HALT” Act. The HALT Act, introduced by Judiciary Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), would suspend President Obama’s use of “prosecutorial discretion”—the ability of the executive branch to decline to enforce immigration law against individuals—by preventing him from:
• Granting deferred action, parole, or extended voluntary departure to illegal aliens other than those being tried for a crime or acting as a witness at trial, those needed for significant law enforcement or national security purposes, or those whose life is imminently threatened (§§2(b), 2(f));
• Waiving the three and ten year bars to admission for aliens who have been illegally present in the U.S. (§2(a));
• Cancelling the removal and adjusting the status of illegal aliens ordered deported (§2(c));
• Designating additional countries as qualifying for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) (§2(d)); and
• Granting work authorization to illegal aliens (§§2(e), 2(g)).
(See FAIR’s Legislative Update, July 18, 2011)
Rep. Smith outlined the need for the HALT Act’s restriction of the Obama Administration’s use of prosecutorial discretion in his opening statement. “What had once been rumor fueled by leaked administration memos is now official Department of Homeland Security (DHS) policy as of last month,” he said referencing two June 17th, 2011 memos issued by ICE Director, John Morton, authorizing ICE personnel to decline to enforce immigration laws against certain classes of illegal aliens, such as those who would qualify for amnesty under the failed DREAM Act. (See FAIR’s Legislative Update, June 27, 2011) “Unfortunately, the ICE memos make clear that DHS plans not to use but to abuse these [prosecutorial discretion] powers. If the Obama Administration has its way, millions of illegal immigrants will be able to live and work legally in the United States. This unilateral decision will saddle American communities with the costs of providing education and medical care to illegal immigrants.”
Several witnesses testifying before the Subcommittee agreed with Rep. Smith’s call for limiting the Administration’s authority, expressing concern that the President is bypassing Congress. Senator David Vitter (R-LA), author of the Senate version of the HALT Act (S.1380), asserted in his written testimony: “In 1996, Congress clearly limited the Administration’s parole authority to be used ‘only on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. However, these memos make clear that DHS plans to abuse these powers to grant mass legalization without any Congressional authorization.” (Testimony of Sen. David Vitter, July 26, 2011) Likewise, Jessica Vaughan, Director of Policy Studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, stated that forms of relief granted through the use of prosecutorial discretion is “designed to be used for exceptionally compelling cases, and were not intended as a way for the President, his appointees, or government staff to bypass Congress and its unique authority to make immigration law.” (Testimony of Jessica Vaughan, July 26, 2011)
Chris Crane, President of a national ICE union representing roughly 7,000 employees, also testified in support of the HALT Act, describing the problems caused by the latest string of Morton memos. “The purpose of this policy is to prohibit officers and agents from arresting individuals from certain groups... From an enforcement standpoint, the biggest dilemma facing officers and agents in the field may be how to apply the policy to the hundreds of thousands of aliens encountered each year.” (Testimony of Chris Crane, July 26, 2011) Last summer, the union Crane represents issued a vote of no-confidence in ICE Director John Morton, and former Assistant Director of the ICE Office of Detention and Policy and Planning, Phyllis Coven. (See FAIR Legislative Update, Aug. 9, 2010)
Margaret Stock, the only witness who opposed the HALT Act, alleged, “Our immigration system is dysfunctional and irrational, and the situation only promises to get worse without comprehensive action by Congress.” (Testimony of Margaret Stock, July 26, 2011) “Our nation’s ever more complex and restrictive legal immigration system makes it nearly impossible for most people to immigrate to the United States legally, and provides no means for people to enter or stay in the United States legally in many compelling circumstances,” she added. (Id.) Ms. Stock, an adjunct professor and retired army colonel, also testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of the DREAM Act last month.