If President Obama takes unilateral action on immigration reform, it could have major consequences for the State of Texas. A new wave of illegal immigrants are likely on the horizon if the president makes such a move — and Texans may be stuck footing the bill for additional border security.
Obama is expected to announce a plan, as early as next week, that will give millions of illegal immigrants a deportation reprieve through “deferred action.” Many on the left are urging the president to take unilateral action as quickly as possible. Republicans, on the other hand, claim that bypassing Congress would be unconstitutional. They additionally point out that granting deferred action en mas could be taken as an open invitation for more migrants to cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally.
Some state leaders are already preparing for another surge of illegal immigrants. Rep. Dennis Bonnen told the San Antonio Express-News, “It’d be bad for the state and bad for the country. It will cost the state dollars, plain and simple.”
Texas is already on the hook for $17 million per month in border security.
Texas’s governor-elect, Attorney General Greg Abbott, is prepared to take legal action should Obama move forward with executive action on immigration. He recently said on Fox News, “We are concerned there will be another surge of border activity, in part because of action that the president may take….People are sick and tired of the president using executive orders to dictate a pathway inconsistent with Americans values. If he crosses the line he will see an overall rejection. And if he does, we will be involved in another lawsuit against him.”
Since Obama became president, the State of Texas has filed 27 lawsuits against the federal government.
Governor Rick Perry’s office echoed the sentiment and said executive action would solidify the notion that Obama has been “one of the most divisive presidents in our nation’s history.”
A Perry spokesperson said in a statement, “Executive action on illegal immigration is unconstitutional, confrontational and contrary to the will of the American people, who expect the president to work with our elected representatives in Congress to find a solution to this issue.”
Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate.