Top Republican Warns Against Executive Action on Deportations

Chairman Goodlatte: It would release the pressure on Congress to pass immigration reform.

National Journal
Elahe Izadi
See more stories about...
Elahe Izadi
April 3, 2014, 7:29 a.m.

House Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee Chair­man Bob Good­latte warned that uni­lat­er­al ex­ec­ut­ive ac­tion on im­mig­ra­tion en­force­ment by the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion will make it even harder for com­pre­hens­ive im­mig­ra­tion re­form to pass Con­gress.

“When the pres­id­ent takes ac­tion uni­lat­er­ally in areas that far stretch what the law in­ten­ded …, that builds mis­trust. Will the pres­id­ent ex­ecute the new laws if we agree to them for im­mig­ra­tion re­form, for ex­ample?” the Vir­gin­ia Re­pub­lic­an said Thursday at a Na­tion­al Journ­al and At­lantic Me­dia event un­der­writ­ten by the Na­tion­al As­so­ci­ation of Broad­casters. “So the push by some to have the pres­id­ent act uni­lat­er­ally in areas be­cause they’re frus­trated and tired of wait­ing for the Con­gress to act is ac­tu­ally very coun­ter­pro­duct­ive to hav­ing le­gis­la­tion done in cer­tain areas.”

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion is cur­rently con­sid­er­ing po­ten­tial ex­ec­ut­ive ac­tion to fur­ther curb de­port­a­tions. For months, ad­voc­ates have been pres­sur­ing the White House to halt de­port­a­tions of un­doc­u­mented im­mig­rants. In 2012, the ad­min­is­tra­tion en­acted De­ferred Ac­tion for Child­hood Ar­rivals, a pro­gram that delays de­port­a­tion pro­ceed­ings for cer­tain young people, or “dream­ers.”

“He’s at­tempt­ing to re­write laws to suit what he per­ceives to be de­mands from cer­tain groups. That’s a mis­take,” Good­latte said. “He should keep put­ting the pres­sure on the Con­gress to act, and the pub­lic should as well, and not cre­ate a re­lease, a safety valve, by do­ing something uni­lat­er­ally that then causes to make it even harder to do the full panoply of things that need to be done in im­mig­ra­tion re­form.”

Dur­ing his 2014 State of the Uni­on ad­dress, Obama said he will use his ex­ec­ut­ive powers to act when Con­gress has failed to do so. One of the chief pro­ponents of fur­ther ex­ec­ut­ive ac­tion on de­port­a­tions, Demo­crat­ic Rep. Lu­is Gu­ti­er­rez of Illinois, warned on the House floor this week that if the House doesn’t pass im­mig­ra­tion re­form by Ju­ly, Obama will take such ac­tion.

Good­latte said im­mig­ra­tion laws “need to be re­viewed and changed today,” but that the pres­sure cre­ated by en­for­cing the cur­rent laws is what will push Con­gress to act.

The House Re­pub­lic­an lead­er­ship un­veiled a set of im­mig­ra­tion re­form prin­ciples earli­er this year. Good­latte said much of the ob­jec­tion in the con­fer­ence wasn’t to the prin­ciples but to the tim­ing, and that many House Re­pub­lic­ans didn’t trust the pres­id­ent. That’s a point that Demo­crats on the Hill have cri­ti­cized as an ex­cuse to not pass re­form this year.

The House Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee has ap­proved four im­mig­ra­tion-re­lated bills, but it’s un­clear when the full House will ever take any of them up. In re­sponse to a ques­tion at Thursday’s event from a self-iden­ti­fied un­doc­u­mented teen­ager, Good­latte said he did not sup­port “a spe­cial path­way to cit­izen­ship” for the un­doc­u­mented.

{{ BIZOBJ (video: 4865) }}

“What I have fo­cused on is an ap­pro­pri­ate leg­al status for people. It’s es­pe­cially true for a young per­son like this young lady who was brought here il­leg­ally by her par­ents — really she knows the United States as her coun­try, and I think that needs to be ad­dressed,” Good­latte said. But, he ad­ded, he didn’t want to en­cour­age fam­il­ies to il­leg­ally bring young chil­dren, via a dan­ger­ous jour­ney, to the United States.

What We're Following See More »
‘PULLING A TRUMP’
GOP Budget Chiefs Won’t Invite Administration to Testify
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

The administration will release its 2017 budget blueprint tomorrow, but the House and Senate budget committees won’t be inviting anyone from the White House to come talk about it. “The chairmen of the House and Senate Budget committees released a joint statement saying it simply wasn’t worth their time” to hear from OMB Director Shaun Donovan. Accusing the members of pulling a “Donald Trump,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the move “raises some questions about how confident they are about the kinds of arguments that they could make.”

Source:
A DARK CLOUD OVER TRUMP?
Snowstorm Could Impact Primary Turnout
1 days ago
THE LATEST

A snowstorm is supposed to hit New Hampshire today and “linger into Primary Tuesday.” GOP consultant Ron Kaufman said lower turnout should help candidates who have spent a lot of time in the state tending to retail politicking. Donald Trump “has acknowledged that he needs to step up his ground-game, and a heavy snowfall could depress his figures relative to more organized candidates.”

Source:
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY
A Shake-Up in the Offing in the Clinton Camp?
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

Anticipating a primary loss in New Hampshire on Tuesday, Hillary and Bill Clinton “are considering staffing and strategy changes” to their campaign. Sources tell Politico that the Clintons are likely to layer over top officials with experienced talent, rather than fire their staff en masse.

Source:
THE LAST ROUND OF NEW HAMPSHIRE POLLS
Trump Is Still Ahead, but Who’s in Second?
22 hours ago
THE LATEST

We may not be talking about New Hampshire primary polls for another three-and-a-half years, so here goes:

  • American Research Group’s tracking poll has Donald Trump in the lead with 30% support, followed by Marco Rubio and John Kasich tying for second place at 16%. On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders leads Hillary Clinton 53%-41%.
  • The 7 News/UMass Lowell tracking poll has Trump way out front with 34%, followed by Rubio and Ted Cruz with 13% apiece. Among the Democrats, Sanders is in front 56%-40%.
  • A Gravis poll puts Trump ahead with 28%, followed by Kasich with 17% and Rubio with 15%.
IT’S ALL ABOUT SECOND PLACE
CNN Calls the Primary for Sanders and Trump
9 hours ago
THE LATEST

Well that didn’t take long. CNN has already declared Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump the winners of the New Hampshire primary, leaving the rest of the candidates to fight for the scraps. Five minutes later, the Associated Press echoed CNN’s call.

Source:
×