Today, during the House Judiciary Committee hearing on “The President’s Constitutional Duty to Faithfully Execute the Laws,” we expected to hear a lot of complaints about how the President is “ignoring” his constitutional duty to faithfully execute immigration laws. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration has been entirely too “faithful” in enforcing the laws of our outdated immigration system—something that the nearly 2 million American families who have seen a loved one deported know all too well.
When it comes to immigration, the Administration should do less—and the Republican-led House should do more. Instead of spending the last few days in 2013 organizing anti-Obama press conferences and calling them “congressional hearings,” the House should get to work on passing immigration reform with a path to citizenship for 11 million immigrants who aspire to become Americans. Of course that’s what they should do, not what they have done so far.
So far House Republican leadership–Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy—have found time to hold a vote on Rep. Steve King’s amendment to deport DREAMers. House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) created the space in his Committee to approve proposals like the fatally flawed SAFE Act–which is really the un-SAFE Act if you are a person of color walking down the street. We’re releasing a video today, with our partners at Cuéntame and CAMBIO, calling on Speaker Boehner to reject destructive policies like the SAFE Act and move toward real immigration reform.
The very existence of the un-SAFE Act—which has already passed out of Rep. Goodlatte’s committee—is disturbing evidence that the Republican policy toward undocumented immigrants remains Arizona-style, Arpaio-inspired enforcement-only. Where is the KIDS Act, which House Majority Leader Cantor promised? Where is the vote on immigration this year that Boehner and Cantor have talked about? When will they take up the House bipartisan immigration bill, HR 15, that we all know has the votes to pass right now? When will House Republicans execute their own Constitutionally mandated duty to legislate on behalf of the American people?
If Republicans have time to hold press conferences and “hearings”—if they have time to approve vindictive policies like the SAFE Act—they have time to introduce legislation that incorporates the 11 million immigrants without papers into our society fully and fairly. They have time to vote on a policy that has the support of the American people and a majority in Congress.
If anyone here is failing to do their Constitutional duty, it’s the Republican-led House.
Watch our new video on the SAFE Act, below: