Senator Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican, called on the administration to “disavow” themselves from the Department of Homeland Security immigration memo that outlined how to give amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants in the United States without taking any legislative action in Congress.
“I hope that this memorandum designated a draft will be thoroughly explained by the administration and will be disavowed in terms of an intention to do an end around Congress,” he said on the Senate floor on Monday. “I’m hopeful that hearings can be held so that the authors of the memorandum or director can explain why this memorandum was written in the first place and what they intend to do about it.”
Mr. Kyl did not think the release of this memo to the public was some odd administration trial balloon. “No, I think they got caught,” he said of that.
“What kind of department do you have when you have four high level people like this taking their time to make this type of recommendation? If the administration wants to say, ‘we don’t want to have anything to do with that,’ ‘we’re not going to do any of those things,’ ‘it is not our policy,’ that would be an informative response. It’s not very informative to say the obvious, which is to just say, ‘well that’s not a final product.’ No one said it was.”
Following Mr. Kyl’s floor speech, Senate Republicans called on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee through a signed a letter to Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, Independent from Connecticut, and Ranking Member Susan Collins, Republican from Maine, to hold a hearing on the DHS immigration memo: (excerpts are below)
U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Scott Brown (R-MA), John Ensign (R-NV), James Risch (R-ID), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Mike Enzi (R-WY), John Barrasso, M.D. (R-WY), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Judd Gregg (R-NH), and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) sent the following letter to Chairman Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) and Ranking Member Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee requesting a hearing on the recently disclosed Department of Homeland Security memo entitled, “Administrative Alternatives to Comprehensive Immigration Reform.”
“We write today to request the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hold a full committee hearing to question officials from the Department of Homeland Security on the recently disclosed Department memo entitled, ‘Administrative Alternatives to Comprehensive Immigration Reform.’”
“Since the release of the memo, many members of the Committee and the Senate have come forward with questions regarding the Administration’s intentions on immigration enforcement. We believe that a public hearing with the ability for members to question the author and recipients of the memo, as well as other officials from the Department, would be appropriate.
“We fully understand that the memo was a draft and not intended for public viewing; however it raises serious concerns about the Administration’s ongoing attempts to bypass Congress and the legislative process in order to pursue its own political objectives. The memo specifically states that it is the Department’s intention to enact ‘meaningful immigration reform absent legislative action.’”
“The Department has responded to the memo’s release by stating that ‘nobody should mistake deliberation and exchange of ideas for final decisions.’ We firmly believe that members of the Committee must be briefed on the Department’s ‘deliberation and exchange of ideas’ and any attempt to bypass Congress to put forward ‘meaningful immigration reform.’”
At this point, Senator Kyl believes the administration likely has more to do with the coordination and crafting of the memo than DHS staffers simply drafting the memo on their own.
“I don’t know whether somebody on high, namely president or the secretary of homeland security…or someone like that said ‘Why don’t you all come up with some administrative ways that we can achieve goals for comprehensive immigration reform, because Congress isn’t going to act.’ That seems to be what it was,” he said.