In a joint statement released Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte slammed the Obama administration for delaying executive actions on immigration reform until after the midterm elections.
According to the pair, no time is a good time to unilaterally change the nation’s laws without congressional approval.
“It’s shocking that the White House now openly admits that President Obama is delaying his unilateral actions on immigration until after the November elections simply because of raw politics,” Boehner and Goodlatte said. They added:
Whether before or after the election in November, it is never acceptable for the President to re-write our laws by executive decree – the Constitution does not give him the authority to do so. By taking unilateral action on immigration, President Obama will inject serious constitutional questions into an already heated debate. Such shortsighted actions will undermine the American people’s trust in the President’s commitment to enforcing our immigration laws and will further setback any chance of enacting immigration reform.
Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters during his weekly briefing that the White House delayed taking executive action on immigration to keep Republicans from using it as a campaign issue. Earnest said:
The fact, or I guess the concern is that had the President moved forward with his announcement prior to Election Day, you would have seen Republican candidates do more to make the immigration issue central to their campaign. And in the event that they were successful in their campaign, the concern would be that they would cite their opposition to immigration reform as a reason for their success. That is not a storyline that the President wanted, or that anybody here wanted to contribute to.
The Obama administration has said it will move forward with its plan for unilateral action on immigration reform before the end of the year. Despite recent urgings from lawmakers to reveal what the administration plans to do, Obama has not said what those actions will be.
Most expect Obama will enact some form of executive amnesty to shield millions of illegal immigrants from deportation.