Obama Administration Backdoor Amnesties Illegal Alien Parents

Article publisher: 
Article date: 
28 August 2013
Article category: 
National News
Article Body: 

The Obama Administration has once again used the summer months to issue new policy that circumvents Congress and further expands its prosecutorial discretion policy, which encourages Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to ignore immigration violations by classes of individuals.

This time, the Obama Administration has narrowed the scope of its enforcement activities by ordering ICE agents to refrain from taking into custody illegal aliens who are parents or legal guardians of a minor. (Washington Times, Aug. 23, 2013) Like other prosecutorial discretion directives before it, the latest one came in the form of a policy memorandum, quietly issued Friday by acting ICE Director John Sandweg. (See Morton Memos)

Putting illegal aliens ahead of the safety of the American people, the memorandum states that "ICE personnel should ensure that the agency's immigration enforcement activities do not unnecessarily disrupt the parental rights of both alien parents or legal guardians of minor children." (See ICE memorandum, Facilitating Parental Interests in the Course of Civil Immigration Enforcement Activities, Aug. 23, 2013)

In doing so, the memorandum instructs ICE personnel that in deciding whether to grant prosecutorial discretion, they should pay particular attention to immigration enforcement activities involving three subsets of the illegal alien population:

If an alien fits into one of the above categories, then ICE personnel are to reevaluate any custody determinations made about the alien and, under certain circumstances, refrain from detaining the alien all together. (Id.) If an alien is detained, then the agency is to ensure they have the ability to communicate and visit with family, and are able to attend "family court or child welfare proceedings." (Id.) In some cases, the agency may facilitate the return into the country of a previously deported alien to attend such proceedings. (Id.)

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) criticized the new policy, calling it an abuse of the President's authority. "President Obama has once again abused his authority and unilaterally refused to enforce our current immigration laws by directing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to stop removing broad categories of unlawful immigrants," Goodlatte said in a statement released Friday afternoon. "The primary reason why our immigration system is broken today is because our immigration laws have largely been ignored by past and present administrations." (The Hill, Aug. 24, 2013)