The head of an immigration officers’ union warned House Republicans on Thursday that plans for mass legalization would “overwhelm the system.”
“Your plan, as explained in media stories and leaks, would grant citizenship to illegal immigrants through green cards while also expanding the number of work visas. This is a step in the wrong direction and flies in the face of what we are attempting to do,” the National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council president Kenneth Palinkas wrote in a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte.
The union represents immigration officers responsible for reviewing and assessing applications for legal status in the United States
“There is no quality here only quantity,” he continued. “[United States Citizenship and Immigration Services] is not equipped to handle this workload, and due to political interference in its mission, is not empowered to deny admission to all those who should be denied dues to in eligibility.”
Palinkas urged House Republicans to work with the members of his union and consider their concerns as they move forward with immigration reform.
“We need your support to strive towards our ultimate goal of adjudicating all immigration benefits with the utmost integrity, with the needed skills and training and with the safety and security of the United States above all else,” he wrote. “I worry you have made no attempt to work with or listen to USCIS officers in drafting these bills.”
Palinkas further took on the suggestion that young immigrants should be granted citizenship.
“Lastly, I am concerned by Congressman Cantor’s position that citizenship for young illegal immigrants is based on ‘the great founding principles of our country,’” he wrote. “If that were true, that would mean that all future DREAMers have a right to amnesty, as every immigration law is bypassed and permanently void. I hope, as the top member of the Judiciary panel, you would reject this language without hesitation. ”
House Republicans are planning to unveil their immigration principles Thursday at their retreat in Cambridge, Mass. It is expected to include legal status for undocumented immigrants.
A Judiciary aide told The Daily Caller that the committee “welcomes” the union’s input.
“USCIS employees are on the front lines and have seen first-hand the abuses of the Administration,” the aide wrote in an email.
*This story has been updated with a comment from a Judiciary aide.