Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) denounced President Obama’s planned executive amnesty as “unconstitutional and illegal” after the president revealed that he would announce his planned action on Thursday evening.
“I believe his unilateral action, which is unconstitutional and illegal, will deeply harm our prospects for immigration reform,” Cornyn said on the floor of the Senate on Wednesday. “It will be deeply harmful to our nation’s tradition of the rule of law and deeply harmful to the future of our democracy.”
Cornyn also cast doubt on the legality of Obama’s upcoming decision, reminding the Senate that the president himself has said on multiple occasions that he does not have the power to grant executive amnesty. “I know the White House counsel’s office is preparing a convoluted legal case to justify the president’s actions,” he said. “Most Americans will correctly view this as an abuse of power.”
Cornyn asserted that reforming the immigration system is under the purview of Congress, and it was the president’s job to put together a coalition on the issue. But the president seems “allergic to good-faith negotiating,” Cornyn said. “I’m not even sure he likes the job he ran so hard to get elected to, because that is part of his job, is to work with Congress in a bipartisan way to achieve genuine consensus and compromise, where possible.”
Cornyn reminded Obama that even Democrats oppose his decision to act on his own on the issue, bypassing Congress. “Many Democrats believe, as I do, that this is a mistake,” he said. “The president should heed their advice, stop making threats, and respect the Constitution.”