Rep. Darrell Issa at a House meeting. Photo courtesy Issa’s office

Rep. Darrell Issa and 32 other members of Congress called on President Obama Wednesday to make a public commitment that newly arrived immigrants will not receive legal status.

The letter, drafted by Issa, demands an end to the two-year-old executive action known as “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” and asks Obama to make an explicit public commitment that newly arrived immigrants will not receive legal status.

“(Y)ou must make an explicit public commitment that you will not support legislation that extends legal status to newly arriving illegal aliens no matter the age,” the letter states.

The letter was prompted the recent surge in arrivals by unaccompanied children along the Texas border. It acknowledges that the executive action only applies to children who arrived before June 15, 2007, but argues that families in Central America are confused by it.

“As our country faces an unprecedented surge in the arrival of unaccompanied alien children…at our southwestern border, we call on you to immediately end the failed policies that encourage young individuals to put themselves in peril, leave their home countries, and make a long and dangerous journey to enter our country illegally,” the letter states.

“As Congress considers legislative proposals to ensure our system is reserved for deserving applicants, we urge you to cooperate with Congressional leaders to provide accurate data on the recent surge and work for legislative reforms that ensure the safe repatriation of these minor children to family members in their home countries and provide the commitment necessary to secure our border.”

Federal agencies are dealing with a doubling in the number of immigrant children arriving alone at the southwest border. Agents apprehended 52,193 unaccompanied children aged 17 and under along the border between October 1, 2013, and June 15 this year, nearly double the number arriving during the same period a year previously. Most of the children are from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.

Issa represents coastal San Diego from Del Mar north, plus Vista and San Marcos, as well as large parts of south Orange County. Among the Congressmen signing the letter were Ken Calvert, who represents southwest Riverside County, and John Campbell, whose district covers north Orange County.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.