Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Republicans today sent a letter to President Barack Obama demanding that he disclose to the American people the recommendations he has received for the anticipated executive actions he will take to further dismantle our nation’s immigration laws. President Obama originally intended to take more actions to curb the enforcement of our immigration laws by the end of this summer but decided to postpone taking these actions until after the November midterm elections.
The letter, led by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), is signed by Representatives Howard Coble (R-N.C.), Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), Ted Poe (R-Texas), Tom Marino (R-Pa.), George Holding (R-N.C.), Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), Jason Smith (R-Mo.), Trent Franks (R-Az.), Blake Farenthold (R-Texas), Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), Lamar Smith (R-Texas), Steve King (R-Iowa), Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Randy Forbes (R-Va.), Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). Below is the text of the letter.
“Dear President Obama,
“We write requesting that you disclose information to the American people about the anticipated actions you plan to take by the end of the year to further dismantle our nation’s immigration laws.
“In the spring, you asked Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson to perform an “inventory” of the Department of Homeland Security’s current immigration enforcement practices “to see how it can conduct enforcement more humanely within the confines of the law.” Within the last week you indicated that you have begun to receive some of these recommendations. You also indicated that you would wait to issue any executive orders or otherwise take action on the recommendations until after the November elections.
“Since you have postponed these executive actions until after the midterm elections, you will have ample time to consider the ideas put forth by Secretary Johnson and others before you make any decisions to fundamentally alter how our immigration laws are enforced, grant immigration benefits to millions of unlawful immigrants, or otherwise modify how our immigration laws are interpreted. You have made clear that you will take such actions without the passage of any legislation by Congress, and therefore without the input of the American public’s representatives. Additionally, it has been widely reported that you and your Administration have been meeting with select interest groups regarding their demands for administrative action on immigration. As a result, the American people have been cut out of a process that could dramatically affect their lives.
“Whether it’s now or November, it is never acceptable for the Executive Branch to ignore the Constitution and unilaterally give amnesty to unlawful immigrants. Regarding actions you are planning that you believe would comply with the Constitution, the least the Administration can do is give Americans the opportunity to see the recommendations that you are considering before you take any actions. Rather than attempt to hide these actions from the American people until after the midterm elections, Americans should be given the chance to come to their own conclusions as to the merits of these recommendations. They can then exercise their constitutional right to petition the federal government and let you know their opinions.
“We therefore ask that you immediately release to the public all the recommendations that you have received for administrative action – from Secretary Johnson, from Attorney General Holder, and from the interest groups with whom you and your Administration have met. And we ask that you continue to release additional recommendations as you receive them. This could go some way toward repairing the damage to the American political process caused by the secrecy with which your Administration has considered changes to our immigration system.”