Obama Immigration Approach Criticized by U.S. House Republicans

The Obama administration isn’t doing enough to crack down on illegal immigration and its focus on deporting those with criminal records is too narrow, U.S. House Republican lawmakers said.

During a hearing today before the House Appropriations homeland security subcommittee, Republicans told Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano that she’s neglecting to remove from the U.S. the majority of illegal immigrants who are law-abiding.

“It does sound like the administration has implemented de facto amnesty,” said Representative John Culberson, a Texas Republican.

Representative Bob Aderholt, an Alabama Republican, said: “This administration chooses to apply the term ‘priorities’ as a convenient excuse to avoid enforcing our immigration laws.”

Congress provides money for deporting 350,000 to 400,000 people a year among an estimated 10 million to 11 million who are in the country illegally, Napolitano said. The administration has decided to give priority to removing those who pose a danger or are national security threats.

The administration is reviewing more than 280,000 deportation cases in an effort to drop those involving people whose only crime may have been crossing the border illegally. Last month, the administration urged the closing of 1,600 such cases.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Bliss in Washington at jbliss@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at skomarow1@bloomberg.net

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