Immigration Officers Blast House Republicans

by Andrew Stiles

The president of the union representing 12,000 officers and staff at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is worried that House Republicans will repeat the same mistakes as the Senate Gang of Eight on immigration reform.

Kenneth Palinkas, president of the National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council, which strongly opposed the Senate bill, said he is concerned that the House “may be following a similar path.” 

In a statement released Thursday, Palinkas specifically referred to the actions of House Judiciary chairman Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.), Budget chairman Paul Ryan (R., Wis.), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) and Democratic congresman Luis Gutierrez (Ill.), citing media reports that the group is working toward a conference committee with the Senate, in which House-passed immigration bills would be “blended together . . . into a single comprehensive proposal with the extremely dangerous Senate bill.

“These plans are being pursued before first reforming the very agency — USCIS — that will be charged with reviewing these tens of millions of green card, temporary visa and citizenship applications. Advancing such measures without first confronting the widespread abuses at USCIS would be to invite disaster,” Palinkas said, noting that his agency had not been consulted by lawmakers.


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