U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter contends that the Obama administration’s plan to drop deportation proceedings against an estimated 300,000 illegal immigrants shows “a blatant disregard for the law.” And the California Republican says he will re-introduce legislation to cut through the backlog of cases.
Administration officials announced last week that they would stop going after undocumented aliens who pose no threat to society and would concentrate instead on getting rid of criminals and gang members.
An outraged Hunter counters: “Laws are meant to be followed and not ignored for convenience or political advantage. If someone is in the U.S. illegally, then that person is subject to deportation under the law, plain and simple. What the administration is doing is sending a loud message across our borders that we are not serious about enforcing our nation’s immigration laws while backdoor channels remain wide open to millions of others.
“The decision to grant deportation reprieves is just another attempt to provide amnesty by circumventing Congress and ignoring the calls of the American people for stronger border security and workplace enforcement,” said Hunter, who sought the GOP nomination for president in 2008.
When Congress reconvenes, he plans to introduce the Immigration Backlog Reduction Act. The proposed legislation, which was drafted before the administration’s announcement, would direct immigration officers to deport immediately illegal immigrants who have not lived in the United States continuously for four years.
It also would limit the number of stays an illegal immigrant facing deportation could receive, and strengthen the ability of the Department of Homeland Security to remove criminal elements. Immigrants requesting asylum would not have to be referred to an asylum officer if they have been in the United States for more than a year.
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