White House to review rule limiting immigration arrests

WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House says it will reconsider an immigration rule requiring agents to get high-level approval before arresting fugitives.

The Bush administration quietly imposed the rule just days before the presidential election. According to a federal document obtained by The Associated Press, the directive from Homeland Security noted concerns that such arrests might generate "negative media or congressional interest."

The directive does not mention President Barack Obama or any member of his extended family. But just hours after it was issued, the AP disclosed that Obama's Kenyan aunt had been living in the U.S. illegally. She had been ordered to leave for years earlier when her asylum request was denied.

The White House says the Obama administration hasn't been briefed on why the directive was issued, but promises it "will be reviewed and revoked if it does not serve the best interests of the American people."

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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