|Six Republicans want immigration views of DHS nominee Jeh Johnson
By: Seung Min Kim
November 18, 2013 05:50 PM EST
|Six key Senate Republicans are demanding more information about Department of Homeland Security nominee Jeh Johnson and his views on immigration, arguing that they need to know more before they confirm him.
The letter from six Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans outlines 29 questions — many of them with multiple parts — asking for Johnson’s perspectives on a wide array of immigration issues.
President Barack Obama’s nominee to lead DHS is a former lawyer for the Pentagon, and his views on immigration are little known. At his confirmation hearing last week, Johnson said he backs “common-sense immigration reform” which would include a “clear path to earned citizenship” for undocumented immigrants, but the GOP senators are clearly eager to know more.
“Our committee has primary responsibility over immigration matters, and we believe it necessary to know any nominee’s position on immigration policies before we can consent to the confirmation of a Secretary to head this very critical department,” the senators wrote in theletter, obtained by POLITICO from a Republican source.
Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.), whose panel is overseeing Johnson’s nomination, said Monday that he hopes to hold a vote on the confirmation on Wednesday.
Most of the questions focus directly on Johnson’s views of immigration, such as what types of immigrants living in the country illegally should be eligible for immigration benefits, such as legal status. It also asks Johnson whether — if he is confirmed — he will continue an Obama administrative directive that defers deportations for certain young undocumented immigrants.
Others deal with general oversight issues at DHS, and ask Johnson to pledge to work with Congress on those issues.
The letter was signed by six Judiciary panel Republicans — Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Jeff Sessions of Alabama, John Cornyn of Texas, Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah and Orrin Hatch of Utah. All except for Hatch voted against the Gang of Eight immigration bill that cleared the committee in May and passed the full chamber in June.
The two Republicans who did not sign the letter are Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Jeff Flake of Arizona, who as members of the Gang of Eight co-wrote the bill. The letter was first reported on by the Daily Caller.
Another Senate Republican, John McCain of Arizona, has placed a hold on Johnson’s nomination until the DHS nominee releases more information about border security and how to boost control of the U.S.-Mexico boundary.
|© 2013 POLITICO LLC|
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