"I would take a look at why that memorandum has not worked as intended," said Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., a leading voice in the immigration overhaul effort tin the House and one of several lawmakers who wrote to Obama asking him to review his administration's deportation policies.
"The president doesn't have limitless authority in this arena," she said. "But he has more authority than he has yet used."
Asked if simply applying the 2011 guidelines more uniformly would satisfy critics of Obama's deportation policies, Sharry said: "The answer is no. The fact is you have many immigrant-led groups that are calling for immediate suspension of deportations."
The National Immigration Law Center has called on the administration to make sure the 2011 guidelines are followed and has further proposed that agents who do not follow the policies be held accountable. It also calls for strict application of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement directive from last August that called for using discretion in the deportation of parents or primary caretakers of minors or of children who are U.S. citizens or legal residents.
That is far from a universal view on Capitol Hill.
"It is astonishing that the president would order an 'enforcement review' not for the purposes of repairing enforcement but weakening it further," said Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., a leading opponent of legislation that would allow immigrants in the U.S. illegally to stay. "This latest action further demonstrates that the administration cannot be trusted to enforce any immigration plan from Congress."
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