A conservative watchdog group is saying that the Obama administration tried to trick lawmakers by changing the name of an immigration services position that Congress explicitly voted to defund. Judicial Watch says the administration changed the job title of “public advocate” to deputy assistant director of “Custody Programs and Community Outreach.” According to JW, the only thing that changed about the job was the name; the person in charge and the job description remained the same.
“It’s simply part of the president’s well-established pattern of abusing his authority to blow off Congress, especially when it comes to immigration,” JW said in its report.
One of the problems people had with the public advocate position is that the job requires administering help to both documented immigrants and undocumented immigrants facing removal proceedings.
Rep. Diane Black called the job “an ill-conceived lobbyist position,” Fox News reported.
“Using taxpayer dollars to fund a position whose primary purpose is to advocate on behalf of individuals who have broken our laws and entered our country illegally is ridiculous and certainly a waste of precious taxpayers’ money,” Black said. “This is why language was inserted into the Continuing Resolution that was passed through the House and the Senate and signed into law last March that defunds the Public Advocate position.”
Black maintains that the administration is “setting a dangerous precedent by breaking the very law he signed, and this kind of abuse of power will only undermine his agenda by destroying his credibility with Congress and the American people.”
Illinois Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez disagrees. “The only hope for recourse when enforcement goes bad is to call on the ICE Public Advocate, which seems to me like an essential tool in holding ICE accountable to the public,” Gutierrez said.