President Obama has embarked on some of the biggest executive power grabs in American history by unilaterally rewriting our nation’s immigration laws. These actions ignore the will of the American people, who voted in November to change the way Washington operates, and flout the Constitution. If we don’t stop President Obama’s executive overreach on immigration, future presidents will continue to expand the power of the Executive Branch and encroach upon individual liberty.
Congress must fight to stop these unconstitutional actions from being implemented and this week the House of Representatives is doing just that. On Wednesday, the House will vote on the FY 2015 Homeland Security Appropriations bill and consider several amendments that would stop President Obama’s executive overreach on immigration.
Here are three things that you need to know about these amendments:
#1: Completely Defunds President Obama’s Executive Power Grabs
An amendment offered by Reps. Robert Aderholt (R-AL), Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), and Lou Barletta (R-PA) and another one offered by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) completely defund President Obama’s unconstitutional immigration power grabs. DACA – the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program – and the more recent grant of deferred action to over four million unlawful immigrants will be effectively ended. Importantly, in addition to barring the use of appropriated funds to carry out these policies, these amendments will also bar President Obama from using immigration user fees to accomplish his executive fiat. And, they will prevent President Obama and subsequent presidents from carrying out similar policies in the future by whatever means, whether it be by memo, executive order, or regulation.
#2: Restores Interior Enforcement and Ensures Sex Offenders and Domestic Violence Perpetrators Are Removed.
The Aderholt-Mulvaney-Barletta amendment defunds the Obama Administration’s so-called prosecutorial discretion memos that have gutted immigration enforcement within the United States. Additionally, an amendment offered by Reps. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and Martha Roby (R-AL) ensures that sex offenders and domestic violence perpetrators are priorities for removal by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
#3: Puts Legal Immigrants and American Workers First
An amendment authored by Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) expresses the sense of Congress that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services should stop putting the interests of unlawful immigrants ahead of legal immigrants. Under the President’s deferred action programs, legal immigrants playing by the rules and seeking to come to the United States the right way have paid the price for President Obama’s executive actions. They’ve faced longer wait times, even though they have paid the fees to have their applications processed.
Furthermore, an amendment offered by Reps. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) and Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.) expresses the sense of Congress that U.S. workers should not be harmed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ actions. Under President Obama’s executive amnesty plan, in many cases businesses now have a $3,000 incentive to hire an unlawful immigrant over a legal worker. Under the Affordable Care Act, many businesses face a $3,000-per-employee penalty if they do not provide health care to their workers. Since unlawful immigrants are not eligible for Obamacare, they have now become more attractive to hire than American workers in many instances.
By completely defunding these executive actions, these amendments will stop the Obama Administration in its tracks.
— Rep. Bob Goodlatte, Chairman, House Judiciary Committee