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. Chuck Anaheim, Ca

    "This authority is meant to be used only in unusual, emergent or humanitarian circumstances. " Well, by not stepping up to the plate and doing their job that they were elected to do and proposing something other than "no", the republicants are making this a unusual and humanitaian circumstance.

    July 30, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  2. Fan of Common Sense

    Remember, they're not "illegal aliens."
    They're "undocumented democrats."

    July 30, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  3. Jennifer

    I am a 5th generation white American and live with an illegal partner. If we go for legalization he will be sent back for 10 years and I will lose my job and probably have to resort to welfare and other means to survive. In anticipation I have begun applying to be on waiting lists for housing, some I've been on for 3 years, and I'm worried about what will happen if I lose our place again because all the hours I work make it impossible to be a single mother and pay my bills.

    I wonder how much better Republicans can make this country splitting families apart with the current law. We need immigration reform so he can work and support his family.

    When he was working we had almost the $8000 saved for his papers, he was a manager at a large well known company and had his own medical, dental, 401K, disability, and we even were saving for our children's college tuition. We had no gov't assistance, we didn't need it, and that is one of the requirement with the INS, you cannot have used gov't assistance.

    We have nothing now. I have resorted to food stamps, medical assistance, 3 evictions, and my credit is ruined. I have lived in shelters, travelled to 5 different states, lived in garages, park benches, and my health is beginning to suffer. The nights I cried myself to sleep from hunger as we watched our children eat.

    What would sending them back do? How would it improve my life for him to leave.

    I have no family and no one to help me. The only option is welfare, housing assistance, or being homeless and living on the streets. I won't go where is he from, they are actively killing Americans in his country.

    I hope they do I've been waiting 9 1/2 years for help!

    July 30, 2010 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  4. Is Timothy McVeigh would have been a teabag leader today

    Be afraid,be very afraid.Thats all you ever hear the rightwingnuts yap about,but the real crazies like Timothy McVeigh are considered hero by teabags.

    July 30, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  5. Jess C

    Here goes the spin cycle, folks. The sky is falling....oh my! GOP at it's finest.

    July 30, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  6. Jennifer

    If he is legalized we will start a business, I will go back to school and get my nursing degree and we will buy a house! I'm hoping, for my children's sake we can fly if his dad is papered. I want my children to have a future, college, and stability. He has been here since he was 5 years old, he knows no one in his home country and was raised by his aunt and uncle, they are legal and did nothing for him. His sisters were raised in an orphanage. I need him please Obama I need your help and you to stand up to Republicans who wish to split families and harm my children, and ruin my life even more than it already is.

    I am tired of crying and tears and begging! I want my children to get all the things they deserve, and that is to have both parents and nice MIDDLE CLASS WORKING FAMILY LIFE! Just like I had!

    July 30, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  7. hypocricnnation

    Don't You Just Love The GOP's Paranoia? You'd Think With All The November Successes (Perpetuated By The Media) They Think They're Going To Have, The Wouldn't Need Another Red Haring.

    July 30, 2010 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  8. MrEZ

    Wow. Well maybe all the illegals would not be hoping for amnesty if St. Ronnie did not give it to them back in the 80s. Thanks repubs. Another one of your messes that we have to clean up.

    July 30, 2010 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  9. malabar

    So here's the deal. as a hispanic who lives on the border i have been discriminated against by whites and blacks. shud i assume those blacks were republican? hahaha, anyway there are also hispanic racists so thats that. now, sb1070? i support it. why? well until my tios, tias, and primos get refunds 4 coming here legally, i oppose amnesty and breaking the law. not every latino so easily patronizd by the left. and just cuz u c illegals as charity cases doesnt mean they wont go aftr ur social, hell theyll come aftr mine, and i luk like them!

    July 30, 2010 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  10. Susan L.

    Wow. The Republicans are REALLY desperate.

    People, is this really what you want in 2010? Non stop drama and investigation? That's what the Republicans will give you. They won't do one damned thing for the economy or our Security. They'll just issues subpoenas and have an all-out war with the White House all in the name of gaining power for themselves. They're like a vicious wounded animal, lashing out everywhere they can. The Republican party is a travesty.

    July 30, 2010 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  11. ConstitutionalPatriot

    This country needs and will probably have a good old revolution when you have a government this screwed up. There is a legal way and an illegal way to come here. The illegal one is well ILLEGAL ! If people want to come here they need to do it legally. Anyone who has a problem with that is either a criminal or an idiot. I have to obey the law or i get punished and I am a tax paying citizen! If anyone should get an exemption from obeying the law it should be taxpaying citizens as the government is stealing our money and probably owes us a breal anyway. These people are illegal aliens, don't pay taxes, and were not screened for diseases when they came here. It's a hazard to every legal American citizen to just let them do whatever they please! If I have to obey the law then they sure as hell better also!

    July 30, 2010 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  12. George of the jungle

    the southern boys are at it again. suprised they can even read the memo. Are they playing I spy . Funny how they just happened to find it. Bunch of sleezy sneeky wingnuts. They and their coservitive tea baggers will alter videos and do anything . Can't trust them or Faux news

    July 30, 2010 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  13. ConstitutionalPatriot

    This country needs and will probably have a good old revolution when you have a government this screwed up. There is a legal way and an illegal way to come here. The illegal one is well ILLEGAL ! If people want to come here they need to do it legally. Anyone who has a problem with that is either a criminal or an idiot. I have to obey the law or i get punished and I am a tax paying citizen! If anyone should get an exemption from obeying the law it should be taxpaying citizens as the government is stealing our money and probably owes us a break anyway. These people are illegal aliens, don't pay taxes, and were not screened for diseases when they came here. It's a hazard to every legal American citizen to just let them do whatever they please! If I have to obey the law then they sure as hell better also!

    July 30, 2010 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  14. JES

    This is what evryone of you in DC should think about and take action to enforce our laws.

    I'm a legal American citizen and I must show my ID when:

    1. Pulled over by the police.
    2. Making purchases on my department store credit card.
    3. When I show up for a doctor's appointment.
    4. When filling out a credit card or loan application.
    5. When applying for or renewing a driver's license or passport.
    6. When applying for any kind of insurance.
    7. When filling out college applications.
    8. When donating blood.
    9. When obtaining certain prescription drugs.
    10. When making some debit purchases, especially if I'm out of state.
    11. When collecting a boarding pass for airline or train travel.

    I'm sure there are more instances, but the point is that we citizens of the USA are required to prove who we are nearly every day!
    Why should people in this country illegally, be exempt!!!!!
    Why shouldn't we guard our borders as closely as every other country in the world does?
    Go ARIZONA !!!

    July 30, 2010 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  15. malabar

    One more bit of bad news 4 SOME of u libs, u knw how u make fun of God and religion? guess what? most illegals and hispanics believe in God and are religious! so now u hate em? hahaha

    July 30, 2010 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  16. Hammerer

    Another example of our government "of the people, for the people" thumping their nose at the American people and saying "I'll do anything I want and you will have no say".
    Total corruption!

    July 30, 2010 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  17. DB

    Republicans once again trying to whip up a firestorm. Didn't they fully support George Bush circumventing the legislature with his excessive "signing statements"? Good for the Obama administration considering alternatives when the opposition refuses to cooperate or even consider.

    July 30, 2010 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  18. Rogerd

    Anything less than enforcing present laws and regulations should be looked at as criminal. All americans who believe this country is about our laws should not tolorate anything less.

    July 30, 2010 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  19. Sunshine

    If thismemo exists, and Obama is preparing to bypass the Congress, then I suggest impeachment is in order for Obama is going against the will of the people and he is supporting law breakers, criminals, illegals entering our country illegaly and he is supporting them. I am tired of this nonsense and it is high time that this Government wakes up to the fact Americans want the border secured and all illegals prosecuted

    July 30, 2010 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  20. southern cousin

    Hugo Chavez, Kadaffi and the Castro brothers all do the same thing and their unions love and support them too. They had better or they will not be around. Welcome to Obamaland.

    July 30, 2010 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  21. Barry In Las Vegas

    Busted in writing but CNN and the rest of the MSM will try and cover it up for Obama.

    July 30, 2010 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  22. Patriot

    Why aren't we deporting Republicans? They're nothing more than insurgents who want to destroy America for their own gains. Anyone who is stupid enough to support them needs some very serious psychiatric help.

    July 30, 2010 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  23. vs

    Typical election season GOP political pandering to their racist, bigoted, ignorant base.

    July 30, 2010 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  24. vs

    Typical GOP political pandering to their racist, bigoted, lynch mob base.

    July 30, 2010 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  25. Carmelle

    SO??

    You guys refuse to even compromise on anything, what did you expect??? Too little members of Congress want to do anything about immigration, because they would have done by now (repubs undder Bush and Dems now).

    Go on Mr. President!

    July 30, 2010 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
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