President Barack Obama announced Monday that he will take executive action to push forward with immigration reform, since the Republican-controlled U.S. House has not taken up the Gang of Eight bill passed by the Democrat-controlled Senate last year.
Obama said that some Republicans in the House are using unaccompanied children coming across the border as an excuse not to pass immigration reform. Others, he said, are frustrated by his frequent use of Executive Authority to bypass the legislative branch all-together.
“(Some Republicans) in the House are arguing that they can’t act because they’re mad at me for using my executive authority too broadly,” Obama said during a press conference at the White House. “This makes no sense. I don’t prefer taking Administrative action… There are a whole bunch of things where I would greatly prefer Congress actually do something. I take Executive Action only when we have a serious problem, a serious issue, and Congress chooses to do nothing. In this situation, the failure of House Republicans to pass a darn bill is bad for our security, it’s bad for our economy and it’s bad for our future.”
(Video below: President Obama announces he will take Executive Action on immigration — More after the video)
Many Republicans, including Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL01), bristled at the president’s remarks, arguing that he has tossed aside the Constitutional principle of separation of powers to advance his personal agenda.
“President Obama just doesn’t seem to get it,” Byrne said after watching the president’s immigration press conference. “Our founders clearly reserved the power to establish immigration laws to Congress, not the President… If President Obama was serious, he would start by enforcing the laws currently in place and work to build trust with those of us in the House.”
Byrne said that the current humanitarian crisis with unaccompanied immigrant children at the border is a direct result of Obama’s refusal to enforce current law.
“It is the President’s continued threat of unilateral action on halting deportations that has led to the current crisis on our nation’s southern border,” he said. “It is irresponsible for the President to point a finger at anyone but himself.”
Byrne concluded by repeating his belief that the president has overstepped the Constitutional bounds placed on his office.
“If unilateral action was possible, don’t you think House Republicans would have repealed ObamaCare, replaced the harmful sequestration defense cuts, and halted the Environmental Protection Agency’s war on coal? But that is not how our government works. Our nation was founded on clearly defined powers outlined in the Constitution, and I will continue to stand up against efforts which erode that separation of powers.”
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