On October 12, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement held its long promised hearing on deferred action amnesty. The topic was officially labeled: "U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement: Priorities and the Rule of Law". In essence, the hearing is designed to force out into the open the details of President Barack Obama’s scandalous backdoor amnesty which is scheduled to begin soon.
As part of the first panel, ICE director John Morton represented the administration. The second panel had two lawyers and representatives from the ICE union and the Advanced Technology Center Tidewater Community College.
From the House of Representatives, the following attended: Texas’ Lamar Smith, Committee Chairman, California’s Elton Gallegly, Subcommittee Chairman, Iowa’s Steve King, Subcommittee Vice-Chairman, of Iowa, Texas’ Ted Poe, Texas’ Louie Gohmert, South Carolina’s Trey Gowdy, Florida’s Dennis Ross, California’s Zoe Lofgren, Subcommittee Ranking Member, California’s Maxine Waters and Texas’ Sheila Jackson Lee.
Morton had to defend the Obama policy of granting deferred action or parole to aliens who hadn't committed a serious crime. "Serious crime" has not been defined and is apparently subject to the administration’s interpretation. Rep. Poe challenged Morton for implementing a policy that would encourage future illegal immigration while Rep. Gowdy berated Morton for circumventing Congress which has sole jurisdiction over immigration law. Rep. Gallegly demanded specifics about Obama’s program such as how many employer fines had been levied and how many aliens actually have been deported.
Morton, and subsequently alien apologist Rep. Lofren, repeatedly fell back on the excuse that ICE "doesn’t have the resources" to detain large numbers of illegal immigrants.
"We can’t possibly hold someone for two years because of cost, so we have a retain docket and a non-retain docket."
Republicans countered that ICE has never submitted a Congressional budget request for more funding.
Congressman Poe, a former judge, stolen the show when he asked Morton to explain what legislative authority he had to create his policy. Morton was forced to answer that he had no statuary authority to act.
Predictably, Democrats Lofgren and Jackson Lee took the opportunity to argue for "comprehensive immigration reform."
In one of the hearing’s most troubling moments, Chairman Smith extracted from Morton a confirmation that under the deferred action policy, released aliens will qualify for work authorization.
Another hearing, which will have as its single witness Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, is scheduled for Wednesday, October 26 at 10:00 AM