Republicans are seizing on an internal memo they say is further evidence the Obama administration wants to bypass a gridlocked Congress and use its executive powers to grant “back-door amnesty” to thousands of illegal immigrants. But administration officials tried to downplay the significance of the draft memo Friday, reiterating that they have no plans to grant permanent residency to the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S.(Source.)
Written by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officials to the agency’s director, the memo discusses ways the administration – facing the reality that immigration reform is all but dead this year – could grant illegal immigrants permanent status, including indefinitely delaying deportation or issuing green cards.
“This memorandum offers administrative relief options to promote family unity, foster economic growth, achieve significant process improvements and reduce the threat of removal for certain individuals present in the United States without authorization,” states the memo, which was addressed to Director Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “In the absence of comprehensive immigration reform, USCIS can extend benefits and/or protections to many individuals and groups by issuing new guidance and regulations.”
The 11-page memo provides fresh ammunition to Republican lawmakers who have been questioning the administration for the past month about rumors of a plan allowing illegal immigrants to remain in the country.
“The document provides an additional basis for our concerns that the administration will go to great lengths to circumvent Congress and unilaterally execute a back-door amnesty plan,” Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the top Republican on the Finance Committee, said in a statement.
Friday, July 30, 2010