FAIR Endorses Chairman Smith's Effort to HALT Administration's Abuse of "Prosecutorial Discretion"
(July 14, 2011 — Washington, D.C.) - The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) strongly endorses legislation introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) aimed at ending the Obama administration’s abuse of prosecutorial discretion in immigration enforcement. The “Hinder the Administration’s Legalization Temptation Act” or HALT Act (H.R. 2497) would force the administration to carry out its constitutional responsibilities to enforce the immigration laws enacted by Congress.
While all law enforcement agencies are afforded reasonable discretion in how to enforce laws, the Obama administration — primarily the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice — are brazenly ignoring the laws they are sworn to uphold. In June, the Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, John Morton, issued a memo instructing personnel to exercise blanket “prosecutorial discretion” for certain classes of illegal aliens. The memo also lays out administrative steps that the agency will exercise to allow illegal aliens to remain in the United States.
“The Obama administration has made it clear that it will simply disregard congressional authority over immigration policy and decide for itself which laws it will or will not enforce,” stated Dan Stein, president of FAIR. “The administration’s actions formalized in the Morton memo — amount to an unconstitutional usurpation of the legislative branch’s exclusive authority to make immigration policy. The HALT Act is a necessary response both to ensure that our nation’s immigration laws are carried out as Congress intended and to protect the constitutional separation of powers that are the bedrock of our democracy.”
The HALT Act would rein-in the administration’s flagrant abuse of its authority in the areas of:
Broad use of parole to allow illegal aliens to remain in the U.S.
Deferred action to allow illegal aliens remain in the U.S.
Granting Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to new categories of aliens and unwarranted extensions of existing TPS.
Granting cancellation of removal to aliens who have been ordered deported.
Granting work authorization to illegal aliens.
Granting extended voluntary departure.
“It is clear that the American public adamantly opposes amnesty legislation, so the administration has instead decided to allow millions of illegal aliens to go on living and working in this country by simply not enforcing laws,” Stein charged. “Sadly, the HALT Act is necessary to force President Obama to abide by the Constitution, not to mention to protect the interests, security and jobs of the American people.”