Huelskamp on Obama's Election-Year Amnesty


Date: June 15, 2012
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Immigration

On Friday morning Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced that the Obama Administration would grant election-year amnesty to certain illegal aliens. According to Napolitano, this amnesty would apply to illegal aliens aged 16 to 29 who allegedly came here before the age of 16, who have not been convicted of any major crimes, are in or completed school or military service, and can somehow prove they have never returned to their own country since then. In addition to freedom from criminal prosecution for immigration law violations, the Obama Administration will allow these illegal aliens permission to work in the United States.

When the 1986 Immigration and Reform Control Act gave amnesty to roughly three million illegal aliens, it also gave the Attorney General of the United States the authority to change the terms of work authorization as he or she sees fit. Since then, the Department of Homeland Security Secretary has assumed that authority. Congressman Huelskamp is a supporter of the HALT Act (HR 2497) which would reserve that authority to the elected Congress, not a political appointee nor the President.

Congressman Tim Huelskamp, who represents the First District of Kansas, released the following statement about the announcement from Secretary Napolitano:

"With this election-year amnesty, once again the Obama Administration has put politics ahead of the U.S. Constitution and the Executive Branch's obligation to enforce the law evenly and across the board. And, with this ruling, the Obama Administration has created an enforcement nightmare by design: how and to what extent can agents determine the actual fulfillment of the eligibility criteria? The terms of this arrangement say that an eligible person cannot have committed a crime. However, entering the country through non-legal means, overstaying a visa, or using fraudulent documents like fake Social Security cards or birth certificates are all crimes. Yet, many people eligible for this amnesty will not have a charge or conviction for any of these crimes."

"Our nation is a nation of laws, yet Secretary Napolitano said immigration laws are not supposed to be "blindly enforced." Ironically, America is an attractive place to live, work, and raise a family because the rule of law protects the freedoms to do all of that. Yet, undermining the rule of law is exactly what the Obama Administration does with this new order."

"We already have millions of people who are out of work, and now President Obama wants to make more people legally eligible to work? One out of two recent college graduates are unemployed or underemployed and more than 70 percent of teenagers are without summer jobs. Certainly America is about opportunity, but not when the law has been broken and exploited by those illegally in this country."

"President Obama's announcement shows only crass election-year p