House Bill Would Restore Respect for Immigration Law and the Constitutional Process

Swift Action is Needed to Rein In Abuse of Executive Power, Says FAIR

January 7, 2015


(Washington, D.C.) The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) applauds the introduction of Repeal Executive Amnesty Act of 2015, a bill that would not only defund the president's unconstitutional amnesty, but would block further attempts by this or future administrations to rewrite immigration laws through executive memos. After six years of systematically dismantling and undermining immigration enforcement, the Repeal Executive Amnesty Act, introduced by Reps. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), Lou Barletta (R-Pa.), and Lamar Smith (R-Texas), would restore Congress's plenary authority to make immigration laws and restore confidence that our immigration laws are being enforced in the interest of the American people.

Among the key provisions of the legislation:

  • Prohibits DHS or any other federal agency from using funds or fees made available to them to "implement, administer, enforce, or carry out" any amnesty policies established through executive memos. Among other things, it would cut-off funding for president's 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) amnesty and the broader executive amnesty program announced on Nov. 20, 2014.
  • Curbs the abuse of parole that has allowed entire classes of inadmissible aliens to enter or remain in the United States. Further, it bars aliens with parole status from gaining lawful permanent residency or work authorization. The bill restores the original intent of parole authority, that it be used on a limited case-by-case basis to allow aliens to enter the U.S. temporarily for humanitarian purposes.
  • Bars illegal aliens granted deferred action from gaining work authorization. The bill would protect American workers by preventing millions of illegal aliens from legally taking jobs sought by citizens and legal immigrants.
  • Protects American taxpayers by barring illegal aliens granted deferred action or parole by the Obama administration from accessing certain public benefits including Social Security, Medicare and Obamacare.
  • Restores state and local governments as partners in immigration enforcement by expressly reaffirming that local law enforcement, acting within constitutional limits, has the authority to identify, apprehend, and detain individuals suspected of violating U.S. immigration laws. In addition, the bill requires federal authorities to take custody of removable aliens at the request of state or local authorities.
  • Reinstates the Secure Communities program terminated by Sec. Jeh Johnson on Nov. 20, 2014. Secure Communities identifies removable aliens who are arrested and charged with other crimes by state and local police. The bill requires DHS to assume custody and initiate removal proceedings against aliens identified under Secure Communities.
  • Reins in executive authority to waive the 3- and 10-year bars on illegal aliens returning legally to the U.S.
  • Ends the incentives for smuggling minors into the United States by amending the 2008 William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act to treat aliens from non-contiguous countries the same way the law treats Mexican and Canadian minors who enter the country illegally.

"The Repeal Executive Amnesty Act is an important first step by the new Congress to restore the rule of law in immigration policy and reaffirm the core principle that our immigration laws exist to serve and protect the interests and security of the American people," declared Dan Stein, president of FAIR. "For six years, the Obama administration has taken a wrecking ball to immigration enforcement, compromising the interests of American workers, taxpayers, national security and our constitutional system of government.

"This legislation will help restore respect for our nation's immigration laws and for the right of the American people, through their elected representatives, to determine who can live and work in this country. FAIR urges the leadership of both houses of Congress to act swiftly to approve this measure to rein in the president's abuse of power in immigration policy and stand up for the vital interests of the American people," concluded Stein.


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