Brewer called it 'backdoor amnesty.'
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Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio are outraged with President Obama's immigration announcement saying that some young immigrants will not be deported if they meet certain guidelines.
Governor Brewer called the plan "outrageous" and "backdoor amnesty," adding that we need to secure our borders before considering any tweaks to immigration policy. Asked if people who would qualify for work permits under the new policy should be arrested and deported, Brewer said "I think anybody who comes into the United States illegally needs to be apprehended." Brewer added that with the economy still in a fragile recovery, this isn't the time to give any illegal immigrants work permits: "They're gonna be competing for jobs with people who came here legally."
Arpaio is questioning the timing of the president's announcement regarding the change in immigration policy. On the Nearly Famous Barry Young Show, he said the decision comes as no surprise. He said Congress' lack of action allowed Obama to seize control. Click here to listen to the entire interview.
Senator McCain called the announcement "a politically-motivated power grab that does nothing to further the debate but instead adds additional confusion and uncertainty to our broken immigration system." Like Arpaio, he also questioned the timing of the announcement during a re-eleciton year.
More info on the policy reforms from DHS Secretary Napolitano:
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today announced that effective immediately, certain young people who were brought to the United States as young children, do not present a risk to national security or public safety, and meet several key criteria will be considered for relief from removal from the country or from entering into removal proceedings. Those who demonstrate that they meet the criteria will be eligible to receive deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and will be eligible to apply for work authorization.
“Our nation’s immigration laws must be enforced in a firm and sensible manner,” said Secretary Napolitano. “But they are not designed to be blindly enforced without consideration given to the individual circumstances of each case. Nor are they designed to remove productive young people to countries where they may not have lived or even speak the language. Discretion, which is used in so many other areas, is especially justified here.”
DHS continues to focus its enforcement resources on the removal of individuals who pose a national security or public safety risk, including immigrants convicted of crimes, violent criminals, felons, and repeat immigration law offenders. Today’s action further enhances the Department’s ability to focus on these priority removals.
Under this directive, individuals who demonstrate that they meet the following criteria will be eligible for an exercise of discretion, specifically deferred action, on a case-by-case basis:
1.) Came to the United States under the age of sixteen;
2.) Have continuously resided in the United States for a least five years preceding the date of this memorandum and are present in the United States on the date of this memorandum;
3.) Are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
4.) Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;
5.) Are not above the age of thirty.
Only those individuals who can prove through verifiable documentation that they meet these criteria will be eligible for deferred action. Individuals will not be eligible if they are not currently in the United States and cannot prove that they have been physically present in the United States for a period of not less than 5 years immediately preceding today’s date. Deferred action requests are decided on a case-by-case basis. DHS cannot provide any assurance that all such requests will be granted. The use of prosecutorial discretion confers no substantive right, immigration status, or pathway to citizenship. Only the Congress, acting through its legislative authority, can confer these rights.
While this guidance takes effect immediately, USCIS and ICE expect to begin implementation of the application processes within sixty days. In the meantime, individuals seeking more information on the new policy should visit USCIS’s website (at www.uscis.gov), ICE’s website (at www.ice.gov), or DHS’s website (at www.dhs.gov). Beginning Monday, individuals can also call USCIS’ hotline at 1-800-375-5283 or ICE’s hotline at 1-888-351-4024 during business hours with questions or to request more information on the forthcoming process.
For individuals who are in removal proceedings and have already been identified as meeting the eligibility criteria and have been offered an exercise of discretion as part of ICE’s ongoing case-by-case review, ICE will immediately begin to offer them deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal.
For more information on the Administration policy reforms to date, please click here.
Statement from Rep. Paul Gosar
"Just when the American public is starting to think President Obama cannot go any further with his unconstitutional executive overreach—he reaches a new low. Obama has turned the Presidency into a monarchy. Only Congress is constitutionally authorized to change federal immigration law. The president’s directive is unconstitutional. Obama, his Cabinet, and his czars have shown from day one they believe they are above the law. They are not. The president cannot decree what laws will be enforced and what will be ignored."
"The constitution has checks and balances to prevent actions like these and the American people will not allow our Constitution to be ignored. I was elected to defend the constitution and will do so by fighting against this political power grab.”
Statement from State Senate Democrat Leader David Schapira
"Spurred by the failure of Congress to enact the DREAM Act or comprehensive immigration reform, this directive reaffirms our country’s core belief of being the land of opportunity,” said Sen. Schapira.
“Those who are affected by this directive represent some of the best and brightest children in our schools and young men and women who have served our country in uniform. Comprehensive immigration reform is still needed; however, this is a positive step forward while Congress continues to ignore the problem.”
Statement from Rep. Ed Pastor
“I commend the Obama Administration’s decision to grant relief to undocumented young people who are already positively contributing to our communities and country,” Pastor said Friday. “These individuals have been raised and educated in the United States, and are talented, driven young people who have much to offer and should not be punished for the actions of others. Due largely to opposition to related legislation, such as the DREAM Act, the Obama Administration’s announcement serves as a positive step forward, allowing these young people to continue to contribute and give back to the country they call home. This is an encouraging move and it gives me hope that we can now work in a bipartisan manner towards a permanent solution, such as comprehensive immigration reform."