Tipton, Gardner hit back at Obama

They vote to block immigration plan

U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner

Rep. Scott Tipton

U.S. Reps. Scott Tipton and Cory Gardner, both Colorado Republicans, voted Thursday to block President Barack Obama’s plans to temporarily exempt as many as 5 million living illegally in the United States from deportation.

Both voted yes on H.R. 759, the Preventing Executive Overreach on Immigration Act of 2014, which passed the House 219 to 197.

There is no expectation that the Democrat-controlled Senate will take up the measure and the White House said Obama would veto it.

The vote, however, is only the first of similar measures that will be introduced in the next Congress, Tipton said in a statement.

“It’s my hope that we will advance a step-by-step immigration solution” that will include greater border security and a guest-worker program, Tipton said. “We must confront the realities of the broken system and the challenges it presents — the president’s executive orders accomplish neither. “

The bill condemned Obama’s go-it-alone approach, Gardner said, noting that the measure did nothing to improve the immigration system.

“Without presenting an alternative plan, today’s vote is not a solution,” Gardner said. “We owe it to generations past and generations to come to find a solution to our broken immigration system.”

Gardner next year will join the Senate, which will change from Democrat to Republican control and is expected to act on bills passed by the Republican-run House.

In addition to prohibiting the administration from exempting or deferring from removal certain individuals deemed to be in the United States illegally, the bill would prohibit the executive branch from treating those people as if they were lawfully present or had lawful immigration status, or authorizing those people to work legally.


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Gary Harmon’s report (“Tipton, Gardner hit back at Obama”) inaccurately chronicles how those two petulant but punchless partisan peacocks are once again pointlessly pandering to the “darkest angels” of the Republican “base”.

Laughably, the preamble of “The Preventing Executive Overreach on Immigration Act of 2014” (HR 5759) explicitly confirms President Obama’s broad Constitutional authority to order what “nativist” Republicans virulently oppose.  Thus:

The bill cites Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution as assigning to Congress the exclusive power to “establish an uniform Rule of       Naturalization’‘.  Of course, President Obama’s “deferred action” orders had nothing to do with “naturalization”.

Next, the bill quotes irrelevant dicta from a 1954 Supreme Court case that recognized presidential authority to deport members of the Communist Party – presumably, for “national security” reasons.

Then, the bill cites Article II, Section 3, of the Constitution, requiring the President to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed’‘, but identifies no law that President Obama is not already “faithfully executing”.  That’s why they had to pass a new “law”.

Having already acknowledged the President’s authority as “Commander-in-Chief” to order (or not order) deportation of “aliens” whose presence threatens national security, the bill also confirms Presidents’ authority to “legitimately exercise their prosecutorial discretion through their constitutional power over foreign affairs”.

However, HR 5759 asserts (with no authority) that “prosecutorial discretion” should apply only to “individuals or narrow groups of non-citizens” (conveniently disregarding contrary historical precedents), and only in “extrordinary circumstance” (like when the least productive Congress in U.S. history refuses to even vote on immigration reform?).

Finally, the bill makes no mention of the Office of Legal Counsel’s memorandum that carefully distinguishes between what President Obama legally can do (and did) and what “Emperor Obama” can’t (which he didn’t).

Presumably, there are 50+ more such votes yet to come!

As Gary Harmon reported yesterday (“Tipton, Gardner hit back at Obama”), H.R. 5759 – the “Preventing Executive Overreach on Immigration Act of 2014”—passed Thursday by the “Tea Party”-controlled House on a party-line vote – was merely symbolic retaliation for President Obama’s “deferred action” Executive Orders.

Those lawful but controversial Orders “temporarily exempt” from deportation “as many as 5 million” undocumented immigrants now
“living illegally in the United States” – leaving 6+ million still subject to deportation.  Nevertheless, Congress appropriates funds to deport only 400,000 annually, while President Obama’s has deported more illegal entrants than any prior administration.

Because the “deferred action exemption” is “temporary” (three years), it’s not “amnesty” – in contrast to the permanent
“amnesty” granted to 3 million “illegals” under Ronald Reagan in 1986 and to 1.5 million by George H. W. Bush’s Executive Order in 1990.

Thus, H.R. 5759 “finds” that President Obama has broad Constitutional authority – both as Commander-in-Chief and in conducting foreign policy—to exercise “prosecutorial discretion” in prioritizing deportations, but insists that such discretion should apply only to “individuals or narrow groups of non-citizens” and/or in “extraordinary circumstances in their country of origin”.

Since 1956, Republican Presidents have granted amnesty to 4.5 million undocumented immigrants and allowed another 1.5 million to enter the country in violation of statutory immigration quotas – including 600,000 Cubans (1959), 360,000 Southeast Asians (1975), and 190,000 Salvadorans (1992).

Consequently, over 93% of those qualifying for “deferred action” came here before President Obama was first inaugurated – such that the United States has become “their country of origin”, where they have jobs and/or families.

According to the CBO, comprehensive immigration reform would reduce deficits by $1 trillion over twenty years, while H.R. 5759 would reduce revenues – and thus increase deficits – by pushing more wages into the untaxed “underground economy”.

Republicans prefer the latter.

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