Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) issued the statement below following the announcement that President Obama will act unilaterally to change our immigration laws and shield five million unlawful immigrants from immigration enforcement.

Chairman Goodlatte: “It’s both perplexing and alarming that President Obama has decided to move forward with executive actions that he once said he didn’t have the constitutional power to take. The President’s decision to recklessly forge ahead with a plan to unilaterally change our immigration laws ignores the will of the American people and flouts the Constitution. The American people are deeply concerned about the direction of our country and went to the polls earlier this month to overwhelmingly reject the Obama Administration’s policies. Rather than listen to the American people and change course, President Obama is going rogue, doubling-down, and driving full speed towards a constitutional crisis. By assuming legislative power and ignoring the limitations placed on his authority, President Obama threatens to unravel our government’s system of checks and balances and imperils individual liberty.

“Additionally, the President’s shortsighted actions further set back any chance of enacting immigration reform. The debate in Congress over the past two years has shown that there is a willingness and need to reform our nation’s immigration system. While there are varying opinions on how to amend our immigration laws, one thing is clear: the President does not have the authority to change our immigration laws by executive decree. It’s disappointing that President Obama has refused to work with the new men and women Americans elected to represent them in Congress.  Since the President has acted outside the confines of his authority, I will work with my colleagues in both the House and the Senate to stop the President’s unconstitutional actions from being implemented.”

Chairman Goodlatte joined House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) yesterday in sending a letter to President Obama demanding that he abandon his unconstitutional plan to act unilaterally on immigration. Additionally, Chairman Goodlatte’s op-ed on this subject was published in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal.