President Barack Obama has said he won't make sweeping changes to immigration policy until after the midterm elections in order to protect vulnerable Democrats in tight races, but House Republicans don't want to wait to see what the president has up his sleeve.
On Monday, all 22 Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Obama demanding that he make public "the recommendations he has received for the anticipated executive actions he will take to further dismantle our nation’s immigration laws."
Disclosing the suggestions for how he would overhaul the nation's immigration system without the participation of Congress, the 22 lawmakers argued, "could go some way toward repairing the damage to the American political process caused by the secrecy with which your Administration has considered changes to our immigration system.”
Read the full letter here:
“Dear President Obama, “We write requesting that you disclose information to the American people about the anticipated actions you plan to take by the end of the year to further dismantle our nation’s immigration laws. “In the spring, you asked Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson to perform an “inventory” of the Department of Homeland Security’s current immigration enforcement practices “to see how it can conduct enforcement more humanely within the confines of the law.” Within the last week you indicated that you have begun to receive some of these recommendations. You also indicated that you would wait to issue any executive orders or otherwise take action on the recommendations until after the November elections. “Since you have postponed these executive actions until after the midterm elections, you will have ample time to consider the ideas put forth by Secretary Johnson and others before you make any decisions to fundamentally alter how our immigration laws are enforced, grant immigration benefits to millions of unlawful immigrants, or otherwise modify how our immigration laws are interpreted. You have made clear that you will take such actions without the passage of any legislation by Congress, and therefore without the input of the American public’s representatives. Additionally, it has been widely reported that you and your Administration have been meeting with select interest groups regarding their demands for administrative action on immigration. As a result, the American people have been cut out of a process that could dramatically affect their lives. “Whether it’s now or November, it is never acceptable for the Executive Branch to ignore the Constitution and unilaterally give amnesty to unlawful immigrants. Regarding actions you are planning that you believe would comply with the Constitution, the least the Administration can do is give Americans the opportunity to see the recommendations that you are considering before you take any actions. Rather than attempt to hide these actions from the American people until after the midterm elections, Americans should be given the chance to come to their own conclusions as to the merits of these recommendations. They can then exercise their constitutional right to petition the federal government and let you know their opinions. “We therefore ask that you immediately release to the public all the recommendations that you have received for administrative action – from Secretary Johnson, from Attorney General Holder, and from the interest groups with whom you and your Administration have met. And we ask that you continue to release additional recommendations as you receive them. This could go some way toward repairing the damage to the American political process caused by the secrecy with which your Administration has considered changes to our immigration system.” Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte, R-Va. Rep. Howard Coble, R-N.C. Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa. Rep. George Holding, R-N.C. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla. Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo. Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C. Rep. Raul R. Labrador, R-Idaho Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas Rep. J. Randy Forbes, R-Va. Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, R-OhioRelated stories: Obama Hasn't Decided When to Act on Immigration House Republicans Rally to Pass Border Funding Bill Senate Fails to Pass Border Supplemental Republicans Regroup on Border Funding Bill Ted Cruz Rallies House Conservatives to End ‘Obama’s Amnesty’ White House Excoriates GOP Deportation Demands Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.