Washington, D.C. — House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) today issued the statement below following the Obama Administration’s announcement of a process for renewing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Additionally, Administration officials quietly made several changes to DACA. They have loosened the educational requirements to allow those who are enrolled in an “alternative program” (without defining what this means) to benefit from the program. The Administration also states that for any documentary evidence provided by an applicant to meet DACA requirements, it simply “may contact education institutions, other government agencies, employers, or other entities in order to verify information,” as opposed to actually verifying the veracity of the document. 

Chairman Goodlatte: “President Obama’s extension of his unilaterally-created immigration program not only violates his constitutional duty to enforce the law, but the changes he made to it proactively invite fraud and abuse. The Obama Administration’s blatant statement that they may not verify information submitted by applicants is pure folly and only encourages unscrupulous people to test the system. And by loosening the education standards, potentially millions more unlawful immigrants who do not meet even basic educational requirements will be able to apply for the program. These actions undermine Congress’ hard work to reform our immigration laws and also raise serious concerns about the Administration’s ability and willingness to maintain the integrity of our immigration laws.

“The House Judiciary Committee plans to continue its oversight of the Obama Administration’s lax immigration enforcement and will look into how these changes impact our immigration system.”

Background: To date, approximately 600,000 unlawful immigrants have benefited from DACA. As reported by the New York Times earlier this year, DACA has increased wait times for many thousands of Americans seeking green cards for foreign spouses or other immediate relatives. The changes to DACA are in the FAQ section.