The union representing 12,000 Immigration Service officers and staff employed by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) urged House Republicans today not to conference with the Senate immigration bill.
In the USCIS letter to GOP leaders, Council President Kenneth Palinkas warned that the bill would create threats to both national security and law enforcement:
"The sponsors of the Senate legislation pushed aside the opportunity to work with ICE and USCIS professionals and therefore produced a 1,200-page bill that greatly weakens our national security and produces more illegal immigration.
"I would therefore urge all House lawmakers not to conference with the dangerous Senate bill that will produce a totally deficient comprehensive proposal, but instead to work with USCIS adjudicators to produce responsible reforms that enhance the integrity and security of our immigration system.
Palinkas also expressed concern the bill would give the Obama Administration another opportunity to bypass Congress and ignore any safeguards Republicans might secure in the bill:
"As you know, the Obama Administration has already bypassed Congress to implement a version of the proposal you are now considering. Of course, to do so, the Administration also had to simultaneously suspend laws previously passed by Congress.
"[H]ow you intend to prevent this administration from simply implementing your proposal in a fashion of its own choosing with no regard for Congress' authority?
Palinkas noted that current non-enforcement orders from the administration are already being used by criminals to evade arrest and, if arrested, avoid deportation:
"What is to stop the Administration from simply issuing another round of non-enforcement orders (written or oral) that would eviscerate any attempted limitations in your bill? For instance, the ICE Council reports that 'the Administration's DREAM Act is not being applied by ICE to children in schools, but instead to adult inmates in jails.
"Gang members and other criminal offenders all take advantage of the Administration's DREAM Act orders to evade arrest and deportation.'"