Tags: Barack Obama | Editor's Pick | Lamar Smith immigration ignore Roll | Call

Rep. Lamar Smith: Obama Officials Ignoring Immigration Laws

Monday, 06 Feb 2012 11:18 AM

By Martin Gould

President Barack Obama is ignoring the country’s immigration statutes despite saying in an interview last week that no occupant of the Oval Office has the right to bypass the law, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith charged Monday.

Work-site inspections have been virtually abandoned, states that try to enforce federal immigration laws are punished, and illegal immigrants are given the right to apply for work authorization in 90 percent of cases, Smith said in an article for Roll Call.

“Throughout the three years of his administration, Obama has waived applying several of our immigration rules and has refused to enforce other immigration laws,” said the Texas Republican.

Just last week in an interview with Univision, Obama said he can’t just “wave away the laws that Congress put in place.”

“That’s “the way our system works,” Smith added. “The president doesn’t have the authority to simply ignore Congress and say, ‘We’re not going to enforce the laws that you’ve passed.’ ”

But, Smith writes in Roll Call, that is exactly what Obama's administration is doing when it comes to illegal immigrants.

“Last month, Obama administration officials at the Department of Homeland Security outlined their plan to ignore a rule that requires illegal immigrants to leave the United States before they can ask the federal government to waive a law that bans them from legally returning here for several years,” Smith wrote in Roll Call.

“While the waiver of this rule is sometimes allowed under current law, it is only applied on a case-by-case basis, not to entire categories of illegal immigrants. But Obama and his administration are bending these long-established rules by applying them to potentially millions of illegal immigrants.”

Smith said this is just part of a pattern when it comes to immigration legislation. The administration has gone after Arizona, South Carolina and Alabama when those states attempted to put some teeth into immigration laws, while at the same time protecting so-called “sanctuary cities” and refusing to take action against Illinois, Massachusetts and New York for failing to participate in the Secure Communities program.

He said workplace enforcement efforts have fallen by 70 percent in the three years Obama has been in office.

“Talk is cheap, and actions speak louder than words,” said Smith. “The president’s actions speak volumes about his intent to reward those who have broken our immigration laws.”

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