2009 Obama Admin Doc: Immigration Reform Should Not Include Path to Citizenship

An official document from President Barack Obama’s administration from 2009, obtained by Breitbart News, shows Department of Homeland Security officials acknowledging that any immigration reform plan should not include a path to citizenship or legalization for any illegal immigrants. The document is a report prepared by the Homeland Security Institute, an arm of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) ombudsman.

“Virtually all immigration experts agree that it would be counterproductive to offer an explicit or implied path to permanent resident status (or citizenship) during any legalization program,” agency officials wrote in the March 27, 2009, report.

“That would simply encourage the fraud and illegal border crossings that other features of the program seek to discourage. In fact, for that reason and from that perspective, it would be best if the legislation did not even address future permanent resident status or citizenship.”

The Obama administration has shifted its position and now supports citizenship for illegal immigrants. Several establishment Republicans have joined the Obama administration in shifting their position too.

Opponents of the current Senate immigration reform bill, such as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), cite similar reasoning to DHS's own in 2009.

“I think all of us would like to see a bill that fixes the broken immigration system,” Cruz said during a recent Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the legislation. “I would suggest, in my view, the strategy to pass a bill is to focus where there is wide bipartisan support. That’s how we likely get a bill passed.

“I think, if instead, the bill includes elements that are deeply divisive, and I don’t think there is any issue with this entire thing but there is more to this than a ‘path to citizenship’ for those who are here today,” Cruz said. 

“In my view, any bill that insists upon that, jeopardizes the likelihood of passing any immigration bill. So it is my hope that passing a bipartisan bill that addresses areas of common agreement; securing the border, improving legal immigration including agricultural workers to make sure we have workers who are here legally. I hope that that reform legislation will not be held hostage to an issue that is deeply, deeply divisive, namely a pathway to citizenship.”


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