House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) have introduced the Hinder the Administration's Legalization Temptation (HALT) Act to prevent the abuse of the Administration's authority over immigration enforcement. The Administration has discussed ways it can halt deportation of illegal aliens through the use of mass parole and/or deferred action.
Congress has defeated amnesty for illegal immigrants several times in recent years but this has not stopped President Obama from trying a backdoor amnesty. Over the course of the last year, the Obama administration has ignored the will of Congress and the American people by using executive branch authority to allow illegal immigrants to remain in the U.S.
While this authority is justifiable when used responsibly, it’s clear this Administration plans not to use but to abuse these powers. If the President gets his way, millions of illegal immigrants will be allowed to legally live and work in the U.S. without a vote of Congress. That is why I have introduced the HALT Act, which will prevent the Obama administration from granting a massive administrative amnesty to illegal immigrants. The Obama administration should not pick and choose which laws it will enforce. Congress must put a halt to this administrative amnesty.
-- Rep. Smith
The Obama administration has taken steps to pass their amnesty agenda through executive order and completely bypass Congress. In the Senate we’ve already rejected some attempts at granting amnesty for illegal aliens by defeating the DREAM Act in last year’s lame duck session. The administration has now taken their amnesty push to new levels by attempting to give DHS officials and other agencies the ability to grant amnesty, which is exactly why we’re introducing the HALT Act. Awarding amnesty over the objections of Congress and the American people would be a slap in the face to taxpayers, and especially to legal immigrants.
-- Sen. Vitter
The House version (H.R.2497) was introduced with 18 original cosponsors, including Reps. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), John Campbell (R-Calif.), Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), John Duncan (R-Tenn.), Randy Forbes (R-Va.), Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), Elton Gallegly (R-Calif.),Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Kenny Marchant (R-Texas), Gary Miller (R-Calif.), Sue Myrick (R-N.C.), Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), David Roe (R-Tenn.), Ed Royce (R-Calif.), Steve Womack (R-Ark.), and Bill Young (R-Fla.).
Sen. Vitter's bill will be officially introduced later this week.
The HALT act will prevent the Obama Administration from:
- Granting parole, except in narrow circumstances;
- Issuing deferred action, except in narrow circumstances;
- Issuing extended voluntary departure to removable aliens;
- Granting work authorization to aliens on a discretionary basis;
- Granting temporary protected status to any new groups of aliens;
- Waiving the three and ten year bars to admittance for aliens who have been illegally present in the U.S.; and
- Granting cancellation of removal to illegal immigrants.