Obama administration officials at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today outlined their plan to allow illegal immigrant spouses and children with U.S. citizen relatives to stay in the United States while the federal government decides on their waiver request. Under current law, illegal immigrants must leave the country before they can ask the federal government to waive the three and 10 year bars on legally coming back to the United States. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) released the statement below criticizing the proposed change.
Chairman Smith: "President Obama and his administration are bending long established rules to put illegal immigrants ahead of the interests of American citizens and legal immigrants. This proposal from the Obama administration comes with no surprise considering their abuse of administrative powers. President Obama has already granted backdoor amnesty to potentially millions of illegal immigrants without a vote of Congress.
"It seems President Obama plays by his own rules to push unpopular policies on the American people. Congress has defeated amnesty attempts several times in recent years. And according to a recent poll, two-thirds of Americans want to see immigration laws enforced, not ignored. Who is the President batting for--illegal immigrants or the American people?"
Congress instituted the three and 10 year bars in 1996 to provide a penalty for immigrants who had been illegally present in the U.S. for long periods of time. While the waiver of these bars is legal under current law, it is not intended to be applied to millions of illegal immigrants.