tags: , , , , , Blog

Commentators, Advocates Slam Today's Anti-Immigrant ENFORCE Act

Share This:

Jay Carney:

So it is, in my view, in our view, pretty amazing that today House Republicans went in the opposite direction by passing legislation targeting the deferred action for childhood arrivals policy that removed the threat of deportation for young people brought to this country as children, known as DREAMers.

The House Judiciary Committee made clear that both the ENFORCE Act, that you mentioned, and the Faithful Execution of the Law Act were promoted in part by that policy and opposition to it.  Unfortunately, this is the second time House Republicans have targeted DREAMers during this Congress, following up on the amendment sponsored by Representative Steve King last year…

It doesn’t require much to look at what House Republicans are doing today to question whether or not they’re serious about moving forward on comprehensive immigration reform.

Greg Sargent at the Washington Post:

With Obama under pressure to use executive authority to ease deportations, House Republicans don’t want Obama to move unilaterally on immigration. As today’s maneuvers show, they’ll act on their distrust of Obama. But they won’t allow Congress to act to solve the underlying immigration problem. Because they don’t trust Obama.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL):

The goal of the ENFORCE Act is to ensure that this do-nothing Congress forces President Obama to be a do-nothing President as well

The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles and its executive director Angelica Salas:

Not satisfied with halting progress on immigration reform, Republicans in the House now want to send a clear message to the immigrant and Latino community:  we hate you…

“There is no end to the hypocrisy and political shenanigans by the extreme wing of the Republican Party in charge of the House of Representatives.  Apparently, two million and counting deportations during the past five years is not enough for naysayers in the House who refuse to budge on immigration reform.  No amount of enforcement of the laws will ever suffice these anti-immigrants who are clearly sending a message that they hate our families and would prefer to see us deported rather than contributing to our nation’s strength.

Just a few weeks ago, Republicans tried to gut DACA for dreamers and now they want to try it once again and slap the president with an unconstitutional mandate.  Republicans who side with extremists and anti-immigrants are on the wrong side of history and can expect to hear from millions of voters this coming election.”

Pico National Network:

“Simply, this is further evidence that Republicans just want to play politics with the lives of our families, especially in Latino communities. Rather than acting on behalf of the majority of Americans who support fair immigration reform, Republicans would rather grandstand and pander to the fringes of their party, like Rep. Steve King. Last year the only immigration vote Speaker Boehner brought to the floor was an amendment sponsored by Rep. King to deport DREAMers. Should we expect this is the only vote they’ll hold this year as well.”

“There is nothing faithful about breaking up families. If Republicans sponsoring and supporting these bills want to be faithful, they’d honor American values and listen to the voice of faith leaders across the spectrum who support an earned pathway to citizenship for aspiring Americans rather than more broken families.

“President Obama should not be intimidated by these thinly veiled attempts by House Republicans. The House GOP is clearly on the wrong side of history on this issue and it is time President Obama use the authority he has to expand the deferred action he granted to DREAMers to other undocumented immigrants, aspiring Americans.  He must act to ease the suffering of immigrant families because Republicans have refused time and time again to do so.”

SEIU and their executive vice president Rocio Saenz:

It seems that House Republicans are hell bent on proving just how much they are controlled by the anti-immigrant wing of their caucus. They have failed to do anything at all to fix our broken immigration system and instead of taking any action in that direction, they want the President, too, to be immobilized. They want to tie his hands, so that it’s even harder than it is now for him to make sense out of the mess Congress has created.

“These votes, like the one last year to force the President to deport individuals who were brought to the U.S. years ago as children, show just how radical and out of touch House Republicans are…

“The fact is, the President should do more, not less, to make sure that our laws are enforced humanely and that our focus homeland security dollars are spent wisely, on people who mean to do us harm and serious criminals, not ordinary janitors and students. With more than 1,000 people being deported every day, families being ripped apart, seeking to limit the President’s authority is a farcical waste of time that Congress could spend considering immigration reform legislation.

“The bills being voted on today are outrageous and wrongheaded and should be defeated.”

Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA):

I rise to speak against a misguided anti-immigration bill that is being considered in the House today. The ENFORCE Act would challenge the executive order that halts the deportation of young people who are studying and working to become contributing members of our society.

This is another attack on immigrant communities by my colleagues on the other side of the aisles. It’s proof that their actions don’t match their rhetoric.

They want the Latino community’s support, but they refuse to allow a vote on comprehensive immigration reform.

Instead of working to keep hardworking families together, they are punishing communities by pushing misguided legislation. To my republican colleagues, you can’t have it both ways.

National Immigration Law Center:

In truth, today’s activities represent not a legal dispute but an immoral attempt by House leadership to pander to extremists in its ranks and offer up more House votes against immigrants and Obamacare. A key sponsor has acknowledged that these bills will not advance in the Senate, just as the House’s previous effort to defund DACA—the only other vote on immigration the House has taken—did not advance.

It’s time to stop debasing our democracy and end the politics of polarization. Instead of wasting time on anti-immigrant legislation, Congress should restore honor to its branch of government and do the job it was elected to do: resolve national problems through legislation. Congress must enact commonsense immigration reform or face voters’ ire at the polls in 2014 and 2016.

Congressional Hispanic Caucus:

“Why are we wasting time in the House of Representatives? House Republican Leadership continues to take aim at President Obama instead of focusing on the critical work the American people want Congress to do.  We should be debating and voting on legislation that moves our country forward – legislation that raises the minimum wage, extends unemployment benefits and fixes our broken immigration system.  Actions speak louder than words and these vote are another step in the wrong direction,” said CHC Chairman Rubén Hinojosa (TX-15).

“House Republicans are doubling down on a strategy to defeat immigration reform. These two bills would disable the President’s ability to temporarily alleviate deportations and the separation of families. At the same, Republicans are shutting down every effort in the House to vote on bipartisan legislation that would finally fix our broken immigration system.  Overwhelmingly, the American people support immigration reform, including a path to citizenship. Yet this do-nothing Congress continues to gamble with people’s lives and our country’s economy by blockading any legal pathway to relief through legislation or executive action. It has been five months since House Democrats proposed a bipartisan solution to our dysfunctional immigration laws. The time is now to vote on H.R. 15,” said Congressman Xavier Becerra, Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus (CA-34).

“Once again House Republicans are showing how out of touch they are with the American people.  A majority of Americans want Congress to take action on immigration reform with a path to citizenship.  But instead of moving forward with legislation that is good for our economy, good for our security, and reflects the contributions immigrants make to our country, House Republicans are seeking to end the President’s effort to support Dreamers who represent the promise of America.  Brought here by no fault of their own to the only home they have known, so many have worked hard with the goal of building a better life for themselves, their families, and their communities.  Republicans say they support reform.  They say the support giving Dreamers a path to citizenship.  But actions speak louder than words, and the only action they have taken undermines support for Dreamers and indicates House Republicans are not yet serious about addressing real immigration reform,” said CHC First Vice Chair Ben Ray Luján (NM-03).

“These bills are another misguided attack on immigrant communities by my colleagues on the other side of the aisle.  Instead of working to keep families together, they are punishing young people who are studying and working to become contributing members of our society. If my Republicans colleagues want the support and trust of the Latino community, they have to earn it through their actions. That is why I urge them to act now to allow a vote on H.R. 15,” said CHC Second Vice Chair Linda Sánchez (CA-38). “

“The ENFORCE the Law Act and the Faithful Execution of the Law Act is just another attempt by House Republicans to pass the buck on fixing our broken immigration system. Instead of working with Democrats to address immigration, House Republicans are more interested in eliminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and deporting DREAMers who came to this country through no fault of their own. Now is the time to stop playing political games with people’s lives and fix our broken immigration system,” said CHC Whip Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01).