Deportation Priorities Add Up to Smart Law Enforcement

Last week, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano testified at a House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing. Napolitano defended the administration’s immigration initiatives to focus enforcement resources, including suspending deportation for certain immigrant youth. Present in the audience were DREAMers who will benefit from this policy.

The following is a statement by Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum.

“As the American public shows broad support for common-sense immigration policies, a select segment of congressional Republicans are hijacking the immigration debate.

“At today’s hearing, we saw political theater at its worst, as House Republicans spent most of their time grandstanding instead of proposing a workable immigration process that realistically addresses the situation of new American immigrants living among us today.

“Conversely, we also heard statements by leaders of the Evangelical Immigration Table, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church all supporting the administration’s decisions on prosecutorial discretion and deferred action. We agree with these religious leaders that the administration’s decision to prioritize resources and focus on legitimate threats to public safety rather than on deporting harmless, bright, young new Americans is smart law enforcement in action. If implemented adequately, this measure will provide much-needed relief to American-raised young immigrants who are eager to contribute to our culture and economy.

“But make no mistake: Deferred action is not a substitute for permanent solutions for these young aspiring citizens. Only Congress can deliver these permanent fixes by enacting the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform.

“Americans deserve real leadership on immigration and not the usual political blame game.  It’s time for Republicans and Democrats to move forward with immigration policies that reflect our values as a nation and include a roadmap for people who aspire to be citizens. We encourage members of both parties to heed the calls of Christian leaders and the American public on passing meaningful immigration reform.”

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