WASHINGTON – Phone lines are melting on Capitol Hill with outraged citizens calling their elected representatives to complain about the president’s order effectively granting amnesty to illegal immigrants.
A number of Capitol Hill offices closed today for the Thanksgiving recess, but aides report hearing from upset voters even at the offices in lawmakers’ home states.
The offices of Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, confirmed a flood of complaints, and an aide to Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., told WND, “We are getting tons of phone calls to block executive amnesty.”
“I don’t think the American people are mad at immigrants. They fully understand that immigrants would like to come to America. They’re mad at their government and their politicians. That’s what the anger is about, because we refuse to do the right thing,” Sessions said today in remarks made at the Heritage Foundation in Washington.
Sessions said “the situation is worse than you know,” noting an Obama administration official had told him the chances for a typical illegal immigrant being deported were now virtually nil.
The crucial question articulated by the senator was, “Do we believe in open borders, or do we believe in a sovereign state that controls the entrance and exit to its country?”
As for the claim the country needs skilled workers to fill high-tech jobs, Sessions argued wages in the industry haven’t gone up since 2000, and Microsoft recently laid off 18,000 employees.
“The average working truck driver is working just as much as (Facebook Founder) Mr. Zuckerberg. Just as much as the Wall Street masters of the universe. And who’s representing them? If you want to be able to lead the American people, you should serve their interests,” said Sessions.
He added, “I don’t think this nation faces a crisis of lack of workers, we face a crisis of a lack of jobs,” he said.
He also pointed out the GOP was lectured it wouldn’t win any more elections without immigration reform, yet just had a landslide victory with a higher percentage of Hispanics voting for Republicans than ever before.
He concluded that those pushing so-called comprehensive immigration reform were either wrong or “have money at stake,” in a reference to big businesses seeking cheap labor.
“I think we need to talk about that and take our case to the American people, and I believe it will resonate because it is right and just,” reflected the senator.
Sessions is hardly alone in his criticism, with even members of Obama’s own party lining up to oppose his amnesty edict.
Democrats who believe the president should not have acted unilaterally to impose amnesty include: Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.V.; Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.; Heidi Heitkanp, D-N.D.; Jon Tester, D-Mont.; Tom Carper, D-Del.; and Al Franken, D-Minn.
Republican criticism has been scathing.
Senator-elect Rep. James Lankford, R-Okla.: “The president is trying to illegally legalize illegal individuals. This declaration crosses the line into legal gymnastics.”
Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas: “President Obama issued an oral royal decree that will be followed by a written regal decree, as any good monarch would do. This unlawful, blatant executive action would legalize more than 5 million people here illegally. This president is single-handedly creating a constitutional crisis and hurting the citizens he took an oath to protect and defend.”
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah: “In a desperate attempt to remain relevant, the president has decided to defy the American people, ignore the election results, and usurp the legislative process. This act demonstrates he respects neither election outcomes, nor the rule of law. It will make the humanitarian crisis at the border worse, and could potentially create a constitutional crisis within our republic. Congress must respond to restore the proper checks and balances to our constitutional order, and it must do so quickly and forcefully.”
Fox News commentator Charles Krauthammer: “It is very clear that he is making an announcement to all those people waiting around the world to get into the U.S. legally that they are chumps. If he felt so strongly about announcing this, why did he wait until after the election? Because he knew had he announced it earlier, and, after all, it’s supposed to be so urgent, he would have damaged the Democrats’ chances in the election.”
Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C.: “Attempts to undermine the law via executive fiat, regardless of motivation, are dangerous. The president himself recognized his inability to do what he just did – 22 separate times. This action is not only detrimental to any chance in the new Congress for a sustainable, long-term solution on immigration, but also to the bedrock of our system of government – respect for the rule of law.”
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas: “The truest words in the president’s remarks tonight were when he said that many would see this as sticking it to middle-class families who’ve gotten a raw deal over the past several years. He’s exactly right. That’s what he’s doing. Sticking it to middles-class families who are struggling and hurt by the Obama policies. They’ve just been hurt again; this is wrong.”
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.: “President Obama is not above the law and has no right to issue executive amnesty. His actions blatantly ignore the separations of powers and the principles our country was founded on. The president has said 22 times previously that he does not have the power to legislate on immigration. I will not sit idly by and let the president bypass Congress and our Constitution.”
Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C.: “President Obama’s decision to utterly bypass Congress and grant amnesty to 5 million illegal immigrants – against the will of the American people – is lawless, unconstitutional and, frankly, un-American. The separation of powers was carefully written into our Constitution by our Founders to ensure that no one individual would have the power to override the will of the American people. The president’s unprecedented abuse of executive orders is an affront to the voice of the people.”
Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas: “Presidential power long ago broke out of its constitutional shackles, but Barack Obama has taken it even further, to dangerous extremes. He has taken the disastrous hubris of Obamacare and applied it to our national security policy.”
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa: “We have to shut off the funding that he would use to implement or enforce this unconstitutional executive amnesty edict. I am hopeful that our leadership will come together with the rest of us that have also taken an oath to uphold the Constitution; we’ve got to keep our word and our oath, whether the president keeps his or not. Stay tuned, Congress will act. We must act.”
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio: “The American people do not want unilateral amnesty; they want law enforcement and border control. Tonight, President Obama ruined his chances of working with Republicans in a bipartisan manner to address immigration. Instead he acted politically, in his own interests and not those of the American people or the millions of immigrants who are legally trying to become American citizens.”
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.: “We need immigration reform. But the right way to do it is to first bring illegal immigration under control by securing the borders and enforcing the laws, then modernizing our legal immigration system. After we do these things, we will eventually have to deal with those here illegally in a reasonable but responsible way. The president’s actions now make all of this harder and are unfair to people in our immigration system who are doing things the right way.”
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio: “With this action, the president has chosen to deliberately sabotage any chance of enacting bipartisan reforms that he claims to seek. And, as I told the president yesterday, he’s damaging the presidency itself.”
Sen Orrin Hatch, R-Utah: “[Obama] has demonstrated that his priorities are polarization and partisanship, not working across the aisle to get things done.”