The Obama administration tells ICE agents not to deport illegal immigrant parents of young children.
Immigrant rights groups call it a step toward a kinder and gentler detention policy, but Republicans are blasting the move, saying the president is way out of line.
“The president choosing to ignore another law is like setting everything on fire, its not helpful,” says Texas Congressman Blake Farenthold who believes the White House is hurting efforts to secure the border.
“Policies coming out of Washington D.C. Are tying our law enforcement agents hands behind their backs, its not good for America,” Farenthold tells KTRH News.
The Obama administration already has granted legal status for more than 430,000 so called "dreamers" in the past year.
“If the president wants to change the rules, come to Congress, negotiate with us, debate the issues publicly, and let's go through the process our founding fathers intended,” says Farenthold.
Immigration advocates are mounting a campaign asking Obama to expand his use of prosecutorial discretion to halt almost all deportations. That pressure will likely intensify if Congress fails to pass a bill legalizing immigrants this year.