In many cases, illegal immigrants who are students have had deportation papers suspended or canceled by members of the Obama administration, The New York Times reported Monday.
Those students are among more than 700,000 illegal immigrants who would be eligible for legal status under a bill before Congress, the Times said. The bill is called the "Dream Act."
"In a world of limited resources, our time is better spent on someone who is here unlawfully and is committing crimes in the neighborhood," John Morton, head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said in an interview. "As opposed to someone who came to this country as a juvenile and spent the vast majority of their life here."
Many Republicans don't see it that way, the Times said.
"The administration appears to want to pick and choose what laws they will follow and which ones they don't," Rep. Brian P. Bilbray, R-Calif., said in an interview. He is chairman of a House GOP immigration caucus. "They are trying to legislate from the White House."
Illegal immigrant students have been staging frequent and defiant protests to demand passage of the "Dream Act," the report said.