DHS Secretary: Immigration Law Should Respect 'Sanctity of the Family Unit'

By Susan Jones | April 28, 2014 | 5:36 AM EDT

An immigration protest near Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP File Photo)" type="node

(CNSNews.com) - Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, asked by President Obama to review U.S. deportation policy in the face of congressional inaction, says he is "looking for ways to more effectively enforce and administer our immigration laws."

"Immigration laws or any other law needs to comport with American values. One of those American values is respect for human dignity. I also believe one of those American values is respect for the sanctity of the family unit," Johnson said in an interview that aired Sunday on ABC's "This Week."

"None of what I can do, however, is a substitute for action by Congress. We have an immigration system in this country that is not working. Comprehensive immigration reform would fix it. This is something we need to do. I'm confident that it will happen."

Johnson said he doesn't understand those who say that the Obama administration is not enforcing immigration aw.

"We are enforcing the law every day," he insisted.

Last week, 22 U.S. Senators sent a letter to President Obama, questioning the "enforcement review" that Johnson is now conducting.

They believe Obama, at Johnson's urging, will further limit deportations of people who are in the country illegally.  

"According to reports, the changes under consideration would represent a near complete abandonment of basic immigration enforcement and discard the rule of law and the notion that the United States has enforceable border," the senators said.

"Clearly, the urgent task facing your administration is to improve immigration enforcement, not to look for new ways to weaken it.  Since 2009, your administration has issued policy directives and memoranda incrementally nullifying immigration enforcement in the interior of the United States – to the point that unless individuals in the country illegally are apprehended, tried, and convicted for a felony or other serious offense, they are free to  live and work in the country."

Read the full letter here.

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