Who's Planning to Sue Obama Over Immigration?
Five Republican governors are so upset with President Obama’s executive actions regarding the nation’s immigration system they are ready to take the nation’s chief executive to court.
A sixth, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, did not raise the possibility of a lawsuit in her response to Obama’s executive actions. But she did blast the president — whose Justice Department sued Arizona over its immigration enforcement practices four years ago — for “thwarting Congress and the American people.”
“Evidently this president must be reminded that we, the American people, elected a president that serves beneath the law. We did not anoint a tyrannical king that is above the law,” she said in a statement.
Brewer spokeswoman Annie Dockendorff said while the governor “strongly believes that President Obama's executive amnesty is absolutely wrong for America -- and likely outside his presidential authority -- no decisions have yet been made in regards to legal action against the president.”
Brewer may not sue Obama, but Arizona Gov.-elect Doug Ducey (R) said the immigrants who will be able to stop worrying about deportation will not be driving, legally, in Arizona.
Ducey said he will not change Brewer’s order that barred undocumented immigrants from receiving Arizona driver’s licenses.
"I am prepared to work with our congressional delegation, other border state governors and the president on this issue, but [Obama’s] move will make those bipartisan efforts nearly impossible,” Ducey added.
At least two other GOP governors are not joining the chorus of outrage.
Ohio’s John Kasich said it could be best to go along with Obama’s order. Michigan’s Rick Snyder has been focused on encouraging immigration reform for the past 11 months.
Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas) told NBC’s Chuck Todd during a panel discussion the day before the president's executive actions were announced that his state’s attorney general and the next governor, Greg Abbott, described the AG’s job as “I go into work, I sue President Obama and I go home.”
It will soon be just another day at the office for Abbott. Perry has promised to file suit.
"In Texas we know firsthand the problems brought by illegal immigration and bad federal policy. As we saw with the tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors who came across the border, a bad policy led to children being put at risk,” said Perry in a statement released by his office.
“The president's decision will lead to more illegal immigration, not less. It is time for the president and Congress to secure our border, followed by meaningful reforms. There is no more time for political grandstanding."
Abbott promised to get to the courthouse quickly, arguing that the new order will hurt Texas, thus the state is a plaintiff with standing to sue.
“President Obama has circumvented Congress and deliberately bypassed the will of the American people, eroding the very foundation of our nation’s Constitution and bestowing a legacy of lawlessness,” he said.
Abbott told Fox News Sunday that following the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program of 2012, Texas saw 1,000 people a day streaming across the border from Mexico.
"Because they believed DACA allowed them to come here," he said. "We are going to face the same challenges now that we faced then."
He argued Obama violated clause to "take care to faithfully execute the laws" under Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution.
Texas state Senator Donna Campbell (R), who has introduced legislation that would stop state officials from penalizing Texans who don’t purchase health insurance, said Obama has “recklessly put the rights of foreign citizens before the rights of American citizens and therefore the rule of law.”
“At a time when national unemployment for African-Americans is at an alarming 11.4 percent and unemployment for Hispanics is at 7.5 percent, granting even temporary amnesty to non-citizens illegally in this country harms out-of-work Americans looking to provide for their families,” she also said.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was another voice in the Texan chorus of outrage when he spoke on the floor of the Senate the day before Obama’s immigration address.
Never one to go for understatement when hyperbole will do, Cruz invoked Cicero’s famous warning to the citizens of Rome more than 2,000 years ago.
“When, President Obama, do you mean to cease abusing our patience? How long is that madness of yours still to mock us? Shame on the age and on its principles! The Senate is aware of these things; the Senate sees them; and yet this man dictates by his pen and phone. Dictates! Aye, he won’t even come into the Senate.”
Et tu, Gov. Perry?
Perry is not only bound and determined not to follow the president’s lead in Texas, he has reached an agreement to pay for a “state-led border surge” that is subject to legislative approval Dec. 1.
"Texas has proven beyond any doubt that this border can be secured, even if the federal government refuses to take the steps necessary to do so as required by the Constitution," Perry said.
Not everyone in Texas is jumping on that train.
Gilberto Hinojosa, the chairman of the Texas Democratic Party, said members of his party “applaud President Obama for taking the initiative to find a solution to our broken immigration system.”
“Texas Republicans like U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. Rick Perry continue their divisive rhetoric without offering any solution to our broken and outdated immigration system,” Hinojosa said.
He also said while Texas Democrats support the president’s executive action, they “look forward to Congress working together to pass permanent, comprehensive immigration reform legislation.”