Immigration Agents Raise Questions on GOP's DREAM Act Efforts

Article author: 
Matthew Boyle
Article publisher: 
Article date: 
30 July 2013
Article category: 
National News
Article Body: 

The head of the labor union representing law enforcement officers of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on Tuesday pressed House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), and Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) to answer questions regarding their DREAM Act proposals for young illegal immigrants in America.

In a letter sent to those four lawmakers Tuesday afternoon, USCIS National Council president Kenneth Palinkas wrote...

“As you know, the Obama administration has already bypassed Congress to implement a version of the proposal you are now considering,” Palinkas wrote. “Of course, to do so, the administration also had to simultaneously suspend laws previously passed by Congress. My first question, therefore, as a representative of those tasked with following the law, is how you intend to prevent this administration from simply implementing your proposal in a fashion of its own choosing with no regard for Congress’ authority?”

Since Cantor, Ryan, Goodlatte, and Gowdy have put this debate off until after August recess, Palinkas laid out a hypothetical provision for what may become their DREAM Act. “Let’s say you establish in your law that illegal immigrants must be 30 years of age or younger at the time of application, must have entered illegally (or illegally overstayed a visa) at the age of 16 or before, and must have resided in the U.S. for at least five years (it’s only 18 months for the Senate bill),” Palinkas wrote. “Let’s also assume that, unlike the Schumer-Rubio-Corker-Hoeven bill, you do not extend amnesty to those with violent criminal records and gang affiliations.”

Palinkas then asks whether or not Cantor, Ryan, Goodlatte or Gowdy have any answer to the following question: “What is to stop the administration from simply issuing another round of non-enforcement orders (written or oral) that would eviscerate any attempted limitations in your bill?” Palinkas wrote. “For instance, the ICE Council reports that ‘the administration’s DREAM Act is not being applied by ICE to children in schools, but instead to adult inmates in jails. Gang members and other criminal offenders all take advantage of the administration’s DREAM Act orders to evade arrest and deportation.’”

Palinkas followed those facts up with a few more followup questions. “Why would we not expect this policy to not only continue, but be expanded if your bill were to pass?” he asked. “Additionally, what is to prevent the administration from declaring that future illegal immigrants who are DREAM Act-eligible who arrive after your bill passes are likewise not an ‘administrative priority’ and thus exempt from immigration enforcement? And what about people who have missed the cut-off date by a few months or years—won’t the administration just exempt them from enforcement too?...