As a longtime opponent of amnesty for illegal immigrants, U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-9) today issued the following statement after President Obama announced he had bypassed Congress and authorized the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to stop deporting and begin granting work permits to hundreds of thousands of younger illegal immigrants:
"At a time when we should be working to secure our border and enforcing the immigration laws already on the books, the last thing the president should be doing is granting back-door amnesty to hundreds of thousands of people who are in this country illegally. As a strong opponent of amnesty of any kind, I find it unconscionable that the president would seek to circumvent Congress for what he hopes will be political gain. We are a country of laws and to reward individuals for breaking the law goes against everything our nation stands for. This move by the president is a slap in the face to the thousands of legal immigrants in this country and to our hard-working citizens whose tax dollars are being used to subsidize those who are in this country illegally."
Luetkemeyer is a co-sponsor of the Hinder the Administration's Legalization Temptation Act (HALT) which prevents the administration from abusing its authority to grant massive administrative amnesty to illegal immigrants. Luetkemeyer also recently supported an amendment that passed the House to the annual DHS Appropriations Act, which would prohibit the administration from using funds for amnesty, particularly the administrative amnesty policies outlined in three memos released in 2011 from John Morton, Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Under the new rules announced by Obama, illegal immigrants will be immune from deportation if they were brought to the United States before they turned 16 and are younger than 30, have been in the country for at least five continuous years, have no criminal history, graduated from a U.S. high school or earned a GED, or served in the military. They also can apply for a work permit that will be good for two years with no limits on how many times it can be renewed.