Thank you for contacting me to express your concern about immigration measures announced by the Obama Administration. I appreciate knowing your point of view, and I welcome the opportunity to share my views.
As you may know, on November 20, 2014, President Obama announced that he would prioritize the deportation of felons, criminals, gang members, and other individuals who are public safety or national security threats. In order to focus the government's resources on removing such dangerous individuals, certain undocumented immigrants without criminal backgrounds may be eligible for deferred deportation. Those eligible would have to prove they lived in the U.S. for at least five years, pay taxes, and pass background and national security checks. Those who qualify would include individuals who arrived before the age of sixteen, and the parents of U.S. citizens and green card holders. Individuals who recently entered the U.S. without authorization would not be eligible for deferred action.
You may be interested to know that every President since Eisenhower has used their executive authority to shape the enforcement and implementation of immigration laws, including exercising prosecutorial discretion to defer deportations of some immigrants. Presidents Reagan and Bush exercised similar executive actions on immigration 14 times during their presidencies.
I understand you are concerned that this announcement may provide millions of undocumented immigrants with permanent immigration status in the United States. It does not. Instead, the executive action is a temporary measure that allows the government to defer the deportation of certain undocumented immigrants for three years so that violent criminals and national security threats are prioritized. Please note that the President's actions do not provide 'amnesty,' as some critics contend, nor will anyone receive citizenship or a green card. A permanent solution to our broken immigration system can only be achieved by Congress.
Again, thank you for writing. Although we may disagree on this issue, I hope that you will continue to inform me on matters of importance to you. Should you have any questions or additional comments on this issue, please feel free to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841 or visit my website at http://feinstein.senate.gov.
Born 1945 in Los Angeles. Currently employed since 1998 as adjunct teacher at University of California at Irvine Ext. teaching English as a second language.
Served three years in US Army Military Police at Erlangen, Germany 1966-68.
1970-1973- Criminal Investigator with US Customs
1973-1995 Criminal investigator with Drug Enforcement Administration. Stationed in Los Angeles, Bangkok, Milan, Italy, Pittsburgh and Office of Training, FBI Academy, Quantico, Va. until retirement.
Author of Erlangen-An American's History of a German Town-University Press of America 2005,
The Story of Papiamentu- A Study in Slavery and Language, University Press of America, 2002, and
The Languages of the Former Soviet Republics-Their History and Development, University Press of America, 2000.