05 July 2012

Republicans cry foul of Obama’s executive order

President Obama issued an executive order last month which put a stop to all deportations of illegal immigrants under the age of 30 who were brought to the US before they were 16, had graduated high school or served in the military and had no criminal record. The president bypassed Congress and all Republicans in the process, leaving many to cry foul play.

US immigration

Representative Lamar Smith has been highly critical of the president's executive order and demanded answers over its enforcement.

The president's directive has made waves across an America polarised over the issue of US immigration. The effects the directive has had on the upcoming presidential election have already been felt and could even influence the outcome.

While the directive was hailed as landmark event in the struggle for legal status for many illegal immigrants, Republicans have been outraged at the perceived granting of amnesty to illegal immigrants.

Republicans, led by presidential nominee Mitt Romney, have been critical of the directive and the president's circumvention of Congress but have yet to say how they would both repeal the order and address the issue of an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants.

However, the chairman of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, Republican Lamar Smith, has taken a different approach and demanded answers as to how the directive will be enforced.

In a letter to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE), Rep. Smith claims that without proper eligibility requirements clearly laid out, the ability to combat fraud or abuse of the president's directive will be 'virtually impossible'.

'Such a lack of forethought about processing and implementation prior to an announcement of the policy is a dereliction of the duty the president vowed to uphold,' wrote Rep. Smith.

'Unfortunately, this administration continues to place partisan politics and illegal immigrants ahead of the American people and the rule of the law.'

Rep. Smith has demanded that five requirements be put in place to determine eligibility for the directive:

Rep. Smith also included more than questions regarding the directive's enforcement which cover such issues as the deportation of any failed applicants, the prosecution of any employers found to have employed the applicant before the directive took effect and whether an applicant's family could qualify for hardship to avoid deportation.

The American Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people from Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries make their ESTA application.

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