By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Tuesday July 1, 2014, Congressman Bradley Byrne (R) from Montrose released a written statement in response to President Obama’s controversial statements on Monday threatening to go it alone on immigration reform if House Republicans refuse to act.
Representative Byrne said: “President Obama just doesn’t seem to get it. Our founders clearly reserved the power to establish immigration laws to Congress, not the President. I am not even convinced the President actually wants immigration reform, but rather an issue to use on the campaign trail.
Rep. Byrne said, “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. The President’s refusal to enforce current law and unilateral actions to the contrary, make any discussion about reform nearly impossible. In fact, 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. It is irresponsible for the President to point a finger at anyone but himself.”
Congressman Byrne said, “If unilateral action was possible, don’t you think House Republicans would have repealed ObamaCare, replaced the harmful sequestration defense cuts, and halted the Environmental Protection Agency’s war on coal?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.”
Byrne’s comments followed a statement by President Obama on Monday, June 30, in which he said that he may implement immigration reform without Congress.
The President told journalists in the White House Rose Garden: “Our country and our economy would be stronger today if House Republicans had allowed a simple yes-or-no vote on this bill or, for that matter, any bill. They’d be following the will of the majority of the American people who support reform. Instead, they’ve proven again and again that they’re unwilling to stand up to the tea party in order to do what’s best for the country. And the worst part about it is a bunch of them know better.”
President Obama said, “Today, I sent a letter to congressional leaders asking that they work with me to address the urgent humanitarian challenge on the border, and support the immigration and Border Patrol agents who already apprehend and deport hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants every year. And understand, by the way, for the most part, this is not a situation where these children are slipping through. They’re being apprehended. But the problem is, is that our system is so broken, so unclear that folks don’t know what the rules are.”
Pres. Obama said, “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. And 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.”
Pres. Obama announced, “So while I will continue to push House Republicans to drop the excuses and act –- and I hope their constituents will too -– America cannot wait forever for them to act. And that’s why, today, I’m beginning a new effort to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress.” The President announced that he has directed the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General to move available and appropriate resources from our interior to the border and he has asked Secretary Johnson and AG Holder to identify additional actions the administration can take on its own, “To do what Congress refuses to do and fix as much of our immigration system as we can. If Congress will not do their job, at least we can do ours.”
Congressman Bradley Byrne represents Alabama’s First Congressional District.