Now we’re talking!
(The Hill) — The Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee is crafting a bill that would temporarily freeze the Obama administration’s power to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants.
The measure is in response to a memo issued by the head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) last week that approved a broader breadth of discretion for agency officials when considering whether to deport someone through the Secure Communities program.
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), who is sponsoring the legislation, blasted the memo. He said that under the new guidelines ICE agents could defer the deportations of “millions of deportable illegal and criminal immigrants.”
“The Obama administration cannot continue to pick and choose which laws it will enforce,” said Smith in a statement. “It is outrageous that they have put illegal immigrants and their liberal political base ahead of the American people.”
Smith’s bill is expected to be introduced soon, according to a committee aide.
The ICE memo comes in the wake of recent attempts by President Obama to push forward with a revamping of the country’s immigration laws. Republicans on Capitol Hill have broadly indicated their opposition to the Democrat-led efforts, with some calling for a more secure U.S.-Mexico border before immigration talks can begin. Immigration reform is widely regarded as having little chance of passing in the divided 112th Congress.