July 30th, 2010
06:46 PM ET
4 years ago

Senate Republicans decry what they call 'amnesty' memo

Washington (CNN) - Senate Republicans have an internal memo from the Department of Homeland Security which they say shows the Obama administration "conspiring" and "scheming" to allow millions of illegal immigrants to stay and work in the United States

At issue is an 11-page memo prepared for the head of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services entitled, "Administrative Alternatives to Comprehensive Immigration Reform." It was obtained by Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley, who said the intent of the memo is "...to find very secret creative ways to unilaterally circumvent the law and have a backdoor to amnesty."

The memo says, "The following options... used alone or in combination... have the potential to result in meaningful immigration reform absent legislative action."


It lays out how to reduce the threat of removal for many illegal immigrants through administrative and regulatory changes... characterizing one as "a non-legislative version of amnesty."

USCIS says it was merely a brainstorming memo. In a statement, the department said, "Internal memos do not and should not be equated with official action of policy of the Department... DHS will not grant deferred action or humanitarian parole to the nation's entire illegal immigrant population."

Grassley says it is "ridiculous" to think a memo containing this kind of detail was drawn up without specific direction from someone in the administration. "Bureaucrats don't write memos like that for the fun of it," he said.

Grassley and 11 other senators are asking Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to disclose how many times DHS has used its "discretionary authority to let people who are illegally in the country to stay."

A news release from Grassley's office stated, "This authority is meant to be used only in unusual, emergent or humanitarian circumstances.

The administration has yet to answer our letter about reports that it may be planning a large-scale, defacto amnesty program through deferred action and parole."

The letter was signed by Sens. Grassley, Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi), Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia), Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina), Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia), James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma), David Vitter (R-Louisiana), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Jim Bunning (R-Kentucky), Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) and Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama.)


Filed under: GOP • Immigration • issues • Senate
soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. Priscilla Durham

    Watch out, republicans, for a community organizer thug's trick play on this = possibly just trying to manipulate you into supporting amnesty in a "comprehensive" assault on the Constitution.

    July 30, 2010 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  2. Phil

    Obama will have provided amnesty to all illegals just in time for November – you wait and see. Shouldn't the citizens of the U.S. sue the federal government for not enforcing Illegal immigrants' crossing our borders and staying here? Maybe individual state governments can sue the Federal government for this reason. Governors of every state in our great union need to take steps to take our country back from the DC political puppets who are playing games with the livelihood and security fo our citizens. The whole idea of amnesty for felons on the lam is completely insane. Just what is our elected leadership concerned about, other then their own careers? There needs to be a MASSIVE march on Washington DC (larger than anything resembling that of the days of the great Dr Martin Luther King – who would be objecting big time to DC suing the states who have to resort to taking security into their own hands).

    July 30, 2010 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  3. Naqib

    That's because the Administration is owned by Unions who will under NO circumstance allow a right to work or work to gain citizenship program. They can't have a legal path to citizenship they sponser because their backers won't allow it. It's not what's good for the country... it's who has the money.

    July 30, 2010 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  4. Lisa P

    Yeah, and Shirley Sherrod is a racist. Amazing what you can do with some creative editing. The Republicans have lost all credibility as far as I'm concerned. They've cried "Wolf" once too often and now the only ones left to listen are the some the people that can be fooled all of the time. They deserve each other.

    July 30, 2010 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  5. Naqib

    Say Goodbye in November...
    You guys are soooooo Done !

    July 30, 2010 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  6. Chris121875

    Can you say, "smokescreen"? The same guys who just killed a small business bill and a bill designed to help 9/11 1st responders now wants to divert attention from their dirty deeds by stirring up an scandal. Don't fall for it America, we must demand better from our Republican representative!

    July 30, 2010 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  7. Djinn

    Just about time for mid-term elections so Grassley sees a BOOGYMAN so it must be time for repugnicans to roll out the Fear Rhetoric. Geez. It was/is the repugnicans who keep derailing immigration reform so how is this an issue. Our President is simply doing what he said he would do. Sometimes, however, he has to be creative to work around the sad-sack obstructionists. And of course they will call him sneaky. Keep on, Pres..

    July 30, 2010 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  8. thor

    We've been through this before .In 1984 we were told if we allowed illegals in this country to become citizens this would end our problem once and forever. WRONG !!!!!They continue to break our laws and here is Obama working secretely to somehow find a way to give them amnesty again.!!!Why can't the unions see how wrong this is?The illegals are taking american jobs and we are footing the bill. They send their money home to their relatives so that they can pay some drug traficker to help more come across our borders and the parade never ends.

    July 30, 2010 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  9. cocitizen

    God please save this country from the Republican Party!!

    July 30, 2010 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  10. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Well, remember, it was the current crop of Democrats who tried to assert that it was okay to "deem" health care legislation as having been passed without that silly technical nuisance of actually voting on it. This is the same bunch who actually passed that legislation despite the fact that a majority of Americans didn't, and still don't, want it, and despite the fact they basically had to bribe two Senators to do it.

    The Dems just don't seem to care what Americans want and are apparently perfectly prepared to cram their ideologies down our throats, no matter what kinds of plotting and scheming it takes.

    This, by thy way, is called "tyranny."

    July 30, 2010 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  11. Mike

    Wow! Look at the Repubs who signed this and the states they represent. I imagine there are 3 teeth among that group. By the way, i live in Georgia, so I see these yahoos daily. I love Republican 'outrage'. These are the same people that were fine with Reagan, Bush Sr., and Oliver North commiting high treason against this country (Iran-Contra Affair), but this is a big deal. North was punished by writing a book, becoming a Republican congressman, and then getting a job on Fox News. 'Republican' must be Latin for 'hypocrite'.

    July 30, 2010 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  12. Malt

    Amnesty isn't the way. There are four steps to control ILLEGAL immegration. They are:

    1) Secure the border: wall, fence, military presence from time to time (training), support the border agents.

    2) Enforce the federal law: AZ passed a law to enforce the federal law. If people aren't here legally, send them home (sorry kooks, this isn't racism).

    3) Penalize companies that hire illegal aliens.

    4) Simplify the path to citizenship: I'm not saying make it easy, as much as make the process reasonable. Currently people have to access information from dozens of books, hire lawyers.... Clean it up.

    Democrats should be ashamed if they are trying to sneak another bad bill through. Hopefully we can repeal the last three mistakes.

    July 30, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  13. David

    Just because the GOP doesn't try to brainstorm on various options and ideas doesn't mean that others don't. Cry me a freakin river, and are you forgetting that it was your god Reagan who granted amnesty to millions. Also, we all know that when push comes to shove and the political games for Nov are over, the GOP will be crying for the cheap labour that immigrants provide.

    July 30, 2010 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  14. Dee

    With everything being completely partisan in our country today you cannot believe anything from anybody. Could somebody please try to tell the truth?

    July 30, 2010 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  15. Victim of GOP Taliban

    The Neo-Confederates and Mormon-Puritans are all excited. Maybe they should have asked why George Bush and John McCain tried to push the last amnesty bill. Only when Obama becomes President they pretend to be against amnesty. Get real.

    July 30, 2010 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  16. Tom-Vermillion, Ohio

    Regarding comment: "USCIS says it was merely a brainstorming memo." That part of the above, I believe. Sure would be interesting to see brainstorming memos between Sens. Grassley, Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi), Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia), Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina), Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia), James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma), David Vitter (R-Louisiana), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Jim Bunning (R-Kentucky), Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) and Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama.) Well Republicans, lets see those memos; lets see your brainstorming! Or could it be that you are just trying to start a scandel or something?

    July 30, 2010 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  17. Karl in Charleston,SC

    And whom will these new "citizens" vote for?

    July 30, 2010 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  18. goofus

    We've got to get whats left of America out of the clutches of these current socialist rulers!

    July 30, 2010 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  19. mj

    Absolutely – NO AMNESTY The only reason Obama would do this is to secure votes. No more "back-room" deals!

    July 30, 2010 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  20. Cynthia - Arkansas

    The Republicans need to get real. The children are all citizens of the United States. These people have bought homes and cars and have jobs. You cannot deport this many people. They are just looking for something to howl about. Grow up and start helping!

    July 30, 2010 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  21. A keen observer

    Just more republican noise! When are they going to do something useful?

    July 30, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  22. Jennifer White

    Are those the same Senate Republicans that obstruct EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF LEGISLATION they can even when they agree with it in principle? To the detriment of America simply to spite the president and because they have sour grapes from 2008? I think they are.

    July 30, 2010 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  23. GI Joe

    Oh Gawd – here snake in the Grassley goes again !!!!

    The same thing he voted yes for when Bush was pres, he now thinks is reprehensible.

    Go to He!! republicans. We vote NO like you have for 18 months.

    NO to the party of paranoia.

    July 30, 2010 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  24. ib

    This is just one more sign that Obama will do anything; say anything to get HIS agenda through. He doesn't care about the citizens of this country just HIS agenda. This is why I'm going to do something I almost never do; I am going to vote straight republican this fall. I almost always vote a split ticket but not this year. Obama's agenda needs to be brought to a halt.

    July 30, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  25. Mike

    "Senate Republicans have an internal memo from the Department of Homeland Security which they say..." I stop reading right there. Are you kidding me? Why report this? This is why our country is in trouble. I have a memo that shows republicans are uneducated idiots. Report that CNN, it's equally credible.

    July 30, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
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