House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte warned Friday that the Obama administration has implemented "startling new changes" to immigration policy which could "place potentially hundreds of thousands of unlawful immigrants on a path to citizenship."
The Virginia Republican issued the warning in a blistering letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson, The Daily Caller reported.
In his letter, Goodlatte
noted that when President Obama announced the creation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program — which provided amnesty to illegals brought to the U.S. as children — in June 2012, he stated: "Now, let’s be clear — this is not amnesty, this is not immunity. This is not a path to citizenship."
But on Thursday, the administration announced that it will permit illegal immigrants to apply for both DACA and "advance parole" simultaneously, Goodlatte noted. Advance parole lets illegals re-enter the United States after traveling abroad.
"Once DACA recipients are granted advance parole and meet other criteria, they may be eligible to adjust their immigration status and be placed on a pathway to citizenship," he said.
"Your Department’s recent changes to this deferred action program seem to be a sneaky attempt to place potentially hundreds of thousands of unlawful immigrants on a path to citizenship," Goodlatte wrote Johnson.
He added that according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), "during the first two years of DACA implementation, over 6,400 DACA recipients requested advance parole. And out of the 4,566 cases decided by that time, only 566 had been denied. That is an advance parole grant rate of 88 percent."
When someone receives advance parole, "upon return to the United States the individual can then be eligible to adjust to lawful permanent resident status. And as you know, lawful permanent resident status is the precursor to U.S. citizenship," Goodlatte noted.
Moreover, advocacy groups and lawyers are well aware of the fact the administration has created another mechanism for illegals to move toward becoming U.S. citizens.
"A simple search of the Internet reveals that immigration reform advocacy groups and immigration benefits law practices are fully aware of the path to citizenship that is afforded to DACA recipients through advance parole," Goodlatte wrote in his letter to Johnson.
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