Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) released the statement below following President Obama’s speech in which he called for the enactment of the Senate immigration bill, announced that he will take more unilateral actions to dismantle our immigration laws this summer, and announced that he will send interior enforcement officers to the border to deal with the surge of kids, teenagers, and parents from Central America seeking to enter the U.S. illegally.
Chairman Goodlatte: “President Obama refuses to take any responsibility for our broken immigration system: he created the crisis at the border and he has many tools at his disposal to fix it. He created the crisis by stating that minors and families are not a priority for removal and he has distorted the rule of law so much that, as he indicates, ‘folks don’t know what the rules are.’ President Obama could quell the border crisis by halting his abuses of prosecutorial discretion, actually enforcing our immigration laws within the interior of the United States, and starting to crack down on fraudulent asylum claims – all of which he has the authority to do now. But instead, he is sending lawyers, judges, and asylum officers to the border, which will only fast-track the likelihood that these minors and families will pursue asylum cases that the administration rubberstamps, and remain in the U.S. for years to come. The Obama Administration plans to send interior immigration enforcement officers to the border, which means that individuals who simply make it past the border patrol could get more than just a free pass into the U.S. – they could get to stay once they reach the interior of the U.S.
“President Obama’s call for the Senate immigration bill to become law would also exacerbate the current crisis at the border. Much like the 1986 immigration overhaul, the Senate immigration bill provides a legal status to unlawful immigrants without guaranteeing the enforcement of our immigration laws and securing the border. If the Senate bill were to become law, it would worsen this crisis because its fails to secure our borders, mitigate threats to national security, deport convicted criminal aliens, and enforce our immigration laws going forward.
“Many members of the House want to fix our immigration laws but President Obama’s continued abuse of his ‘pen and phone’ to act unilaterally has undermined our efforts and has also caused a trust deficit with the American people. I’m shocked that President Obama is calling for more unilateral actions but I am even more shocked by what he didn’t say today. He said nothing about cracking down on fraudulent asylum claims nor did he say he would remove those seeking to enter the U.S. illegally. By threatening more unilateral actions this summer while failing to address the issue of border security, President Obama will only worsen the crisis at the border and will further undermine Americans’ faith in the President’s ability to lead.”