Those who have suffered at the hands of illegal immigrants have been invited to testify to the Senate next week on the crimes they or their families faced, as GOP lawmakers in Congress try to refocus the immigration debate away from legalization and toward enforcement.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley, said he’ll convene a hearing July 21 to hear from the victims themselves, saying it’s an area Democrats ignored when they held power in Congress.
“This hearing is intended to highlight how misguided the Obama administration’s lax enforcement policies are and how these policies are putting Americans in harm’s way,” the Iowa Republican said.
The senator has also asked the chiefs of two immigration agencies to testify. One of those, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Sarah Saldana, is likely to face the stiffest questions after an illegal immigrant her agency had been trying to deport was accused of a murder in San Francisco earlier this month.
ICE says it had deported the man five times previously and was trying to deport him yet again, but San Francisco refused to cooperate and instead released the man into the community.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, who oversees the immigration agencies, will also likely face questions about the release on Tuesday when he appears before the House Judiciary Committee.
“The Department of Homeland Security is supposed to protect our country but under the Obama Administration it has let Americans down,” committee Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte said. “Just recently, we were reminded that the Obama Administration’s reckless actions, such as permitting sanctuary city policies, lead to tragic and deadly consequences.”