In a letter to President Obama, 22 Republican senators said the deportation policy changes under consideration by DHS would represent “a near complete abandonment of basic immigration enforcement and discard the rule of law and the notion the United States has enforceable borders.” The letter warns Obama to improve immigration enforcement, not look for ways to weaken it.
The letter highlights the difficult political situation Obama faces after committing to explore more options for executive amnesty. Pro-illegal aliens groups demand an end to most if not all deportations but further weakening deportation policy would impair relations with the Republicans Obama needs to pass legislative reforms.
The Senators argue Administration policies have incrementally nullified interior enforcement to the point that unless illegal aliens are “apprehended, tried and convicted for a felony or other serious offense, they are free to live and work in the economy.” Those who do not meet Administration “priorities” are not only exempt from the law but are released if they come into contact with ICE. “Since ICE frequently takes no action…the Administration is allowing preventable crimes harming innocent people to take place every day,” the letter said.
The Senators continued,” These policies have operated as an effective repeal of duly enacted federal immigration law and exceed the bounds of the Executive Branch’s prosecutorial discretion…Your actions represent an astonishing disregard for the Constitution, the rule of law and the rights of American citizens and legal residents…Our entire constitutional system is threatened when the executive branch suspends the law at its whim and our nation's sovereignty is imperiled when the commander-in-chief refuses to defend the integrity of its borders."
These GOP senators signed the letter: Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Roy Blunt (Mo.), John Hoeven (N.D.), Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions (Ala.); Tim Scott (S.C.); Deb Fischer and Mike Johanns (Neb.); Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee (Utah); Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn (Okla.); Ted Cruz (Tex.); John Boozman (Ark.); Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson (Ga.); David Vitter (La.); Mike Crapo and Jim Risch (Idaho); Pat Roberts (Kan.); and Thad Cochran (Miss.).
The White House did not immediately respond to media inquiries.
Read more in Politico.
Updated: Thu, Apr 24th 2014 @ 2:49pm EDT