Sen. Chuck Grassley
Sen. Chuck Grassley


After receiving no response from their first letter sent to the Obama Administration on June 21 regarding reports of an Executive Action mass amnesty, a group of 12 Senators, led by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), is again asking the Administration for answers. The Administration has not denied reports of a plan to provide a mass amnesty for the nation's 11-18 million illegal aliens through deferred action and parole.

“The administration has yet to answer our letter about reports that it may be planning a large-scale, de facto amnesty program through deferred action and parole," Sen. Grassley said in a press release. "By shedding a little light on the numbers, we’re working to get to the bottom of the administration’s plans. If it wants to claim that discretionary authority is being used on a case-by-case basis, then let’s determine if these cases are truly meritorious.”

Joining Sen. Grassley in signing the letter are Senators Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), David Vitter (R-La.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Jim Bunning (R-Ky.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.).

Here is a copy of the letter sent to the Administration yesterday:

Dear Secretary Napolitano:

We remained concerned about potential plans for a large-scale effort to offer parole or to defer action on undocumented aliens in the United States. We realize that deferred action and parole are discretionary actions reserved for individual cases that present unusual, emergent or humanitarian circumstances. However, we do not believe that such actions should be used for a large population of illegal aliens or used to bypass Congress and the legislative process.

News articles report that your department has denied the charge, stating that grants of parole or deferred removal are based on the merits of individual cases. While we have not personally been assured that plans have not been drawn up, we are interested in data that will guarantee the American people that the Administration is not using these discretionary actions in cases that are not urgent or based on humanitarian reasons.

Therefore, we seek the following information about how the department is using its authorities. Specifically, we would like answers to the following questions no later than August 16:

  • How many removal actions have been deferred each year over the past 5 years, including calendar year 2010, to date?
  • How many times has parole been granted each year over the past 5 years, including calendar year 2010, to date?
  • Of those granted deferred action or parole in the past five years, including 2010, how many have been provided work authorizations? In what circumstances are work authorizations not granted?
  • What guidelines and procedures are in place when the department considers using its discretionary power to defer action or grant parole? Please describe the process from the initial request to the final approval, and please provide a copy of the written policies that employees of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and Customs and Border Protection must follow.

Finally, in order to ensure that deferred action and parole are being used in a manner consistent with the law, we request to be notified in writing when the Administration defers removal action or grants parole to undocumented, deportable or inadmissible aliens. We would further request a summary of the case and the rationale for using the discretionary action. In that vein, we would like a summary (including demographic background) of the cases that so far have been approved in calendar year 2010.

We appreciate your attention to this matter and look forward to hearing from you.

Read the original letter sent by the Senators to the Administration.

Illegal Immigration
Barack Obama

Updated: Tue, Jul 27th 2010 @ 1:29pm EDT