U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said that an Obama Administration memo outlining ways that it could grant illegal immigrants legal status "would be the equivalent of back-door amnesty for millions." Hatch joined with 8 of his Republican colleagues in sending a letter to the President a month ago and 11 of his colleagues in sending a letter to the Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano earlier this week about the Administration's efforts.
"This memo raises a lot of questions that need to be answered, and that haven't been answered by this Administration despite our repeated attempts," said Hatch. "If the Administration deploys these tactics, it would be the equivalent of back-door amnesty for millions by unelected bureaucrats. That's a cynical way of governing that would generate the anger of the American people who are demanding action to secure the border."
According to an internal U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services memo:
*The agency is considering ways in which it could enact "meaningful immigration reform absent legislative action;"
*"This memorandum offers administrative relief options to . . . reduce the threat of removal for certain individuals present in the United States without authorization;" and
*"In the absence of Comprehensive Immigration Reform, USCIS can extend benefits and/or protections to many individuals and groups by issuing new guidance and regulations, exercising discretion with regard to parole-in-place, deferred action and the issuance of Notices to Appear (NTA), and adopting significant process improvements."
On Tuesday, Hatch joined with 11 Senate colleagues asking Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to abandon any possible plans to parole or defer action on millions of illegal immigrants.
The Senators wrote, "We remained concerned about potential plans for a large-scale effort to offer parole or to defer action on undocumented aliens in the United States. We realize that deferred action and parole are discretionary actions reserved for individual cases that present unusual, emergent or humanitarian circumstances. However, we do not believe that such actions should be used for a large population of illegal aliens or used to bypass Congress and the legislative process."
Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), David Vitter (R-La.), Jim Bunning (R-Ky.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) also signed the letter to Napolitano.