This was a Texas grilling.
Tempers flared Tuesday on Capitol Hill when Texas firebrand Louie Gohmert grilled the Obama administration’s director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement potential fraud in the handling of more than 100,000 illegal immigration cases at the heart of a federal court battle over Obama’s executive action on immigration.
During a House Judiciary Committee hearing, Gohmert pressed ICE Director Sarah Saldena over the origins of a Justice Department “guidance” in November that allowed 108,081 illegal aliens who should have been deported to get three-year deferrals and stay in the United States – the vanguard of millions of illegal immigrants who would suddenly become legal under Obama’s edict.
When Saldena told Gohmert the origin of the “guidance” wasn’t her concern, since its administration was handled by a sister agency, Citizenship and Immigration Services, Gohmert erupted.
“You don’t care who issues the order?” he asked. “If someone has benefits that are fraudulent … do you say, ‘oh well, I guess we can’t deport these people because even if they’re fraudulent or illegal I’m going to recognize them … Surely you don’t accept fraudulent or illegal visas that allow people to stay, do you?”
When Saldena replied, “I don’t like fraud,” Gohmert got to the heart of the matter.
“I want to know why you didn’t deport people who got three-year benefits when those three-year benefits were illegal?”
It was those deferrals that led Judge Andrew Hanen to write a scathing ruling last week that accused the Obama administration’s Justice Department of misleading him. As Gohmert read from the ruling, his voice rose.
“If you don’t like fraud, does it bother you that your Homeland Security Department that you work for has actually instigated a fraud among the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas?” he demanded.
“Representative Gohmert, with all due respect, I would appreciate you not yelling. I will answer your question as best I can, but …”
“Well, thank you for your dilatory answer, but I’d like an answer,” Gohmert responded.
He didn’t get one.
And neither did we.
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