ObamaPhone

Keeping Focused on Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration

To:             Interested Parties
From:       Heritage Action for America
Date:         January 27, 2015
Subject:   Keeping Focused on Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration

Lawmakers have one month to pass a discretionary funding measure for the Department of Homeland Security that denies funding and resources for President Obama’s amnesty programs. Although the House-passed DHS appropriations bill (H.R. 240) 1 has yet to be considered in the Senate, Politico reported some Republicans were already “exploring ways of escaping their political jam on immigration, with steps that could avoid a funding cutoff for the Department of Homeland Security while letting conservatives vent their anger at President Barack Obama.”  Such actions are premature, as Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) explained to the Washington Examiner:

“You usually don’t know for sure where these fights wind up until you have them. And this is an important one for us to have. We need to have this fight, and then we’ll see where it goes.”

Win the Fight
Some may be tempted to point to vote counts in the Senate and claim that there is a need for compromise legislation. Senator Blunt’s comments bear repeating: You usually don’t know for sure where these fights wind up until you have them.

Voters demanded more than merely a fight in November; they voted to stop the President’s reckless overreach. Forcing debate the issue through votes is just the first step. If Republicans are to deliver on their mandate, they must make the case for immediate action and force the President and his allies to defend these dangerous, unlawful policies.

At least five sitting Senate Democrats have expressed opposition to President Obama’s latest executive actions, which would grant quasi-legal status, work permits and Social Security numbers to those who are in the country illegally.

  • Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN): “It is clear the immigration system in this country is broken, and only Congress has the ability to change the law to fix it…I am as frustrated as anyone that Congress is not doing its job, but the president shouldn’t make such significant policy changes on his own.” (“Donnelly sees
    Obama immigration move as too much,” The Courier-Journal, 11/20/14, http://cjky.it/14T2SW9)
  • Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO): “Our immigration system is broken, and I support a comprehensive plan to fix it, but executive orders aren’t the way to do it.” (“Local Lawmakers Oppose Obama’s Immigration Action,” KOLR10 News, 11/20/14, http://bit.ly/1FHJdUy)
  • Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV): “I disagree with the President’s decision to use executive action to make changes to our immigration system, and I disagree with the House’s decision to not even take a vote on the bipartisan Senate legislation that overwhelmingly passed in June 2013.” (“Obama announces immigration plan; WV reps react,” MetroNews, 11/20/14, http://bit.ly/1vbQOcM)
  • Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND): “I’m disappointed the president decided to use executive action at this time on this issue, as it could poison any hope of compromise or bipartisanship in the new Senate before it has even started. It’s Congress’ job to pass legislation and deal with issues of this magnitude.” (“Obama fails to convince some Dems on immigration,” Politico, 11/20/14, http://politi.co/1yCcJdJ)
  • Sen. Angus King (I-ME): “I worry that his taking unilateral action could in fact inflame public opinion, change the subject from immigration to the president. I also have constitutional concerns about where prosecutorial discretion ends and unconstitutional executive authority begins.” (“GOP leaders warn ‘impeachment’ is a dirty word,” Politico, 11/19/14, http://politi.co/1F0YPlI)

Two more expressed concern before the announcement:

  • Sen. Al Franken (D-MN): “‘I have concerns about executive action,’ said Franken, who had previously declined to comment, in a statement Thursday. ‘This is a job for Congress, and it’s time for the House to act.’” (“Senate Democrats Urge President Obama To Delay Immigration Order,” Politico, 9/5/14, http://politi.co/1pwyMtR)
  • Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA): “A big issue like immigration, the best way to get a comprehensive solution is to take this through the legislative process.” (“Warner: ‘Right decision’ to delay on immigration,” The Hill, 09/08/14, http://bit.ly/1tvyVRt)

Read the entire memo.

 

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Obama Confused

Is President Obama Planning Unilateral Action on Amnesty?

In the spring of 2013, the Senate passed the “Gang of 8” amnesty bill (S. 744), which created a framework to legalize the estimated 11 million people currently living in the country unlawfully. House Republicans wisely recognized the bill for what it was—a comprehensive amnesty package—and refused to act on it. In spite of congressional inaction, President Obama has attempted a variety of unilateral maneuvers to ignore current immigration laws.

Is President Obama planning unilateral action on amnesty?

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Borders: Call Your Representative Now

Update: this vote has occurred.

See How Your Representative Voted

More than 57,000 unaccompanied minors have illegally crossed America’s southern border this year.  Their presence in Arizona, Texas and New Mexico is putting pressure on Congress to grant the President’s $3.7 billion request for emergency funds.

Heritage Foundation policy analyst David Inserra has broken down the proposals in the House’s immigration working group here, and noted that “the U.S. does not need to throw money at the problem but rather carefully consider the better policies that more effectively enforce the law and contribute to border security.”

>> Call your Representative to share the message that any “border fix” that does not include addressing DACA should be opposed.

If any funding at all is to be allocated, it must be on the condition that the package addresses the root causes of the unlawful immigrant surge.

Rarely is the link between a policy and a problem as clear as with President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the current situation at our southern border. Despite the overwhelming consensus that executive decree has caused the crisis, Congress and the White House are refusing to end DACA.

>> Call your Representative to oppose border spending that doesn’t fix the problem.

The House is now preparing to vote on a bill to authorize $659 million for border and immigration spending. The problem is this spending bill doesn’t address the root cause of the problem. Fortunately, some lawmakers are pushing to include language to stop Obama’s lawless DACA program, but we only have a few hours to make a difference.

See How Your Representative Voted

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The DACA Magnet

A recent memo from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) confirms that major “pull factors” for the current crop of illegal entries includes previously “successful migration attempts.” In other words, the President’s blatant refusal to enforce the law has, as anticipated, resulted in the more than 50,000 unlawful immigrants flooding the border.

Prominent among the administration’s lawless decrees is a program initiated in June 2012 known as DACA: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Under this policy, Immigrant and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials are instructed to practice “prosecutorial discretion” towards unlawful minors apprehended in the U.S., granting them de facto amnesty. It is this implied promise by the President that unaccompanied alien minors will not be returned home that has led to the current influx.

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Congress Can’t Ignore DACA

The influx of unaccompanied minors along the southwest border, mostly entering from Central America, is in large part the result of the Obama Administration’s selective enforcement of immigration law. If congressional action is to be more than a face-saving political gesture, it must address the President’s the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

“DACA must go,” explains the Heritage Foundation’s James Carafano:

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