Utah leaders take action against executive overreach on immigration

SALT LAKE CITY — While President Barack Obama’s executive order regarding immigration has won praise from supporters, it has also drawn ire  form state officials and members of Congress for an action they claim oversteps the bounds of executive authority. On Thursday Rep. Chris Stewart and others in the U.S. House passed a bill seeking to nullify the president’s order completely; the day prior, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes signed onto a multistate lawsuit challenging the executive order.

The Office of Rep. Chris Stewart and the Utah Attorney General’s Office released the following statements:

Stewart votes to nullify the president’s recent immigration executive action

Stewart voted in favor of the Preventing Executive Overreach on Immigration Act of 2014, which passed the House Thursday. This bill nullifies the president’s recent immigration executive action and reaffirms the constitutional principles that only Congress has the power to write immigration laws and that the President’s role is to enforce existing laws.

“This is an important bill that reaffirms the roles of the branches of government as envisioned by our founding fathers,” Stewart said. “The Constitution is clear — it’s Congress’ responsibility to write the law and the president’s job is to simply enforce those laws. We must prevent President Obama, and future presidents, from abusing their authority through immigration executive orders. This bill does just that. Now is the time for the Senate to act and I urge my senate colleagues to take up this important piece of legislation.”

Specifically, this bill:

  • Prevents President Obama or any future president from exempting or deferring the removal of categories of unlawful aliens except to the extent that the president is relying on his constitutional powers over foreign affairs or utilizing exceptions provided for in the bill for exceptional humanitarian and law enforcement circumstances
  • Prevents President Obama or any future president from considering such aliens to be lawfully present in the United States (and thus ineligible for the rights and privileges available to lawfully present aliens)
  • Prevents President Obama or any future president from granting work authorization to such aliens
  • Takes effect as if enacted on Nov. 20, 2014, thus nullifying the president’s recent executive action

Full text of the bill can be found here.

Lawsuit filed

On Wednesday, Reyes signed onto a multistate lawsuit filed in Texas challenging Obama’s unilateral executive action regarding deportation and illegal immigration. The lawsuit is based on a constitutional challenge to the President bypassing Congress and exceeding his executive authority. Secondarily, to the extent he had any rule making authority, the lawsuit addresses how he failed to comply with statutory requirements.

Attorney General Sean Reyes stated:

This lawsuit is not about immigration policy. Whether you agree or disagree with some, all or none of the President’s proposal is not the point. The process is what is being challenged. The process is not legal. Regardless of how you feel about the policy, it does not justify implementation in an unconstitutional manner.

We need solutions from Congress. The President is not the only one frustrated by Congress’s impasse on this issue. But, when states like Utah attempted to address the issue through legislation, they did so with the belief that it was through a proper exercise of sovereign police and other powers and an understanding that the courts would check that power if not.

It was President Obama, through the Justice Department, who argued states were preempted from passing laws related to immigration because Congress had exclusive jurisdiction for enactment of such laws.  Ironically, the President has now done the exact thing he claimed states were not permitted to do. As with the states, the President’s attempt at lawmaking should be reviewed by the courts.

While people of goodwill can debate the merits of his policy, even the President has acknowledged that he is not above the law and that his powers are limited by Congress’s exclusive authority in this area.

The President, regardless of political party, must respect the rule of law and a balance of powers. At the same time, Congress has not only the legal authority but also the responsibility to take up matters such as these no matter how difficult they may be.

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24 Comments

  • Herd December 4, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    VETO

  • Native born New Mexican December 4, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    I agree with Mr. Reyes comments. The issue is what the president did that he had no right to do. I am very sympathetic to immigrants and immigrant problems. Members of my own family have been through the process. I am pro immigrant totally. The president didn’t do this to help immigrants. He is using immigrants for his own self serving reasons. The constitution and the constitutional process needs to be respected and followed. The president is not and should not be allowed to be a king. That being said. Something fair, just and respectful needs to be done about the immigration problem. I believe strongly that the US has never been fair and square with It’s Latin American neighbors. That is shameful and needs to change but in a correct and legal way.

  • Utah GOP Motto December 4, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    Hate Obama! Hate Obama! Hate Obama! Hate! Hate! Hate!

  • PROTECT THE SHEEP December 4, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    Back in the mid-2000s when the R party had control of every branch of government they threw open the flood gates and we saw more illegals flooding in than ever before. This is the same time they were sending all the factory jobs to china. They’re predictably bad every time…

    • Big Guy December 5, 2014 at 8:35 am

      Wrong again. PROTECT THE SHEEP makes another sweeping claim without any basis in fact and without any backup. The web site link below contains estimates from a variety of sources of the number of illegals in the country. Starting with about 3.5 million in 1992, the number grew to 8.5 million in 2000 and to 11.5 million in 2008. That makes Bill Clinton’s Democrats the ones who “..threw open the flood gates and we saw more illegals flooding in than ever before.”

      http://immigration.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000844

      Based on his track record, I recommend ignoring any claim by PROTECT THE SHEEP unless he provides data and sources to back up his blanket indictments. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but not to their own facts.

      • PROTECT THE SHEEP December 5, 2014 at 1:50 pm

        Yeah maybe remotely possibly, but how come your dear little cherished bush II allowed them to stay and flourish? Thought the R party was “tough on illegal immigration”?

      • PROTECT THE SHEEP December 5, 2014 at 1:51 pm

        also don’t forget your cherished Republicans had the congress through the 2nd half of clintons presidency …

      • PROTECT THE SHEEP December 5, 2014 at 1:53 pm

        and what the heck is procon.org. Seems like a shady homemade website…

  • PROTECT THE SHEEP December 4, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    Oh and in this case the term “dog and pony show” comes to mind…

  • The Rest Of The Story December 5, 2014 at 1:02 am

    Congress has had years to act on this.
    They did nothing.
    Finally, the President takes action.
    Now, Congress is in hysterics over it.
    Go figure.

    • modigliani December 5, 2014 at 8:30 am

      Kind of like a kid who doesn’t want to play with a toy until another kid touches it and then, Nelly bar the door.

    • Koolaid December 5, 2014 at 8:57 am

      Hatch for example did nothing to stem the flow. Instead, he just wrote his own provisional amnesty act.

  • Herd December 5, 2014 at 4:46 am

    Reagan and Bush allowed illegals in this country. Bush sent all troops and money to the middle east and left the border wide open. You would think he would’ve seen all the illegals crossing the border in Texas with all the vacations he spent there. But maybe he was getting drunk with his two daughters who were following the drunken way of dad

    • Big Guy December 5, 2014 at 8:51 am

      Wrong again. HERD makes another sweeping claim without any basis in fact and without any backup. The web site link below contains estimates from a variety of sources of the number of illegals in the country. Starting with about 3.5 million in 1992, the number grew to 8.5 million in 2000 and to 11.5 million in 2008. That makes Bill Clinton’s Democrats the ones who “..threw open the flood gates and we saw more illegals flooding in than ever before.”

      http://immigration.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000844

      Based on his track record, I recommend ignoring any claim by HERD unless he provides data and sources to back up his blanket indictments. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but not to their own facts.

    • Big Guy December 5, 2014 at 8:57 am

      P.S. The estimated number of illegal immigrants in the country was 3 million. Reagan had fewer illegals enter the country than any president since. Facts are stubborn things, HERD.

      • Dana December 5, 2014 at 9:20 am

        Big Guy, please stop letting the facts get in the way. You spoil it for the delusional.

      • PROTECT THE SHEEP December 5, 2014 at 1:55 pm

        I guess I should learn to ignore a troll. YOu know what they say about feeding trolls. Feed them and they’ll never go away and even breed…

  • arrowone December 5, 2014 at 7:01 am

    Tell the whole story sheep protector. Executive amnesty was signed into law because the Senate agreed to erect the border fence and start enforcing our immigration laws. Shortly thereafter they said no, we changed our minds………no fence.

  • Dw123 December 5, 2014 at 7:17 am

    Yes we need to do something about immigration as long as it’s done in a legal fashion and Obama is a president NOT a king

  • Dave Francis December 5, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    WAKE UP AMERICA?

    NEITHER political party can escape the fact that little or has nothing been realized about the 4 decades each side promised to build the real southern border fence. Even in 2006 when former President Bush signed into law the Secure Fence Act of a 700 mile barrier, that only 37 miles was completed. We need protection from the unceasing avalanche of illegal aliens that has badly disrupted the economy and jobs for the working man and women that has never stopped, President Obamas failure to follow the law, has made enforcement even worse and his restrictions on detaining people, has come to almost a complete halt.

    NOW the American people are demanding, build the 2000 miles of two rows of fencing, and then a discussion can begin on amending the Immigration laws as directed in the Federal Registry. If the Israelis can build a strong barrier against incessant attack from hostile forces, then surely a wealthy nation as our own can design something as equally sturdy against the human traffickers, the drug dealers and even the millions of illegal aliens from South and central America?

    NOT going into the financial costs as the estimates are not electively recorded of the federal and state welfare services, to people who have never paid a dime into the system—but its in the trillions of dollars. What is paid in taxes by illegal aliens using forged documents can never give back in taxes from their poor and needy.

    UNLESS—unless the powers in Washington don’t want to hold back the hordes of desperate people? It definitely questionable why there has never been an impregnable barrier, separating from third world countries and banana dictatorships? Bringing into the United States without having to answer to the American people illegal aliens perhaps was at the forefront of the agendas for Democrats and Republicans; a deeply ingrained Conservatives leadership forever needing cheap labor, to quench the greedy thirst from their campaign contributors and whereas the Democrats want to reinforce their voting army in future elections—legal or illegal?

    HOWEVER, NOT THE TEA PARTY or a few selective Lawmakers in the Republican Party?

    It seems that Obama’s executive order is not based on the Constitution. Therefore, all the new Congress has to do is go in and change the statute it is based on. Forget pulling the funding.

    Change the statute and amnesty is toast.

    Discover why the border is a unpredictable dangerous mess and the, towns, property owners and local sheriffs, under sourced and undermanned are in a constant risk to their lives in this Documentary video’s that every taxpayer needs to watch ‘The Border States of America’ https://www.teapartypatriots.org/theborderstates/ and also view They Come to America and then an additionally the latest version that explores the human and financial costs of unlawful immigration at http://media.wrko.com/a/73998492/they-come-to-america-ii.htm/

    USE these contact phone Numbers and Mailing Addresses of Members of Congress at: http://www.contactingthecongress.org or the direct line to main switchboard at 1-866-220-0044 or 1-800-224-3121.

    Forward to everybody as it’s not copyrighted.

    • PROTECT THE SHEEP December 5, 2014 at 4:46 pm

      “a deeply ingrained Conservatives leadership forever needing cheap labor”

      you just hit the nail on the head. It’s about exploiting people for cheap labor. If you have hoards of desperate people with no jobs they can be hired at sub-poverty level wages. And all these poor desperate people competing with each other they have no time or will to challenge their corrupt rulers. In reality, US policy is probably responsible for a vast amount of the poverty we see in mexico and central america… Guess where FORD cars are made now…yup mexico…

  • PROTECT THE SHEEP December 5, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    “BIG GUY” you’re an idiot. If you’re gonna site statistics it needs to be from a credible source, not some homespun right-wing propaganda site. Pretty hilarious how under ‘ELECTIONS & PRESIDENTS’ they left out completely the presidency of your boy King Bush the 2nd. I wonder why? idiot…

  • modigliani December 6, 2014 at 11:29 am

    What are the statistics on illegals in Utah who are members of the Mormon church, given temple recommends, have driver’s licenses and hold jobs with no fear of being arrested? The logic – or lack of it – is mindboggling.

  • PROTECT THE SHEEP December 6, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    WHAM I BEEN CENSORED! i gotta get off this comments section … its not as fun anymore since all the lds migrated over to the FB version and i hate FB … oh well …

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