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Lawmakers react to immigration changes

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SAN ANTONIO - Here is what lawmakers in the San Antonio area are saying about the Obama administration's decision to stop deporting young illegal immigrants who entered the United States as children if they meet certain requirements:

U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, Republican

"President Obama’s decision to grant amnesty to potentially millions of illegal immigrants is a breach of faith with the American people. It also blatantly ignores the rule of law that is the foundation of our democracy. This huge policy shift has horrible consequences for unemployed Americans looking for jobs and violates President Obama’s oath to uphold the laws of this land. 

"President Obama’s amnesty only benefits illegal immigrants, not Americans, and is a magnet for fraud. Many illegal immigrants will falsely claim they came here as children and the federal government has no way to check whether their claims are true. And once these illegal immigrants are granted deferred action, they can then apply for a work permit, which the Administration routinely grants 90% of the time.  

"How can the Administration justify allowing illegal immigrants to work in the U.S. when millions of Americans are unemployed? President Obama and his administration once again have put partisan politics and illegal immigrants ahead of the rule of law and the American people. With this track record, it’s looking more likely that even President Obama may lose his job in this economy when Americans go to the polls this November."

U.S. Rep. Charlie Gonzalez, Democrat

"I commend President Obama for taking action to avoid further injustices against young people who have so much to contribute to our country. The president’s actions were necessary due to the grid lock which has sadly become a normal condition for Congress. A legislative remedy is still needed. President Obama’s decision should serve as a call to action for the Congress to meet its responsibilities."

State Rep. Joaquin Castro, Democrat

"I applaud President Obama's decision to stop the deportation of certain young people who were brought to the United States as children and who have already made contributions to this country they call home. It's not only a decision that is wise but one that is compassionate.

The young people who will benefit from this significant change in our immigration policy have been in this country for at least five years, have graduated from high school or obtained a GED, are in college and/or either serving in the military or have been honorably discharged from the service.

The American Dream is as alive in their hearts as it is in all of us and is no less of a North Star to their grand ambitions than it is to ours.

The President's decision moves us closer to a humane and comprehensive immigration policy, one that affirms the rich contributions made to this land of immigrants by those who came from other shores and one that illustrates that compassion is one of the many things that makes the United States the great nation and beacon of hope that it is."

State Sen. Jeff Wentworth, Republican

"This is a decision that should be considered and voted on by the United States Congress, not ordered through his cabinet secretary by one man sitting in the White House.

A blanket forgiveness of violations of federal law is unprecedented, un-American and unforgiveable.

Some countries are run by dictators, but the United States of America is not one of them.  We have three branches of government, and Obama just by-passed two equally important ones -- Congress and the Courts."

Rep. Lloyd Doggett, Democrat

“A reasonable decision that recognizes the talents these able young people can offer our country.”


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