President Barack Obama hinted Thursday during press conference about executive action he may take on immigration. “It continues to be my belief that, if I can’t see the congressional action, that I need to do at least what I can in order to make the system work better,” Obama said. “But you know, some of these things do affect time lines and we’re just going to be working through as systematically as possible in order to get this done. But have no doubt: in the absence of congressional action, I’m going to do what I can to make sure the system works better.”
The White House legal team is reportedly working on a defense for the use of his executive power to address immigration while Congress is in recess. An immigration reform bill is unlikely to occur before midterms. Obama, expected to halt at least some deportations, said at a press conference earlier this month, “”We have a broken system; it’s under-resourced and we’ve got to make choices in terms of how we allocate personnel and resources.”
The Republican candidate in Iowa’s U.S. Senate race, State Senator Joni Ernst (R-Red Oak), provided sharp criticism in response to the President’s’ announcement yesterday.
“Barack Obama came to Washington on the promise of hope and change. Instead, he has governed with divisive arrogance, and a ‘my way or the highway’ attitude,” Ernst said.
“I strongly urge the President not to sidestep Congress by granting executive amnesty. By acting alone, he will only be encouraging more illegal immigration, and worsening the existing crisis on our border,” Ernst stated. “His actions would also punish the millions of people, around the world, who are waiting in line and trying to come to this country legally. What is even more outrageous for Iowans is that Bruce Braley voted to allow the President to grant executive amnesty.”
Congressman Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) who is the Democratic candidate running against Ernst voted against H.R. 5272 earlier this month that would have prevented federal agencies from issuing policies after July 30, 2014 that would expand the number of immigrants eligible for deferred action which would block deportation relief from being provided unless authorized by law. It would have also prohibited the federal government from newly authorizing deferred action for any class of immigrations who do not have lawful status. The bill passed the House on a 216-192 vote and was dead on arrival in the U.S. Senate.
“We all know that Washington is broken and out of touch. What is most alarming is that instead of fighting to change Washington, Bruce Braley is rubberstamping it. When I’m in the Senate, I will fight every day to change the direction Washington is taking out country, and replace Washington values with proven Iowa common sense,” Ernst added.
In a poll of 1000 Americans released last week, conducted by Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway, showed that 61% of Americans do not approve of President Obama’s job on immigration. 74% said they would prefer President Obama to work with Congress rather than take executive action on his own.