WASHINGTON - Several U.S. senators today questioned possible plans by the administration to unilaterally extend either deferred action or parole to millions of illegal immigrants in the United States. Senator Chuck Grassley was joined by Senators Orrin Hatch of Utah, Jim Bunning of Ky., Saxby Chambliss of Ga., Jim Inhofe of Okla., Johnny Isakson of Ga., Thad Cochran of Miss., and David Vitter of La.
"There's a lot we can agree on when it comes to dealing with the immigration problems in the United States, but this appears to be amnesty in disguise, and is simply an attempt to circumvent Congress," Grassley said.
Here's a copy of the text of the letter to President Barack Obama.
June 21, 2010
President Barack H. Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear President Obama:
We understand that there's a push for your Administration to develop a plan to unilaterally extend either deferred action or parole to millions of illegal aliens in the United States. We understand that the Administration may include aliens who have willfully overstayed their visas or filed for benefits knowing that they will not be eligible for a status for years to come. We understand that deferred action and parole are discretionary actions reserved for individual cases that present unusual, emergent or humanitarian circumstances. Deferred action and parole were not intended to be used to confer a status or offer protection to large groups of illegal aliens, even if the agency claims that they look at each case on a "case-by-case" basis.
While we agree our immigration laws need to be fixed, we are deeply concerned about the potential expansion of deferred action or parole for a large illegal alien population. While deferred action and parole are Executive Branch authorities, they should not be used to circumvent Congress' constitutional authority to legislate immigration policy, particularly as it relates to the illegal population in the United States.
The Administration would be wise to abandon any plans for deferred action or parole for the illegal population. Such a move would further erode the American public's confidence in the federal government and its commitment to securing the borders and enforcing the laws already on the books.
We would appreciate receiving a commitment that the Administration has no plans to use either authority to change the current position of a large group of illegal aliens already in the United States, and ask that you respond to us about this matter as soon as possible.