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Reactions to Executive Amnesty

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

BIRMINGHAM—On November 4, the American people rejected President Barack H. Obama’s policies up and down the ballot. On November 20, Obama struck back and declared an unprecedented amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants as well as changes to America’s immigration laws to allow in more legal immigrants.

Alabama Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead said what many Americans believe when he said in a statement: “Obama’s Executive Order is clearly illegal and in violation of the U.S. Constitution.”

Sen. Richard Shelby (R from Alabama) echoed Armistead’s opinion in his own written statement. Alabama’s senior Senator said, “President Obama’s plan to unilaterally grant amnesty to millions of individuals who have broken our nation’s immigration laws is unconstitutional and must not be tolerated. If the President truly believed that this approach was in the best interest of the American people, he would not have waited until after the election to make this long-anticipated announcement.”

Sen. Shelby said, “I strongly oppose providing amnesty to those who have entered our country illegally. Border security, enforcement, and removal must be the first response to illegal immigration. President Obama’s failure to enforce our nation’s immigration laws has led us to where we are today and his decision to reward lawlessness with amnesty places additional undue burdens on the American people.”

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R from Alabama) unveiled his own plan to thwart the President’s unilateral edicts. Sen. Sessions called on Americans and their Representatives to stand up and make their voices heard. Sen. Sessions said, “It is time to stand strong for the American people. It is time to champion the interests of those constantly neglected on the question of immigration: the men and women and children we represent—the citizens of this country to whom we owe our ultimate allegiance. Every American must ask their Senator where they stand.”

Congressman Bradley Byrne (R from Montrose) said in a statement, “This type of Executive Action is not the way our government is supposed to operate. I am committed to working with my colleagues in the House of Representatives to push back against this action in a meaningful and constructive manner. We will not stand by idly and allow the President to continue to act against the intentions of the Constitution and the will of the American people.”

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Congresswoman Martha Roby (R from Montgomery) said, “President Obama believes he is above the law – above our Constitution, and that he alone can rule this country. That’s not just wrong, it’s dangerous. And every American who believes in our way of life ought to be outraged.”

Congressman Mike Rogers (R from Saks) said in a statement, “President Obama’s decision to essentially legalize up to five million illegal immigrants by Executive Order is nothing short of an unprecedented presidential overreach. This immigration crisis is of the president’s own making, and in signing this order, he has significantly escalated it further.”

Congressman Spencer Bachus (R from Vestavia) said on Twitter, “Acting unilaterally on immigration, President is dividing, rather than uniting to reach consensus. Like Obamacare, serves the public poorly.”

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said in an email to supporters: “President Obama just announced an unconstitutional executive action granting amnesty to millions. The Constitution does not grant the President the power to act as a one-man legislature when he disagrees with Congress and with voters — but that didn’t stop President Obama. The last time the President issued an executive order to change our immigration laws, he created a crisis at our border, leaving thousands of children at risk and ripping apart the families he claims to be protecting today. President Obama’s action does not secure our borders, and his action violates our country’s balance of power. The American people rejected the administration’s policies during the midterms; and now President Obama is resorting to breaking the Constitution for his own political gain.”

Chairman Armistead said, “As is customary with this president, he steps off the podium and retreats to one of his fun activities. Although this time it isn’t golfing, Obama will instead head to a political pep rally in Las Vegas on Friday. This president just doesn’t get it, and he apparently could not care less about what Americans think…President Obama apparently learned nothing from the beating Democrats took in the mid-term elections, when Americans stood up against his failed policies. Obama’s arrogant attitude towards Congress and American voters is unlike anything we have ever before witnessed from a President.”

Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R from Pennsylvania) said in a statement, “Today’s executive order is a slap in the face of the democratic process and every voter who came out in this past November’s election.”

Representative Byrne said, “We are a nation of laws, and there would never have been a right time for executive amnesty. In the elections earlier this month, the American people indicated they want the President to work with Congress to advance solutions, not act unilaterally through executive action.”

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Rep. Roby said, “Despite the president’s ill-advised decision, the American people need to know that Congress is working to make it right. We are looking at ways to stop the president before he does permanent damage to this country. We are going to fund the government, but we are not going to endorse or enable this president’s unconstitutional actions.”

Rep. Rogers said, “President Obama blames Congress for allegedly forcing him to take this extreme step because Congress did not pass his proposed comprehensive immigration reform bill. This is nonsense. The American people want the president to work with Congress to solve our immigration crisis, first, by securing our borders – not to govern by executive action.”

Rep. Byrne said, “This action will be difficult to defend; it raises serious legal questions and flies in the face of how our Founding Fathers intended our government to operate…We need a deliberate discussion on securing our borders and dealing with illegal immigrants already in the United States, but executive action from a ‘lame duck’ President is entirely the wrong approach. I encourage the President to come down from the White House and work with Congress on the immigration issue and many of the other serious issues impacting American families.”

Chairman Armistead called President Obama, “A man who has preached, but never practiced, bipartisanship is defying the will of the people by violating his oath of office and contravening the very Constitution he swore to uphold…Obama is trying to codify his illegal acts in order to stack the deck for decades to come, and enable liberal Democrats to control the United States government. He would like nothing more than to eventually make these illegal immigrants ‘legal’ voters and accomplish his end goal to ‘fundamentally transform America’,” Armistead said.

Sen. Santorum said, “We need an immigration policy that first and foremost stands for the best interest of America and the American worker. President Obama’s Executive Order providing amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants is the antithesis of this goal. At a time when millions of Americans are struggling to find work and coping with stagnant wages, the President has decided to allow an additional 5 million individuals to legally compete with the existing American labor pool – diluting wages and opportunities for American workers further. This decision flies in the face of basic principles of supply-and-demand and any interest in the welfare of the American worker.”

Democrats, meanwhile, were urged to rally to their President.

An email to Democrats timed with the announcement read: “President Obama just announced a plan to fix our broken immigration system. The GOP has promised to fight him “tooth and nail.” This is an important moment and we need to get his back.”

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Written By

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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