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August 22, 2011

Press Release

National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers calls for new immigration policy to be rescinded. Group says that policy will encourage further illegal immigration and damage respect for law by foreigners; says President has abandoned duty to law.

The administration announced last week that it would implement a new policy that will permit hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens to remain in the United States despite being in deportation proceedings already. This policy is clearly designed to sidestep congressional authority to regulate immigration. It should cause great concern amongst Americans who demand a secure border and desire only fair, even-handed enforcement of our nation's immigration laws.

In a letter to selected senators, Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, cited public safety and clogged immigration court dockets as justification for the new policy. She asserts that DHS resources "must continue to be focused on our highest priorities" in order to avoid having resources diverted away from "individuals who pose a threat to public safety."

Americans should understand that the policy has just granted amnesty in fact to approximately 300,000 illegal aliens already in deportation proceedings. The new policy means that they will be permitted to stay in the United States without fear of removal and will be given employment authorization valid for the foreseeable future. Past experience tells us that ultimately they will be given permanent residence and then citizenship. The policy promises similar haven to millions more. Those who are arrested in coming years will have a legitimate claim to this benefit if their "only"crime was entering the United States illegally or overstaying their visa. Thus, the incentive for following our nation's legal immigration process has been effectively removed.

Aliens in deportation proceedings did not get there by happenstance. They have already had their circumstances individually reviewed by an officer who is trained and legally empowered to determine alienage. This official determined they were here in violation of the law with no apparent legal right to remain in the United States. After examining all factors, a deportation hearing before an Immigration Judge was determined to be in the best interest of the United States.

The administration would have the public believe that illegal aliens who pose a threat to public safety must wait in line for a hearing behind those with lesser criminal records: that is absurd. The administration has the authority to move aliens deemed to be threats to an immediate hearing. If they were sincerely concerned about enforcing the law the immigration court backlog would have prompted a request for more Immigration Judges and resources to speed the process. Instead, the administration has made a transparent play for ethnic votes, thereby showing once more its contempt for law and the Constitutional requirement that the President see that the laws be faithfully executed.

This autocratic, misguided policy sends a clear message to foreigners contemplating an illegal entry--the agency charged with removing them does not intend to do so. History tells us that an increase in illegal immigration occurs any time our politicians even discuss a change in policy or law that makes it easier for illegal aliens to enter or remain in the United States. This policy will reverse the hard-fought gains in border security that have been accomplished at such a high cost. It also defies what the majority of Americans have made clear they want, and what Congress has called for: a secure border and control of illegal immigration.

NAFBPO therefore demands that it be rescinded immediately. If the Obama administration chooses not to do so, we urge Congress to act quickly to rein in this failure of constitutional duty and limit its negative impacts upon the country.