Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) today issued a statement criticizing the Obama Administration’s expansion of its policy that allows certain aliens, including those who have received executive amnesty, to bring their relatives who currently reside in Honduras, Guatemala, or El Salvador to the United States.

Chairman Goodlatte: “Once again, the Obama Administration has decided to blow wide open any small discretion it has in order to reward individuals who have no lawful presence in the United States with the ability to bring their family members here. Today’s expansion of the Obama Administration’s policy is simply a continuation of the government-sanctioned border surge. Tens of thousands of unlawful immigrants continue to arrive at the Southwest border to benefit from the President’s lax immigration enforcement, and now many more can simply use this government-run program to come here. By allowing unlawful immigrants to benefit from this program, the Obama Administration undermines the integrity of our immigration system and the rule of law, and makes the system unfair for those who seek to come to the United States legally. Rather than take the steps necessary to end the ongoing crisis at the border, the Obama Administration perpetuates it by abusing a legal tool meant to be used sparingly to bring people to the United States and instead applying it to the masses in Central America.”

The State Department and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced an expansion of its program that allows certain aliens – lawful permanent residents and those with temporary protected status, parole, withholding of removal, deferred action, and deferred enforced departure – to petition for relatives in Honduras, Guatemala, or El Salvador to come to the United States. The program currently allows these aliens to petition for their unmarried children under the age of 21 and their current spouse (if they live with the child) to be considered for in-country refugee processing. The program is now expanded to their children over the age of 21; their parents; and caregivers of their minor children who are related to them, such as grandparents, aunts and uncles. If these relatives do not meet the refugee requirements under the law, they can then be considered for parole into the United States, a tool that is, even according to the Administration itself, meant to be used sparingly on a case-by-case basis.