Twenty Republican senators wrote President Obama yesterday demanding to know why he “intentionally bypassed Congress and the American people” with his Friday directive to defer immigration enforcement action against young illegal immigrants.
“As President, you swore to uphold and defend the Constitution and enforce the laws. Your recently announced directive runs contrary to that responsibility. Not only is your directive an affront to our system of representative government and the legislative process, but it is an inappropriate use of Executive power,” states the letter.
It asks several questions of the president, including why his position on the use of an executive order changed and how the program will be funded, and asks for copies of any documentation, including any and all legal opinions, memoranda, and emails, that discuss any authority Obama does or does not have to undertake this immigration directive.
The letter was signed by Sens. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), James Risch (R-Idaho), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), David Vitter (R-La.), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.).
The senators noted the 17 percent unemployment rate for 16- to 24-year-olds and higher underemployment. “It is astonishing that your administration would grant work authorizations to illegal immigrants during this time of record unemployment. Your directive will only increase competition for American students and workers who struggle to find employment in today’s economy.”
“Given that this directive is effective immediately and that many questions remain unanswered, we ask that you immediately make available Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service Director Alejandro Mayorkas to respond to our concerns,” they ask.