Thursday, January 17, 2013

Obama administration’s new immigration rule bypasses Congress again

Congressman J. Randy Forbes

During the Congressional transition – as the 112th Congress came to an end and the 113th Congress was set to begin , the Obama administration announced a new rule, which will make it easier for many illegal immigrants to stay in the United States or apply for permanent residency. The new rule would allow a person without U.S. citizenship to stay in the country while applying for a legal visa if they can demonstrate that separating from an American family member during the application process would create "extreme hardship."

This rule is another instance in which the Administration bypassed Congress' authority to enact immigration policy, just as the 2012 memorandum, in which the Department of Homeland Security granted relief from deportation to young people brought into the U.S. illegally by their parents, if they met certain criteria. This administration has set a dangerous precedent, in which it picks and chooses which laws it should enforce based on its political views.

This new rule provides preferential treatment to illegal immigrants over those who have come to this country legally and followed our lawful path to citizenship. Our immigration policy must reflect our core belief that entry into the United States is not a right, but a privilege.

As a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee and member of the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus, I will continue to support the rule of law and Congress' role to enact immigration policy.