Immigration Reform Group Challenges Obama Policy Change

Monday, 29 Aug 2011 09:32 AM

By Greg McDonald

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The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is challenging whether a policy change in deportation cases announced earlier this month could be carried out without congressional approval.

The group has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement demanding more details about the change, which FAIR says will lead to the dismissal of thousands of deportation cases classified as “low-priority.”

The request for more information focuses specifically on the costs associated with the change and its overall impact on Americans seeking work during a time of high unemployment.

In a separate letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, FAIR president Dan Stein suggested the policy change is a direct result of a meeting between administration officials and groups that support amnesty for illegal immigrants.

“The American people have a right to know who is making their immigration policies,” Stein wrote. “Clearly it is not Congress, which is vested with the exclusive constitutional authority to legislate immigration policy.”

The change was announced in an August 18 statement by the White House, which said it represented a more “common sense” approach to deportation.

Cecilia Munoz, the White House director of intergovernmental affairs, said the change is designed “to clear out low-priority cases on a case-by-case basis and make more room to deport people who have been convicted of crimes or pose a security risk.”

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