Honoring illegal immigrants at the White House as illegal immigrants pour across the border sends the wrong message, according to Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin.
“At a time when we already have an uncontrollable flood of people illegally entering the United States, President Obama’s decision to hold a White House ceremony honoring illegal immigrants is going to make a bad situation worse,” Martin said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.
Earlier in the day the Obama administration welcomed illegal immigrants accepted to the President’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program – which allows certain undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children to live and work in the United States – to the White House and honored them as “Champions of Change.”
Lawmakers and commentators have charged that DACA is among the factors fueling rumors in Central American countries that illegal immigrants can get a free pass into the United States which are encouraging minors to risk the trek northward.
According to Martin and the Tea Party Patriots, Tuesday’s event at the White House sends a bad message.
“Instead of sending a message that people cannot break the law to enter the United States, the President is sending a message that if you work for the same political agenda as the President, you can be honored at the White House regardless of whether or not you broke the law to get here,” Martin said. “It is beyond comprehension.”
Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to visit Guatemala this week to stress the dangers of illegal immigration and point out that new arrivals are not eligible for benefits like DACA.
Martin concluded that the President is “disrespecting” immigrants who are here legally.
“Instead of honoring the millions of immigrants who played by the rules to legally earn their U.S. citizenship, the President is disrespecting them – just as he disrespects our laws and seeks to rule by executive fiat. This program by which illegal immigrants can avoid deportation was not instituted with the consent of Congress and is not supported by the rule of law. It was done with nothing more than the stroke of his pen, and it has to stop,” she said, going on to call on the administration to enforce the country’s immigration laws and secure the border.