The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee criticized the new guidance released today by the Department of Homeland Security on processing illegal-immigrant students as giving them an unfair advantage over legal immigrants.
The rules clarify how applications for deferred immigration status will be processed when the application period opens Aug. 15. Individuals will be able to request deferred action consideration by submitting a request to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) along with the standard $380 fee to process an employment authorization application and the $85 fee that is charged to all immigrants to cover the cost of the biometric check.
Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) said that the new process, which doesn’t charge any additional fees for DREAM applicants, will result in a backlog of applications for immigrants applying through legal channels while letting the young illegal immigrants come to the front of the line.
“The lack of specific standards for employees processing the applications is an open invitation to fraud, especially because the Administration is allowing illegal immigrants to submit third party affidavits as proof of at least one of the DREAM Act requirements,” Smith said. “Potentially millions of illegal immigrants will apply for the administration’s amnesty and the American taxpayers are the ones who will be forced to foot the bill.”
The chairman also noted the timing of the issuance of the rule as the unemployment rate rose to 8.3 percent.
“The administration’s guidelines don’t just encourage illegal immigrants to work in the U.S.– they actually require them to apply to do so,” Smith said. “This is a slap in the face to the 23 million unemployed or underemployed Americans. American workers should not have to compete with illegal immigrants for scarce jobs and American taxpayers should not have to pay for President Obama’s amnesty agenda.”
Once the illegal immigrant students are granted deferred status they can apply for a work permit.
Smith added that he’s still awaiting a response from President Obama that he sent following the announcement of the new policy, in which he asked that Obama provide the Judiciary Committee with any legal opinions from the Justice Department regarding the constitutionality of the enforcement change.