Thursday, July 14, 2011

Lamar Smith Flip Flop on Prosecutorial Discretion

The N.Y. Times editorial board has called Rep. Lamar Smith on an immigration flip flop.  Smith criticized ICE head for his June memorandum asking his officials to exercise prosecutorial discretion in removal cases and to take factors into account, such as an immigrant’s family ties in the United States and education status, when deciding which deportation cases to pursue.   But, "Back in 1999, Mr. Smith was one of several members of Congress who wrote the attorney general and the head of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, arguing that `unfair' deportations had caused `unjustifiable hardship' for otherwise law-abiding immigrants who had jobs and families and close citizen relatives."

I agree with Rep. Smith's 1999 position.

Representatiove Smith long has been a fan of immigration enforcement and currently is pushing a bill directed an increased detention of "criminal aliens."  For a critical analysis of this bill ("Keep Our Communities Safe Act of 2011,” or H.R. 1932), see here.


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