As immigration continues to take center stage in a funding battle on Capitol Hill, more details are emerging about the Obama White House’s efforts to help illegal aliens avoid deportation.
President Obama said Tuesday that he plans to do everything in his power to block GOP attempts to reverse his immigration policies.
“It was my hope that a new, Republican-led Congress would seek to govern responsibly,” Obama wrote in a piece published by The Hill.
“[Instead] we’ve even heard irresponsible threats to shut down the Department of Homeland Security — the very agency tasked with securing our borders and keeping Americans safe in a time of new threats — for no reason other than partisan disagreement over my actions.”
Some Republicans continue to push a Department of Homeland Security funding bill that would undo parts of Obama’s immigration reforms. But Obama is calling on congressional allies to block the measure and initiate an immigration overhaul of their own.
“I am confident that all the steps I’ve taken on my own to fix our broken immigration system will eventually be implemented,” he wrote. “But I also continue to believe that these steps are no substitute for congressional action.”
A federal judge in Texas ruled earlier this month that Obama’s immigration actions are unconstitutional; the president also vowed to fight that decision.
“I disagree with this judge’s ruling,” Obama wrote. “My administration will fight this ruling with every tool at our disposal, and I have full confidence that these actions will ultimately be upheld.”
But the president will not be without critics. Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott said Sunday that the illegal immigration problem in his state is growing out of control because of the administration’s policies.
“Already this calendar year, since Jan. 1, we have had more than 20,000 people come across the border, apprehended, unauthorized,” he said. “And so we have an ongoing problem on the border that Congress must step up and solve.”
According to Abbott, Obama is falling short on promises he made along with his immigration reforms to send thousands of illegal immigrants home.
“The president himself said as these people were coming across the border that he would repatriate them as soon as possible,” Abbott said. “So we need to see whether or not the president himself is going to live up to the commitment that he made.”
Border Patrol emails obtained by National Review indicate that the administration has no plan of following through on the points Abbott mentioned. The Obama White House has, in fact, ordered the agency to do what it can to slow the deportation process for illegal immigrants apprehended by agents.
Via National Review:
Before a federal judge last week halted the president’s executive amnesty program, the Border Patrol issued new guidance to agents that would eliminate the likelihood of deportation for thousands of illegal immigrants that will encounter by Border Patrol. Border Patrol division chief Kelly C. Good e-mailed agents last month to tell them they should issue far fewer “Notices to Appear,” or NTA, in immigration court for deportation proceedings. Notices to Appear are the charging documents issued by the Department of Homeland Security, of which the Border Patrol is a part, to commence deportation proceedings.
“Under the Executive Action, there will be limited instances where we will issue an NTA,” Good wrote. The result: a likely dramatic drop in the number of illegal immigrants deported from the country.
Border Patrol agents have also been instructed to “proactively identify detained and newly encountered individuals who may qualify” protections under Obama’s immigration overhaul.