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Today, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney gave extended remarks on the GOP failure to pass immigration reform — and their foolish double-down on anti-immigrant policies like the bills to curb prosecutorial discretion being considered today. Below is a transcript and video:
Q And then separately on immigration, House Republicans have introduced a couple of proposals this week that would challenge the President’s authority to enforce immigration laws. I know you’ve put out two statements on the restriction policies saying the President would veto them. But what does this say about the momentum, if there was any before, for overhauling the immigration system?
MR. CARNEY: It’s a great question because there’s obviously a lot of discussion about the path forward for comprehensive immigration reform. We saw an enormous amount of energy and effort in the Senate that resulted in a bipartisan compromise that received a substantial majority vote in the Senate — Democrats and Republicans passed, and that that — while that bill, while not word-for-word what the President would have written, is consistent with the President’s principles and consistent with the idea that we have to do this comprehensively so that we solve all of these problems associated with our broken immigration system.
We were encouraged when we leaders in the House put forward their standards, their principles for comprehensive immigration reform. That was a positive step, and it suggested that the House might be ready to move forward, and that we could be making progress when it comes to seeing comprehensive immigration reform pass the Congress and get to the President’s desk so he could sign it.
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.
And let’s think about that, this runs contrary to our most deeply held values as Americans, and asks law enforcement officials to treat these DREAMers the same way as they would treat those with criminal records, those with violent criminal records.
We urge House Republicans to focus on actually fixing our broken immigration system to provide opportunity for all instead of legislation designed to deny opportunity to those who are Americans in every way, in their hearts, in their minds, in their experiences in every way but on paper.
So you hear a lot of talk about where people are on this issue. 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.