Photo: Rep. Smith Still Convinced Obama is Planning "Backdoor" Amnesty, Tries to Take (Unused) Power Away
U.S. Representative Lamar Smith from Texas (R-San Antonio) is still pushing to strip the Obama Administration of all immigration enforcement duties because he believes the president is setting up some sort of “backdoor” amnesty for undocumented immigrants.
Congressman Lamar introduced HR 2497, known as the Hinder the Administration’s Legalization Temptation (HALT) Act to stop the president, and only the current president, from implementing the yet-unused power to stop deportations.
In a statement, Smith the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee wrote, “Congress has defeated amnesty for illegal immigrants several times in recent years but this has not stopped President Obama from trying a backdoor amnesty.” Adding, “Over the course of the last year, the Obama administration has ignored the will of Congress and the American people by using executive branch authority to allow illegal immigrants to remain in the U.S.”
HALT is in response to a directive issued to Immigration and Customs Enforcement offices that urged ICE prosecutors to use “prosecutorial discretion” in issuing “a notice of detainer” when they decide who is detained and who is released.
If passed, the HALT Act would take the away the power to stop the deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants from the Obama administration and “restore these powers to the next president whom the American people elect – on January 22, 2013.”
Democrats and the New York Timeshave called Smith a hypocrite for signing a letter in 1999 to the Clinton administration to use more prosecutorial discretion in immigration case and take into account the hardship involved in each case. According to that letter, one would believe he was asking for the same discretion the Obama administration is asking of immigration officials.
Smith claims that the letter was only in regards to legal immigrants and not those in the country without documentation, and accusing his opponents of being “dishonest”.