President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden met with three illegal immigrants who have been granted deferred action legal status in the Oval Office Tuesday. Meanwhile, Obama still refuses to meet with any border security enforcement officers about any aspect of immigration reform.
“From Justino Mora, Angie Kim and Mehdi Mahraoui, to Diana Colin and Kevin Lee,” a White House blog entry reads, “all of the stories they shared were full of hope and optimism that one day their family members and their broader communities could realize the dream of becoming citizens of a country that has provided them with the opportunity to work hard and to succeed.”
All three immigrants apparently received “deferred action” legal status pursuant to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s June 15, 2012, directive. Under the congressionally unauthorized program, any illegal immigrant under the age of 31 can apply for legal status if they claim they entered the country before their 16th birthday and have been in the country for at least five years. Virtually every immigrant who has applied for deferred action, 99 percent, has been granted legal status.
The union of law enforcement officers charged with protecting our nation’s borders, the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council, has been highly critical of the program because it makes their jobs almost impossible to perform. But Obama has refused to meet with them on that issue, or the immigration bill currently in the Senate.
On Thursday, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., co-signed a letter to Obama asking him to meet with the ICE officers.
“To be effective any immigration reform bill must heed the warnings from our federal immigration agents,” the letter reads. “Unfortunately, far from being included in the process, ICE officers have been shut out and have even had their day-to-day operations handcuffed by DHS officials to the point of being unable to carry out their sworn duties. These brave whistleblowers have been left with no other option but to file a lawsuit in federal court to fight the abuse of power from DHS leadership.”