Immigration Daily Comments On Letter From Twenty Republican Senators To The President
Editor's Note: The text of this letter was transcribed from the original letter sent by Senator Grassley and signed by 19 Republican senators. We apologize for any typographical and formatting errors. The original letter can be found here.
June 19, 2012
President Barack H. Obama
Dear President Obama:
We are extremely concerned by your announcement last week that the Department of Homeland Security plans to implement a program that grants deferred action to an untold number of illegal immigrants in the United States, and to allow them to receive work authorization during this time of record unemployment. Not only do we question your legal authority to act unilaterally in this regard, we are frustrated that you have intentionally bypassed Congress and the American people.
Immigration Daily Comment: What does a time of record unemployment or a time of record employment have to do with giving documents to undocumented Americans? And the solution to your frustration is entirely in your hands: enact the DREAM Act!
As President, you swore to uphold and defend the Constitution and enforce the laws. Your recently announced directive runs contrary to that responsibility. Not only is your directive an affront to our system of representative government and the legislative process, but it is an inappropriate use of Executive power.
Your position on whether you have the legal authority to act unilaterally has changed dramatically. Just last year, you personally disputed the notion that the Executive Branch could act on its own and grant benefits to a certain class of illegal immigrants. Specifically, you stated,
Immigration Daily Comment: We agree with the Senators. Mr. Obama, the Deporter-in-Chief saw the light on legal authority for DREAM benefits entirely due to political reasons.
Letter to President Obama, June 19, 2012
We are also concerned that the directive being implemented allows individuals under the age of 30 to obtain a work authorization. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for young adults aged 16-24 has been nearly 17% for the last year. According to a Gallup poll conducted in April of this year, 32% of 18 to 29 year-olds in the U.S. workforce were underemployed. Your directive runs contrary to the premise that American workers must come before foreign nationals. It is astonishing that your administration would grant work authorizations to illegal immigrants during this time of record unemployment. Your directive will only increase competition for American students and workers who struggle to find employment in today's economy. Moreover, under current law, some foreign students and other legal visa olders arc prohibited from obtaining work authorizations, giving illegal immigrants an advantage over those who play by the rules.
Immigration Daily Comment: It is ironic that the 20 Republican Senators are channeling Karl Marx, and we encourage President Obama to extoll the virtues of the free market to these 20 socialists. And Americans, whether documented or not, should always be treated better than foreigners, regardless of whether these foreigners play by the rules or not.
The implementation of your directive raises several serious questions.
Letter to President Obama, June 19, 2012
We also believe that taxpayers deserve to know how this program will be funded.
Given that this directive is effective immediately and that many questions remain unanswered, we ask that you immediately make available Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service Director Alejandro Mayorkas to respond to our concerns.
We would appreciate responses to our questions, including any relevant documentation related to this directive, no later than July 3, 2012.
Immigration Daily Comment: We encourage Mr. Obama to defer sending over senior DHS staff until the program implementation is well under way. Getting the program implemented should obviously be given priority over this letter, since this letter is purely an act of political showmanship, without any legislative intent. If these folks are truly concerned about these questions, they have a ready remedy at hand: begin discussing the DREAM Act on the Senate floor!
Immigration Daily Comment: Now that these folks have conveniently set forth their names to live evermore in infamy, we encourage DREAMERs to let their views be known to these 20 Senators.
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