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Smith: Backdoor Amnesty Data Just the Beginning


Location: Washington, DC

According to a report by the Syracuse University Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, the number of deportation proceedings initiated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the last quarter fell sharply by 33 percent, from nearly 59,000 filings to a little over 39,000. This substantial drop follows the Obama administration's implementation of its new deportation guidelines that amount to backdoor amnesty. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) issued the statement below in response to this drop.

Chairman Smith: "Last quarter's data confirms what we knew all along: President Obama is recklessly determined to grant backdoor amnesty to thousands of illegal immigrants. And President Obama certainly doesn't keep his ambition to grant amnesty to even more illegal immigrants a secret. This week, President Obama boasted that he has five more years to get an amnesty bill through Congress. If President Obama gets his way, the drop in deportation proceedings last quarter is just the beginning.

"President Obama's goal of reelection is a slap in the face to unemployed American workers. With 13 million unemployed Americans competing with seven million illegal immigrants for scarce jobs, the President shouldn't brag about having another term in office. The President is supposed to act in the interest of the American people, not illegal immigrants. But President Obama has failed to live up to this responsibility."

Background: In November, the Obama administration issued new deportation guidance instructing ICE attorneys to review all incoming and most pending cases before an immigration court. These changes could potentially allow millions of illegal immigrants to remain in the U.S. without a vote of Congress.

In reviewing the cases, Department of Homeland Security political appointees have made clear that many illegal immigrants are not considered "priorities" for removal, including potential DREAM Act beneficiaries, an illegal immigrant who has had a long-term presence in the U.S., has an immediate family member who is a U.S. citizen, and/or has compelling ties to the U.S. The new deportation guidance also states that ICE may administratively close asylum cases where the immigrants makes a joint request to close. Although it is estimated that a large percentage of asylum applications are fraudulent, these individuals are eligible for work authorization.

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