Immigration Reform News 2014: GOP opposes unilateral immigration action planned by 'Emperor Obama'
WASHINGTON (Christian Examiner) -- President Obama is set to announce his immigration executive action Thursday, according to reports. The President will lay out his plans to reform the country's immigration system in a prime time address, which could fundamentally change the lives of millions of undocumented immigrants.
"Tomorrow night I'm going to be announcing here from the White House some steps I can take to start fixing our broken immigration system," Obama said in a Facebook video Wednesday afternoon.
"Everybody agrees that our immigration system is broken. Unfortunately Washington has allowed the problem to fester for too long," he continued. "So what' I'm going to be laying out is the things I can do with my lawful authority as president to make the system work better even as I continue to work with Congress and encourage them to get a bipartisan, comprehensive bill that can solve the entire problem."
After his announcement Thursday, Mr. Obama will travel to Del Sol High School in Las Vegas Friday to rally bipartisan support for his plan.
Though no official word has come from the White House or the Democratic party about what the immigration reform will entail, some are speaking out off the record. One Democrat confidante told The Washington Post that the President will most likely declare temporary protection for up to 5 million undocumented immigrants. However, the children protected by the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program— it allowed students under the age of 16 when they arrived illegally in the U.S. to remain in the country and receive documentation to work— will not have the same preferences extended to their undocumented parents.
The Republican Party has already expressed anger at any unilateral action on the President's part, saying he is abusing his authority to circumvent Congress. There have already been talks of a government shutdown or court action on their part.
"Instead of proceeding with ill-advised executive action, we implore you to work with Congress to enact legislation to address our broken immigration system," Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) said in a letter to Obama. "We strongly urge you to respect the Constitution and abandon any unconstitutional, unilateral executive actions on immigration."
"Let's secure the border, enforce our immigration laws in the interior of the United States, and build a broad consensus for immigration reform. Otherwise, as the chairmen of the committees with oversight over border security and our nation's immigration laws, we will be forced to use the tools afforded to Congress by the Constitution to stop your administration from successfully carrying out your plan," they said.
"If 'Emperor Obama' ignores the American people and announces an amnesty plan that he himself has said over and over again exceeds his Constitutional authority, he will cement his legacy of lawlessness and ruin the chances for Congressional action on this issue -- and many others," said Michael Steel, the spokesperson for House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), in an email.