"Congressional delegation wants action on immigration policies"
Posted Fri, Oct 10, 2005 at 12:27 am
Upset with what they say is the federal government's failure to prosecute illegal immigrants, the entire 19-member California Republican congressional delegation has asked the U.S. attorney general for a meeting to discuss the matter.
In an Oct. 20 letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, the Congress members also criticized the U.S. attorney's office in San Diego for what they called its "lax prosecutorial standard" of only prosecuting those illegal immigrants with two felony convictions in the San Diego District.
"We write to request a meeting with you to discuss our frustration with the current policies within the Administration related to the prosecution of criminal aliens," the letter states.
The letter goes on to say that too often, illegal immigrants who should be jailed instead benefit from "the current practice of 'catch and release.' "
The Republicans' letter to Gonzalez appeared to be the latest sign of a growing level of conservative Republican frustration with the Bush administration on several issues, including what they say is its failure to enforce the country's immigration laws.
Last week, nearly one-third of the House's 231 Republican members sent a letter to President Bush, saying that if he expects to get their support for a temporary guest worker program, he first needs to clamp down on illegal immigration by strengthening the nation's borders and enforcing immigration laws.
Reached by phone in Washington on Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista ---- one of the signatories of the letter ---- said that he and other Republican members of Congress took a more diplomatic approach with the Bush administration until late 2004.
"Before the president was re-elected, all of us felt what we had to say had to be said behind the scenes ---- and it was," Issa said...