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Roundup of Republican responses to Obama immigration policy

Democrat vs. Republican on whiteRepublican leaders are doing their best to sell the notion that President Obama has usurped the Constitution in his move to issue an executive order on immigration policy granting legal status to nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants.

Sixth District Congressman Bob Goodlatte, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said the move by President Obama “ignores the will of the American people and flouts the Constitution.”

“The American people are deeply concerned about the direction of our country and went to the polls earlier this month to overwhelmingly reject the Obama administration’s policies,” Goodlatte said, referencing the midterm elections, in a gerrymandered House and a Senate with seats up for grabs in a number of GOP-leaning states.

“Rather than listen to the American people and change course, President Obama is going rogue, doubling-down, and driving full speed towards a constitutional crisis,” Goodlatte said. “By assuming legislative power and ignoring the limitations placed on his authority, President Obama threatens to unravel our government’s system of checks and balances and imperils individual liberty.”

Goodlatte, whose committee has blocked consideration of immigration reform legislation passed by the Senate, was then able to say without a hint of irony that the executive order will “further set back any chance of enacting immigration reform.”

“The debate in Congress over the past two years has shown that there is a willingness and need to reform our nation’s immigration system,” Goodlatte said. “While there are varying opinions on how to amend our immigration laws, one thing is clear: the President does not have the authority to change our immigration laws by executive decree. It’s disappointing that President Obama has refused to work with the new men and women Americans elected to represent them in Congress.  Since the President has acted outside the confines of his authority, I will work with my colleagues in both the House and the Senate to stop the President’s unconstitutional actions from being implemented.”

Strong words from Goodlatte, and more of the same from Fifth District Congressman Robert Hurt, who focused his post-speech-to-the-nation remarks on the “crisis across our nation as millions of illegal immigrants have streamed into our country, overwhelming our nation’s resources and often endangering the lives those who make the journey.”

“The failure of this administration and past administrations to secure our border and fully enforce immigration law undermines our sovereignty, public safety, and the economic security of American citizens,” Hurt said. “I am very disappointed by the President’s decision to defy the Constitution and American law by issuing this executive order, which will only compound these problems by inviting more illegal border crossings.

President Obama has acknowledged time and time again that the Constitution limits the authority of the executive branch to act unilaterally to change the law, yet he has decided to act contrary to his constitutional powers and without the consent of Congress to effectively grant legal status to nearly five million illegal immigrants.  Once again, the President has chosen political expediency over working together, with a new duly-elected House and Senate, to fix our broken immigration system,” Hurt said.

Fourth District Congressman Randy Forbes pushed the notion that as Americans, “(w)e define ourselves as a nation of immigrants, but we also define ourselves as a nation built on the rule of law.”

“The President’s announcement tonight not only bypasses Congress, it bypasses the Constitution of the United States,” Forbes said. “I stand in strong support of the House Judiciary Committee in its use of every tool at its disposal to fight the Administration’s unilateral action defying the American people, their elected representatives, and the Supreme Law of the Land.”

Doubling down, they are, in Congress.

– Reporting by Chris Graham