Vulnerable Senate Democrats facing tight reelection bids this cycle are telling President Obama to go through the legislative process rather than enact unilateral amnesty himself.
“I think this is a congressional issue and I encourage [House] Speaker [John] Boehner in the House to bring up a bill, to vote on a bill for immigration reform so that we can then put it into conference,” North Carolina Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan said Tuesday according to The Hill. “And I do support congressional action over executive action.”
President Obama has said that he intends to “fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress,” according to reports Obama’s executive actions could find the administration granting unilateral amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.
Alaska Democratic Sen. Mark Begich told Breitbart News Wednesday that while he would like to see the proposal first, he thinks Congress must be part of the process.
“First I haven’t seen what he’s offering and I think there is a role that we have here, a legislative role, that we should protect and that’s kind of my view on it. And we’ll see what he proposes and we’ll see from there,” Begich said.
“The legislative body needs to be engaged,” he added, going on to say that the House should take up the Senate immigration bill that passed last summer on a bipartisan basis.
Arkansas Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor said in a Wednesday Politico report that he would like Obama to wait for Congress to take action on the issue.
“I’m not for government by executive order,” Pryor told Politico. “He needs to have statutory authority before he acts.”
Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu added that Obama should act, but take care about where he treads.
“The president should take what actions he can,” Landrieu said according to the Politico report. “But he is not going to be able to take too many because there are limits to what he can do. The best thing would be for Congress to act. I’m going to leave it there.”
The ongoing crisis of massive numbers of unaccompanied minors and family unites illegally crossing the border in recent months has served to complicate the immigration reform debate. Congress is currently debating supplemental legislation to deal with the influx, a bill Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said could be combined with the controversial Senate immigration bill, a sentiment that has received Republican push-back.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the White House expects to have an announcement about the issue shortly after Labor Day, a couple months later Americans will head to the polls to cast their midterm ballots.
Congress is set to leave for August recess at the end of this week.