ST. GEORGE – Rep. Chris Stewart and 34 other members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to President Obama expressing concern about the administration’s plan to take executive action on immigration reform. Instead of signing an executive order, House members urge the President to work with Congress to reform immigration.
The letter, spearheaded by Rep. Joe Barton, said:
While Congress certainly understands the need for reforms to the current system, it is imperative that we work together to pass legislation that improves our immigration system, increases border security, and disincentives undocumented immigrants from illegally entering the United States.
Referring to the President’s impending executive order, Stewart said, “a presidential executive order on immigration would clearly go against the intended powers outlined in the Constitution.” Citing the Constitution, Stewart said it is the responsibility of Congress to establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization. Further, he said:
Like most Utahns, I recognize that our immigration system is broken and must be reformed, but the President’s threat of executive orders and a call for amnesty isn’t the answer. It goes against the will of the people and of Congress. If the president wants to reform immigration it must happen through the proper channels within Congress.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, the most senior Republican in the Senate and former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the following statement on President Obama’s decision to issue an executive order on immigration:
President Obama’s promised executive action and his refusal to work with Congress isn’t just legally and constitutionally problematic — it will also ultimately hurt the millions of legal and illegal immigrants who need real, lasting immigration reform. The President rightly recognized as recently as last year that ‘there is a path to get this done and that is through Congress.’ Republicans have demonstrated a willingness to work constructively towards permanent reforms. The Senate passed a bipartisan immigration reform bill, and the House is poised to consider several immigration reform efforts. But rather than work with Congress, the President has instead chosen to foster mistrust, polarization, and gridlock. This is a disappointing day for our country, and especially for the millions of legal and illegal immigrants who deserve lasting immigration reform rather than temporary illegitimate half-measures.
Hatch voted for the Senate’s comprehensive immigration reform bill and was the only Republican outside of the bipartisan Gang of Eight to support the bill in the Senate Judiciary Committee. He has repeatedly spoken about the need to approach immigration reform based on areas of widespread agreement, and introduced the bipartisan “I-Squared Act” with Sens. Klobuchar, Rubio, and Coons to reform the visa program for high-skilled workers based on market demand.
The Partnership for a New American Economy is hosting a live roundtable Thursday morning at Overstock.com in Salt Lake City to renew efforts to pass meaningful immigration reform as soon as possible. The event in Utah is part of a nationwide effort urging Congress to focus on passing reform, which includes media events in several states and Washington, D.C. this week.
The following are expected to be part of the roundtable discussion:
- Sen. Orrin Hatch – participating via video conference
- Sen. Mike Lee – participating via video conference
- Todd Bingham – President of Utah Manufacturing Association
- Dale Cox – President of Utah AFL-CIO
- Lew Cramer – President and CEO of Coldwell Banker Commercial Intermountain
- Jorge Dennis – President of Envirokleen
- Marco Diaz – Managing Partner of Pantheon Construction
- Jonathan Johnson – Chairman of the Board of Overstock.com
- Stan Lockhart – Government Affairs Manager of IM Flash Technologies
- Richard Nelson – President and CEO of Utah Technology Council
- Stan Parrish – President and CEO of Sandy Chamber of Commerce
- Tim Wheelwright – Shareholder of Durham, Jones and Pinegar (Moderator)
In conjunction with these events, a special section will run in the Washington Times titled “The Conservative and Economic Case for Immigration Reform,” featuring opinion editorials from conservative leaders calling on Congress to act on immigration reform.
- For a copy of the House of Representatives letter, click here.
- Opinion: Stop illegal immigration
- Perspectives: Immigration woes are complicated by politics
- 27 GOP leaders call for immigration reform
- Immigration reform bill passes Senate; Lee nay, Hatch yea – 2013
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