This week, House Republicans put at risk critical funding that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) needs to keep our nation safe by insisting on a series of amendments to overturn the President’s immigration accountability executive actions.
The GOP plan would roll back the enforcement priorities DHS has put in place to ensure that our nation’s law enforcement priorities are focused on felons, not families. House Republicans should not be playing politics with funding for DHS, an agency whose mission is focused on protecting our nation from dangerous criminals, as well as national security and terrorist threats.
Instead of proposing new ideas for how to address our broken immigration system, House Republicans are playing games with the resources we need to protect our country. They are keeping us from moving forward on critical investments in cybersecurity, disaster recovery, counterterrorism efforts, and incident response. And they are only perpetuating the current broken immigration system that everyone agrees must be fixed.
The President’s immigration accountability executive actions are well within his executive authority and are in line with our values as a nation of laws and of immigrants. For the past half century, every president — Democratic or Republican — has used his legal authority to act on immigration. President Obama is now taking another common-sense step. The President’s executive actions will strengthen our border security, hold potentially millions of undocumented immigrants accountable by requiring them to pass background checks and pay taxes, and ensure that everyone plays by the same set of rules. And they are also good for the economy. According to an analysis by the President’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), the President’s executive actions on immigration would boost economic output by an estimated 0.4 to 0.9 percent over 10 years, corresponding to increases in GDP of $90 billion to $210 billion in 2024.
The President has a broad coalition of support for the actions he took. Leaders and organizations, including law enforcement, faith, labor and business groups, strongly support the kind of common-sense reform that the President is advancing. Just this week, 27 police chiefs, sheriffs, and national law enforcement associations signed on to an amicus brief supporting the President’s executive actions because they understand that these actions “help local law enforcement keep communities safer” and better enable them “to effectively do their jobs.” Twelve states and the District of Columbia also filed a brief opposing the Texas-led lawsuit arguing that the President’s actions are legal.
The President can’t fix the immigration system entirely on his own. But since the House failed to move forward on legislative solutions, he took decisive action to fix as much of our broken immigration system as possible within the scope of his existing legal authority.
These are common-sense steps, but only Congress can finish the job. As the President acts, he’ll continue to work with Congress on a comprehensive, bipartisan bill — like the one passed by the Senate more than a year and a half ago — that can replace these actions and fix our broken system.