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On Thursday, Elijah Cummings reportedly sent a memo declaring his plans to subpoena USCIS Director Ken Cuccinelli and ICE Director Matthew Albence to testify over the end of a policy that let illegal immigrants stay in the U.S. illegally while receiving life-saving medical treatment.
However, Republican leaders say that in issuing subpoenas, Cummings is violating a bipartisan agreement the two parties had because he did not consult the Republican minority before doing so.
Republican Reps. Jim Jordan and Chip Roy sent a letter to Cummings that said,
“If you proceed with this subpoena over our objections, you will once again violate our bipartisan agreement about subpoenas, trample on long-held minority rights in the House of Representatives, and prove the partisan nature of your inquiry.”
Check out what the GOP Oversight Committee had to say about this on Twitter:
Here's more from the House Oversight Committee's press release:
Today, Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH), Ranking Member of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Congressman Chip Roy (R-TX), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, sent a letter to Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) requesting that he convene a business meeting to allow Members to debate and vote on the Chairman’s proposed subpoena to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Excerpts from the letter:
“These subpoenas are an unnecessary and abusive tactic to use against an Executive Department that has already reached your desired policy outcome. DHS informed the Committee weeks ago that it would resume ‘its consideration of non-military deferred action requests on a discretionary, case-by-case basis, except as otherwise required by an applicable statute, regulation, or court order.’ You yourself subsequently acknowledged and applauded this decision in a press release.”
Fox News also had the following to say:
Republican leaders claim that House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., is violating an agreement between their parties after the Democrat subpoenaed two Department of Homeland Security officials without consulting with the GOP minority.
The committee’s ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee ranking member Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, accused Cummings of letting partisan politics supersede standard protocol by issuing subpoenas to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director Matthey Albence. The ICE and USCIS heads were called to testify this coming Thursday.
“If you proceed with this subpoena over our objections, you will once again violate our bipartisan agreement about subpoenas, trample on long-held minority rights in the House of Representatives, and prove the partisan nature of your inquiry,” Jordan and Roy said in a letter to Cummings sent late Friday.
The subpoenas were sent so that Cuccinelli and Albence could provide testimony regarding the decision for USCIS to cease giving consideration to requests for deferred action from illegal immigrants with “non-military special circumstances,” which includes medical needs. Democrats criticized the move after the change went into effect Aug.7, leading the Trump administration on Sept. 19 to reinstate the USCIS deferred-action process.
Jordan and Roy claim that this reversal eliminated the necessity for subpoenas.
“These subpoenas are an unnecessary and abusive tactic to use against an Executive Department that has already reached your desired policy outcome,” their letter said.