Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011 | 11:32 a.m.
U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., is accusing President Obama of trying “to push portions of amnesty on the American people” and said he should be investigated for overstepping the bounds of his executive authority.
“I would anticipate when we get back to Washington, D.C., after Labor Day that you are going to see some real noise and probably some investigation into what this administration is doing,” Heller said in an interview for "To the Point" that will air Saturday.
In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid last week, Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano said her agency is crafting a case-by-case review process of immigrant deportations to ensure high priority is given to those who have committed a felony or are repeat offenders of immigration laws.
Immigrants who would qualify under the stalled DREAM Act — those who were brought over illegally as children and who are enrolled in college or the serving in the military — would be given a low priority status, meaning they likely wouldn’t face deportation.
Latino activists and Obama’s campaign supporters have trumpeted the move as an indication Obama is willing to use executive authority to implement the spirit of the DREAM Act as he continues to fight to see the legislation passed.
But Heller says the president has gone too far.
“I believe that because he couldn’t pass it through the legislative process — because he didn’t have the influence to pass it through the legislative process — he’s decided to wait until we were in recess,” Heller said. “That’s exactly what is going on here. He is going to try to push immigration reform and try to push portions of amnesty on the American people while Congress is out and while he can take advantage of it.”
Heller is opposed to the DREAM Act.
Napolitano’s letter was in response to a request by Reid and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., to stop deporting DREAM Act students and military personnel. In the letter, she noted a June 17 memo and the recent creation of an interagency working group to ensure high priority cases are acted on.
“The President has said on numerous occasions that it makes no sense to expend our enforcement resources on low-priority cases, such as individuals like those you reference in your letter, who were brought to this country as young children and know no other home,” she wrote.