House Judiciary Chairman Has 32 Questions for John Morton About the DREAM Decree

By Jon Feere and Jon Feere on July 11, 2012

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) has sent a lengthy letter to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton questioning many aspects of the Obama administration's plan to grant work permits to millions of illegal aliens via the president's controversial DREAM decree. As noted by the Center for Immigration Studies, the plan is being sold as a limited amnesty for young children brought here by their parents, but on closer inspection the plan is much broader in scope and may ultimately benefit millions of illegal aliens.

Since the plan did not go through the legislative process there was no opportunity for hearings or debate, leaving many unanswered questions about how the plan will be administered. Rep. Smith's letter to Director Morton lists 32 questions, the answers to which will likely raise even more criticism of the plan. The questions go to eligibility matters involving standard of proof, accepted documents, and background checks. The chairman also questions the administration's definition of criminality, whether alien applicants found liable for certain crimes will be prosecuted, whether there is any penalty for false applications, how fraud will be addressed, and whether relatives of beneficiaries will themselves benefit.

The letter raises many fundamental questions about the amnesty plan that have not been addressed by the White House and is worth reading in full. Whether the administration will respond is anyone's guess. It is quite clear that the Obama administration is attempting to marginalize congressional input, despite the fact that immigration policy is to be shared between the political branches.