Tags: Barack Obama | Immigration | Robert Goodlatte | immigration | amnesty | criminal

Rep. Goodlatte: Amnesty Program 'Endangering Our Communities'

By    |   Tuesday, 23 Jun 2015 04:39 PM

A new immigration amnesty program "riddled with loopholes" that's being rolled out by the Obama administration will allow some undocumented immigrants with criminal records to remain in the United States, "needlessly endangering our communities," House Judiciary Chairman Robert Goodlatte charges.

The Priority Enforcement Program part of President Barack Obama's executive orders in November that protects from deportation nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants replaces a congressionally-mandated Secure Communities program that identifies illegals booked in jails across the country so federal law enforcement officials can prioritize their deportation, a news release from the Virginia Republican contends.

The release charges PEP is "untested" and "riddled with loopholes."

"The only priority contained in the Priority Enforcement Program is to ensure that our immigration laws are not enforced in the interior of the United States," Goodlatte said in a statement.

"By scrapping a law enforcement tool that keeps our communities safe and replacing it with a new program that permits the release of criminal aliens, President Obama is needlessly endangering our communities."

According to Goodlatte's fact sheet on the PEP program, the Department of Homeland Security won't go after undocumented immigrants who've committed crimes including fraud, drug possession offenses; "most theft offenses, including identity theft… nearly all crimes involving moral turpitude" and some misdemeanors federal authorities don't consider "significant."

Goodlatte contends even those arrested or charged with serious crimes will be off the hook because "DHS will turn a blind eye to allow the unlawful immigrant to remain on the streets until that alien has an actual conviction."

The Washington Times reports Secure Communities began under the Bush administration, and aimed to boost deportation numbers while focusing on criminals, rather than on rank-and-file illegal immigrants who hadn’t had serious run-ins with the law.

But it came under fire from both immigration advocates and the courts, the Washington Times reports.

"Under PEP, Immigration and Customs Enforcement will only seek transfer of individuals in state and local custody in specific, limited circumstances," the government says in a brochure about the program, the Times reports.

The new program may still be problematic, experts say.

"PEP creates a trap for unwary local law enforcement agencies, which will be subject to legal liability should they choose to participate," Jessica Karp Bansal, litigation director for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, told the Times.

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A new immigration amnesty program "riddled with loopholes" that's being rolled out will allow some undocumented immigrants with criminal records to remain in the United States, "needlessly endangering our communities," House Judiciary Chairman Robert Goodlatte charges.
Robert Goodlatte, immigration, amnesty, criminal
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2015-39-23
Tuesday, 23 Jun 2015 04:39 PM
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