WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA), the top Republican on the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border Security, led Republican members of the House Homeland Security and Oversight & Reform Committees in demanding answers on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) abuse of prosecutorial discretion to dismiss tens of thousands of immigration court cases.
In a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, the lawmakers request additional documentation on the development and enactment of the ICE policy that serves as a form of “de-facto amnesty.”
“As members of the Homeland Security Committee and Oversight and Reform Committee, we are deeply concerned with reports that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is abusing prosecutorial discretion and dismissing tens of thousands of immigration court cases without proper adjudication,” wrote the lawmakers. “The effective pardoning of illegal immigrants en masse is in accordance with neither the writ nor spirit of federal law.”
“ICE’s Principal Legal Advisor Kerry Doyle, in a written memo and virtual meetings, directed federal prosecutors to systematically dismiss cases against illegal immigrants who crossed the border prior to the November 2020 election. Only illegal immigrants deemed national security and public safety threats or those who crossed illegally after November 1, 2020, would be prosecuted. Between 60,000 and 80,000 cases have been closed as a result of Ms. Doyle’s directive, and ICE is on pace to drop proceedings against nearly one million illegal immigrants by mid-2024,” the letter continued.
“The American people deserve assurances that immigration cases are being heard on their merit and not dismissed for convenience or to achieve a political objective,” the lawmakers concluded. “If this decision is not reversed immediately, it will have drastic effects on those that seek to come to our country legally and to the safety of our communities.”
The full letter is available here.