U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-8th) along with members of the bipartisan Immigration Reform Caucus signed a letter to President Obama opposing his Aug. 18 announcement of “the use of prosecutorial discretion to achieve amnesty for individuals who are illegally residing in the U.S.”
“The selective enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws is a step backwards in the process of reforming our immigration system,” said Fitzpatrick, in a release.
“The announcement of the administration’s new policy in August is a tacit admission that we are unable to secure our border and effectively enforce our immigration laws,” the congressman added. “I hope the President reconsiders this decision and instead pursues a policy of full and consistent enforcement.”
The letter urges the President to “enforce our immigration laws evenly without passion, prejudice or preference.” A full copy of the text is included below:
Dear Mr. President:
Members of the bipartisan Immigration Reform Caucus along with members of the House vehemently oppose your August 18, 2011 announcement to bypass Congress and use prosecutorial discretion to achieve amnesty for individuals who are illegally residing in the U.S. The manner with which your administration has introduced this policy not only robs the public of a thorough vetting, but it also fails to appreciate the negative consequences of this policy shift.
Over the last several years, with the support of the American public, Congress has consistently defeated amnesty proposals for illegal aliens. This recent effort appears to be nothing more than an attempt to avoid public review and unilaterally impose amnesty by picking and choosing which laws to enforce; or in this case, not to enforce, thereby enabling illegal aliens to remain in the country.
In addition, we are convinced the consequences of implementing this policy will include, but certainly not be limited to, the loss of public confidence and the encouragement of future illegal immigration. Even prior to this, the American public’s confidence in the Administration to address illegal immigration was tenuous at best. This is evidenced by the number of states that have initiated and passed their own immigration enforcement laws. This shift in policy confirms the general public’s suspicion that Administration is not serious about controlling illegal immigration.
Also, this policy has the added affect of further encouraging illegal immigration. Frankly put, if we don’t take our own laws seriously enough to enforce, why should we expect anyone to follow them? This policy will introduce a new wave of illegal immigrants emboldened with the knowledge that not only is it okay to break the law, but they will likely be rewarded for it with de facto amnesty status; thereby exacerbating an already vicious cycle we as a nation have been trying to address for over two decades.
This attempt to satisfy the narrow interests of the pro-amnesty lobby has ultimately earned the distrust of the greater American public. Our fear is that this policy will irreparably harm the prospects of true immigration reform for many years to come. Mr. President, our request is simple: enforce our immigration laws evenly without passion, prejudice or preference.