11.19.14

McCaul, Goodlatte Demand President Obama Respect the Constitution, Abandon Unilateral Plan to Move on Immigration

Media Contact: Lauren Claffey (Homeland); Jessica Collins (Judiciary)

Today, U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, and Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia, chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary, demanded President Barack Obama abandon his plan to bypass Congressional authority and move on immigration via executive order.

“Instead of proceeding with ill-advised executive action, we implore you to work with Congress to enact legislation to address our broken immigration system,” the chairmen said in a letter to President 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.”

The signed letter to President Barack Obama is available HERE

The text of the letter to President Barack Obama follows: 

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President,

We join our fellow members of Congress in expressing our disappointment in your continued efforts to bypass Congressional authority. The latest indications that you will take executive action on immigration later this week are a slap in the face to the American people and the Constitution.

Earlier this month, the American people rejected your policies you said were on the ballot and voted to change the way Washington operates.  According to several recent polls, the American people want you to refrain from acting on your own to change our immigration laws. They want you to abide by the Constitution and work with the newly elected Congress to address our nation’s greatest challenges, both domestically and internationally.

The Constitution is clear that it is Congress’ duty to write our laws and, once they are enacted, it is the president’s responsibility to enforce them. Something as important as changing our immigration laws cannot be forced by unilateral action by the president. That’s not the way our system of government works.

In the past, we have seen the surge in illegal immigration that comes when amnesty is promised and the enforcement of our immigration laws is ignored. With more than 11 million unlawful immigrants already in the United States, the answer to our immigration crisis is not to invite more illegal immigration. The answer is to secure the border and enforce our immigration laws. Executive action will simply perpetuate and exacerbate a cycle of unlawful entry into the United States. This was true under the1986 amnesty, it has been true under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, and it has been true under your administration’s policy to not follow the immigration laws already on the books.

Instead of proceeding with ill-advised executive action, we implore you to work with Congress to enact legislation to address our broken immigration system. 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.

Sincerely,

Michael McCaul
Chairman
House Homeland Security Committee

Bob Goodlatte
Chairman
House Judiciary Committee

###