President Barack Obama's decision to spare young illegal immigrants deportation drew a pointed response from a Minnesota lawmaker.
In an email sent to supporters Friday, U.S. Rep. John Kline wrote that Obama "breached faith with the American people by granting amnesty to potentially millions of illegal immigrants."
The White House estimates the policy change will affect as many as 800,000 immigrants.
Under Obama's plan, undocumented immigrants will not be deported if they came to the United States before age 16 and are currently younger than 30, have been in the country for five years, have no criminal record and either graduated from high school in the United States, earned a GED here or served in the military. People who qualify would be allowed to work in the country for two years and could be eligible for permit extensions.
Kline's letter suggested the new policy is an insult to millions of unemployed Americans struggling to find work.
"America is a nation of immigrants. Our grandparents and great grandparents came to this country legally to work hard, learn English, assimilate to the culture, and make contributions to this great nation. They would be the first to tell you that we are also a nation of laws and we must enforce our laws," Kline's email.
"Accordingly, I support legal immigration, but I oppose all forms of illegal immigration. Illegal immigrants should not be rewarded for breaking our laws."
Obama's plan bypasses the will of Congress, which has blocked legislation that would create a pathway to citizenship for young people who came to the United States illegally if they enroll in college or the military.
Kline's represents Minnesota's Second Congressional District, which covers the south Twin Cities metro area.