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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

Immigration

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GOP Senators Want Answers on Amnesty Memo

August 1, 2010 - 3:49 PM | by: Heidi Noonan

Sen. David Vitter, R-La., on Sunday said he and his colleagues are still looking for answers on whether the administration has seriously considered mass legalization for illegal immigrants, after an administration memo surfaced outlining ways to grant legalization without going through Congress.

The draft memo, first obtained by Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley’s office from the U.S. Customs & Immigration Services, outlines ways the administration was exploring to legalize swaths of illegal immigrants “in the absence of Comprehensive Immigration Reform.”  The memo describes how to, “reduce the threat of removal for certain individuals present in the United States without authorization.”

Several Republican senators wrote a letter to President Obama regarding the memo, and they are waiting for a response. Vitter expressed frustration Sunday.

“The first letters were in June.  We had heard rumors about this sort of activity; no answer.  We followed up in July; no answer,” he told Fox News.  “Then this 11-page memo has gotten out, and it’s not alleged anymore. It’s right there in black and white. So, again, we’re reiterating our strong concerns, and still no answer.”

Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz.., also said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that he was “very disturbed” to see the memo discussing “non-legislative ways to achieve amnesty.”

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs addressed the issue Friday to Fox and Friends, “The White House doesn’t support amnesty and I think people that support comprehensive immigration reform don’t support amnesty either.  What we need to do again is try to figure out how we’re going to secure borders, deal with those that are here, but do it in a comprehensive way and do it at a federal level, because as frustrated as Arizonans are, and we understand that we can’t have a patchwork of immigration laws throughout each of the 50 states.”

The memo isn’t dated, but appears to be from earlier this year. A Homeland Security official told Fox News the memo was never signed.

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