Smith Statement on Administration's Approval of Amnesty Applications

Statement

By:  Lamar Smith
Date: Sept. 12, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced that it has received 72,000 applications from illegal immigrants seeking deferred action and work authorization, and that it has approved some of them in just three weeks since the program began. On August 15, DHS began accepting applications for its amnesty program that stops the deportation of certain illegal immigrants and grants them work permits. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) criticized the approval of these amnesty applications in the statement below.

Chairman Smith: "It's astounding that the President's administration can move so quickly to approve amnesty applications and grant work authorization to illegal immigrants yet his jobs council hasn't met in over eight months to find solutions to put unemployed Americans back to work. With 23 million Americans unemployed or looking for full-time work, it is unconscionable that this Administration prioritizes illegal immigrants over American workers.

"Such a quick turnaround for these amnesty applications raises serious concerns about fraud and a lack of thorough vetting. Comprehensive security checks can take months and delve into the background of individuals. But the Administration has refused to do thorough background checks for these illegal immigrants. This lack of proper vetting could endanger Americans and threaten national security.

"While it took the Administration less than three weeks to process several amnesty applications, it can take several months for some legal immigration benefit applications to be approved. It's appalling the Administration has diverted resources from approving applications for those who have played by the rules to illegal immigrants. This will undoubtedly create a backlog for legal immigrants and then the American people will be on the hook to pay for the President's failed policies. President Obama and his administration should not put illegal immigrants ahead of the American people and legal immigrants."