Congress urges Obama not to take executive action on Immigration Reform; Utah leaders hold roundtable

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.

Live Roundtable 

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.

Resources 

  • For a copy of the House of Representatives letter, click here.

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50 Comments

  • sagemoon November 20, 2014 at 11:21 am

    The Republican party is stupid. So is the Democratic party.

  • Koolaid November 20, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    When you say Congress, are you referring to the entire Congress or just those from Utah or just the anti-Obama Tea Party people?

  • Karen November 20, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    The Senate passed a bi-partisan comprehensive immigration bill in 2013. It has all of the elements that Chris Stewart and other Republicans want. Even Orrin Hatch voted for it in the Senate. Since then it has been going nowhere in the House where it would pass if John Boehner would only bring it to a vote. It seems to me that the President has waited long enough. If people would take the time to understand exactly what his executive authority will do then they might calm down and realize that it is not amnesty. Amnesty is what we have now.

    In addition, undocumented immigrants will not get Obamacare, will not get citizenship, will move to the back of the line, and won’t get all the freebies that the far-right pundits are shouting about.

    • dancing infidel November 21, 2014 at 11:36 am

      So what does that say about dumb…* Harry Reid who has held up more than 350 bills that passed the House with bi-partisan support? Why is it that what Boehner has done is any different than what Reid has done for 6 years? Reid is an idiot as well as Boehner….but Reid outdoes Boehner in the holding up bills he won’t bring to the Senate floor for a debate, let alone a vote. Why don’t you expound on Harry Reid’s screw ups?
      Ed. ellipsis: …*

  • Brian November 20, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Regardless of your feelings on immigration / illegal immigration, this is very simple. We have 3 branches of government: legislative, executive and judicial. The legislative branch writes the laws. The judicial branch interprets the laws AS THEY ARE WRITTEN (we’ve gotten way sideways in this one). The executive branch signs or vetoes the laws (we’ve gotten way sideways in this one, too). There is an intentional separation of powers between the three branches (and within them) TO PROTECT THE PEOPLE FROM TYRANNY. It’s a great system of government that has kept us safe as long as we’ve followed it. To the extent our society is off the rails, its because we’ve stopped following an inspired system due to complacency from the bottom up and corruption from the top down. Unfortunately the problem is likely irreversible (due to the aforementioned complacency and corruption).

    • Visiting Anthropologist November 20, 2014 at 10:35 pm

      Have you objected to other Executive Orders, like any of the 291 George W. Bush signed? Or is it just Executive Orders by President Obama that get you worried about tyranny?

      • Big Guy November 21, 2014 at 5:25 am

        None of George W. Bush’s executive orders came anywhere close to exempting 5 million people from Federal law. Most were narrowly targeted to implement Congress’ intentions, not thwart them. Can you name any that came anywhere close to the impact, either legally or politically, as this one? And while you’re compiling your list, include evidence of
        Democrat objections and public reaction to them.

        • dancing infidel November 21, 2014 at 11:39 am

          Amen!!!…BIG GUY

        • Amnesty for Illegals November 21, 2014 at 6:47 pm

          Did you look up Bush’s Amnesty for Illegals 2004? Hatch’s Dream Act of 2001?

  • Zonkerb November 20, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    Immigration is not the problem. The government that does nothing about it is the problem

  • Big Guy November 20, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    I am very much in favor of significantly increased immigration from all nations with a special emphasis on the H-1B visa program for those with special skills. I am even more in favor of the rule of law, without which we as a country are in grave danger. Obama (the Constitutional lawyer, no less) has been slapped down by the Supreme Court, including on a number of occasions by the Court’s liberal justices, for unconstitutional and illegal actions far more often than any other president since Franklin Roosevelt. While I may be sympathetic to his intentions in this case, an executive order that intentionally subverts our existing laws on a massive scale is unprecedented. If unchecked either by Congress or the Supreme Court, it sets a precedent that opens the door to near-dictatorial power by a future president with either a far left or far right agenda. All citizens, regardless of their political views, should be concerned. I urge the Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration reform law and urge the president to sign it. In the mean time, what part of “illegal” don’t you understand?

  • StGeoSenior November 20, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    Five million new voter for the Democrats?

    • Schwa November 20, 2014 at 7:52 pm

      Of course! These illegals want free healthcare,welfare, food stamps. The democrats are be more than happy to give this to them. The illegals know this so they vote for democrats. Democrats know these illegals will vote for them and they can continue to receive their ridiculously large salaries/retirement packages for not doing any work. Its a paradox.

      • Koolaid November 20, 2014 at 8:57 pm

        I know of many conservative Republicans that are described in your second sentence.

    • My Evil Twin November 20, 2014 at 8:07 pm

      That isn’t counting the ones taken from the tomb stones in the cemeteries.

    • Dana November 21, 2014 at 5:36 am

      So maybe there’s a chance for sanity in Utah???

  • Visiting Anthropologist November 20, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    The Republicans who are complaining about the President’s use of an Executive Order to move immigrations matters along have no one to blame but their own irresponsible leadership, most especially Boehner and McConnell, for inflaming the party against anything the President has tried to accomplish. To say now that the President should “work with Congress” is a laugh. The Republicans have put the country at risk in order to snub and debase the President at every opportunity. They’ve tried humiliation, but he’s responding with strength and dignity. This bunch of Republicans may want to go down in history as the “do-nothing Congress” but the President is refusing to join them as a “do-nothing President.” Bravo, Mr. President.

    • Big Guy November 21, 2014 at 7:35 am

      Where do I start with this counter-factual liberal rant? 1) Obama clearly and forcefully stated that this most recent election would be a referendum on his policies. Democrat candidates ran away from that as fast and far as they could, but to no avail. Voters responded to Obama’s request by electing nine new Republican Senators and adding to their already overwhelming majority in the House. Who humiliated Obama? 2) The Republican House majority was swept into office in 2010 by overwhelming voter reaction to Obamacare, whose unpopularity continues with Gallup now showing only 37% support it. 3) The House has passed dozens and dozens of bills that Harry Reid refused to allow to come to the floor, even when Senate versions were advanced from Democrat-controlled committees, all to avoid Obama vetoes or humiliation. Congress has been “do nothing” for the last four years because the Senate was do nothing. Both the New York Times and the Washington Post, far-right Republican supporters (not) agree that it’s been the Senate that is the bottleneck. The Democrat Senate hasn’t even passed a budget for the last six years! 4) “Elections have consequences,” Obama famously told McConnell in 2009 and (to use your word above) snubbed him and the Republicans. Yes, elections do have consequences, and the voters have expressed their will in the intervening elections.

      Obama is indeed “doing” in ways that are clearly contrary to the expressed will of the voters and in a number of cases, illegal and/or unconstitutional. It must be frustrating to be a liberal who is so much smarter than the dumb voters who don’t know what’s good for them. Go ahead and applaud a president who is so far out of tune with voters across the country: your credibility matches his polling numbers.

      • dancing infidel November 21, 2014 at 11:46 am

        Once again, BIG GUY totally destroys the inept explanation by VA. VA, what do you have to say about your beloved Harry Reid who, FOR 6 YEARS has failed to bring bills passed by the House with bi-partisan support, to the Senate floor for debate, even less, a vote. What do say about that VA? But it is nice to see you support a president who is as incompetent at governing, as I am at being a Federal court judge.

        • Visiting Anthropologist November 21, 2014 at 2:22 pm

          My beloved Harry Reid? Are you getting your signals from aliens? I said nothing about Harry Reid, but you’ve said plenty including calling him an idiot. As for supporting the President, yes I do. He has integrity and courage and grace in the face of what are so often little more than thinly disguised racist attacks dressed up in the sheep’s clothing of politics. Good luck with your Federal judgeship, pal.

  • T November 20, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    Illegal now legal immigration will destroy this country my family fought for Americans freedom and yet our president in which I voted against both times is destroying our American freedom Obama needs to be stopped

  • Hent November 20, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    Quit trashing Obama’s accomplishments. He has done more than any other President before him. Here is a list of his impressive accomplishments:

    1. First President to be photographed smoking a joint.

    2. First President to apply for college aid as a foreign student, then deny he was a foreigner.

    3. First President to have a social security number from a state he has never lived in

    4. First President to preside over a cut to the credit-rating of the United States.

    5. First President to violate the War Powers Act.

    6. First President to be held in contempt of court for illegally obstructing oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

    7. First President to require all Americans to purchase a product from a third party.

    8. First President to spend a trillion dollars on “shovel-ready” jobs when there was no such thing as “shovel-ready” jobs.

    9. First President to abrogate bankruptcy law to turn over control of companies to his union supporters.

    10. First President to by-pass Congress and implement the Dream Act through executive fiat.

    11. First President to order a secret amnesty program that stopped the deportation of illegal immigrants across the U.S., including those with criminal convictions.

    12. First President to demand a company hand-over $20 billion to one of his political appointees.

    13. First President to tell a CEO of a major corporation (Chrysler) to resign.

    14. First President to terminate America?s ability to put a man in space.

    15. First President to cancel the National Day of Prayer and to say that America is no longer a Christian nation.

    16. First President to have a law signed by an auto-pen without being present.

    17. First President to arbitrarily declare an existing law unconstitutional and refuse to enforce it.

    18. First President to threaten insurance companies if they publicly spoke out on the reasons for their rate increases.

    19. First President to tell a major manufacturing company in which state it is allowed to locate a factory.

    20. First President to file lawsuits against the states he swore an oath to protect (AZ, WI, OH, IN).

    21. First President to withdraw an existing coal permit that had been properly issued years ago.

    22. First President to actively try to bankrupt an American industry (coal).

    23. First President to fire an inspector general of AmeriCorps for catching one of his friends in a corruption case.

    24. First President to appoint 45 czars to replace elected officials in his office.

    25. First President to surround himself with radical left wing anarchists.

    26. First President to golf more than 150 separate times in his five years in office.

    27. First President to hide his birth, medical, educational and travel records.

    28. First President to win a Nobel Peace Prize for doing NOTHING to earn it.

    29. First President to go on multiple “global apology tours” and concurrent “insult our friends” tours.

    30. First President to go on over 17 lavish vacations, in addition to date nights and Wednesday evening White House parties for his friends paid for by the taxpayers.

    31. First President to have personal servants (taxpayer funded) for his wife.

    32. First President to keep a dog trainer on retainer for $102,000 a year at taxpayer expense.

    33. First President to fly in a personal trainer from Chicago at least once a week at taxpayer expense.

    34. First President to repeat the Quran and tell us the early morning call of the Azan (Islamic call to worship) is the most beautiful sound on earth.

    35. First President to side with a foreign nation over one of the American 50 states (Mexico vs Arizona).

    36. First President to tell the military men and women that they should pay for their own private insurance because they “volunteered to go to war and knew the consequences.”

    37. Then he was the First President to tell the members of the military that THEY were UNPATRIOTIC for balking at the last suggestion.

    It’s hard to comprehend all this guy has gotten away with. Any other president would have been impeached! What in God’s name is wrong with our government that they allow this guy carte blanch. It absolutely boggles the mind!

    I feel much better now. I had been under the impression he hadn’t been doing ANYTHING!!

    • Fred November 21, 2014 at 5:53 am

      Excellent observations and the truth. Thanks Hent.
      How about all of his records that have been proven to be a FRAUD and the media protects him. Isn’t producing a birth certificate that is forged a felony?

      • Herd November 21, 2014 at 8:32 am

        Oh brother! The birth certificate, again! Hey, Obama is going to take your guns and create death panels. However, Stock Market is at an all-time high. Unemployment the lowest since 2000. Housing market, which collapsed in 2006, has recovered. Now let’s look at St George in 2006/2007: housing market saw 45% devaluation and had one of the highest rates in foreclosures, unemployment was 11% (higher than national average), your city raised taxes. I think your city has recovered nicely after the disaster of 2006/2007 (worst Recession in US History – Bush) and the mismanagement of your city mayor and council members.

        • dancing infidel November 21, 2014 at 11:54 am

          HERD…you can’t even come close to your presidents accomplishment listed by HENT. Get over it….your president is a lawless loser! And he will be remembered as such. By the way HERD, you forgot the first president to accumulate more debt than ALL the previous presidents combined. Again, your president is nothing but a petty amateur….and he has proven it.

    • John November 21, 2014 at 8:42 am

      A President telling the military to pay for their own insurance? Now you are a joke! Military members are provided medical care and some other entitlements. Life Insurance has always been an option for military members to purchase on their own. Yes, during my 20+ years, I bought my own life insurance, $200,000 coverage, out of my own pocket, and this was during two terms of Reagan and both Bush Presidents. I still have pay stubs to prove it. Life Insurance is not a given in the military. Unpatriotic? Are you kidding me? What idiot with a family would not have life insurance when being assigned to Middle East conflicts? Now one more comment on that. During Bush’s war on Iraq, service members injured in Iraq and Afghanistan saw very little care upon their return to the US. The first thing Obama did was increase funding for care and therapy and returning to the workforce. The medical facility in Landstuhl Germany was greatly revamped for a soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. Aside from increased funding for wounded & disabled soldiers, additional funding went for family services of military members. You can verify this information through the military.com websites, the VFW and other credible sources, not the stupido Beck and Limbaugh that you adhere to.

    • John November 21, 2014 at 8:51 am

      Everything you claimed as true has been verified as false at the Snopes.com website. National Day of Prayer cancelled? False. There is no official ceremony (presidential or otherwise) prescribed for the observance of the National Day of Prayer: it is a day on which the people of the U.S. are called upon “to turn to God in prayer and meditation,” however they choose to do so. Claim that Obama said America is not a Christian Nation? False. That was a lie circulated by Pat Boone. Even you have to realize that this country with the second most number of people of Muslim faith, is not ‘just’ a christian nation. This country also has atheists. Remember, one of your freedoms is that freedom of Religion. Just because people are citizens of this country does not make them Christians if they choose to adhere to another religion or no religion. Where do you get your misinformation from?

      • Visiting Anthropologist November 21, 2014 at 9:44 am

        John, thank you for this.

      • dancing infidel November 21, 2014 at 11:59 am

        JOHN, you are correct. However in 2011 Obama stopped all medical coverage for service members spouse and dependents. So, yeah, Obama has done more to harm the military than help. He does not like the military and he has shown it time and time again. Sorry to pi$$ on your parade, but you obviously have some kind of weird love for this poor excuse for a president. He is a loser.

      • dancing infidel November 21, 2014 at 1:31 pm

        Ah…..snopes, now I understand your problem. You should really try other sources besides snopes. Your use of snopes explains a lot about your misinformation.

        • John November 21, 2014 at 2:44 pm

          As someone who recently had exceptional VA coverage and care on a recent emergency room trip, I can declare your claim of Obama stopping coverage on veterans and dependents as another false claim. In 2011, Congress weighed out raising the copay associated with doctor and hospital visits. Three previous Presidential Administrations (to include Bush and Reagan) also considered raising the copay. The anti-Obama news sources made claims the President was ending care. False. Coverage was not dropped as those sources and perhaps was told to you by Republican Senators. You should also research HR3230 signed into law by Obama on August 7th, a $16.3 billion dollar coverage package for veterans. You should consider legitimate sources, not trash shows like Beck, Hannity and Limbaugh.

        • John November 21, 2014 at 2:55 pm

          One more note that also applies to me. With a child in college, under this Administration, dependent healthcare coverage has been extended to the age of 23 (or 25?) while your child(ren) attend college. I don’t know where you get your false information, but you should educate yourself on the truth instead of spreading lies.

  • Skip in Boulder November 21, 2014 at 8:25 am

    So what is the E.O. # that the President used to pass this?

  • Visiting Anthropologist November 21, 2014 at 9:13 am

    How is it that so many of these “illegals” have lived in this country so long, have jobs, own homes, go to church and enjoy other aspects of life in this country without being pursued or punished? Who are the people who’ve given them jobs without proper documentation or sold them homes or offered in any other way to – wait for it – grant AMNESTY on their own in order to BENEFIT from the presence of the illegal immigrants – eg, make money from them? Every business owner or bank or church or other organization that ever looked the other way and offered deals to illegals for their own purposes (cheap labor, high interest rates, weekly tithing) are guilty of breaking the law. And they got away with it because of the fear factor. No wonder they’re so p**sed off now that Obama has taken the fear factor out of the equation.

    • St George practices November 21, 2014 at 9:59 am

      How many local businesses, owned and operated by conservative Republican church people, employs these so-called ‘illegals’? Anyone recall the years between 2000 – 2005 when construction and landscaping were busy years? During that time, I heard of at least one landscaper (church guy) who was proud of the fact he hired ‘illegals’, saying they worked harder for less and for cash, meaning the business owner could operate illegally with his business. I saw other businesses where the foreman did not want people around the workers. You don’t want illegals? Then quit employing the businesses that hire them or operate illegally. That includes those that practice polygamist child labor, too.

    • Big Guy November 21, 2014 at 10:03 am

      Don’t change the subject. It’s Obama’s flagrant abuse of an executive order that should be the vital concern of all Americans, whether or not they believe immigration law should be changed. Before you leap too quickly to support Obama’s sweeping and unprecedented abuse of power, consider the following. If Ted Cruz were elected President in 2016 (he’ll never get my vote) and appoints Mike Lee as his Attorney General, the entire fabric of our country’s government would change in a matter of weeks as President Cruz cites Obama’s use of executive orders as precedent for gutting every liberal program he doesn’t like while turning a blind eye to conservatives who violate laws he doesn’t like.

      • Visiting Anthropologist November 21, 2014 at 2:29 pm

        Big Guy, this is hardly a change of subject. It’s one of the real reasons the Repubs and their minions are so opposed to legalizing these hard-working immigrants. And one of the reasons they’ll go down fighting it. Money always talks louder than ethics. But fortunately, the big wheel of Karma comes around every time.

        Dancing Infidel, please stop implying things about my personal life. You know nothing about how I live or any “comforts” I might enjoy. Nothing.

    • dancing infidel November 21, 2014 at 12:03 pm

      VA, you keep thinking that way and soon you will see what happens to what you are so used to and comfortable with. I guess you are so happy paying taxes to support those that do not contribute to society (takers vs. producers). There are many of us that are tired of paying for others to enjoy the fruits of our labor. We’ll see how it all works out for those love this president and his destroying the country.

    • Amnesty For Illegals November 21, 2014 at 6:25 pm

      I see Senator Hatch was vocal (against Obama) with the Amnesty Plan for Illegals. Senator Hatch was in Congress in 2004 when President Bush hatched his own Amnesty Plan for Illegals. Also, you should look up Hatch sponsorship of the Dream Act. The DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) introduced in the Senate on August 1, 2001, S. 1291 by Dick Durbin and Orrin Hatch.

  • Amnesty For Illegals November 21, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    This is a quote from a Fox News source in regards to the Amnesty Plan For Illegals: “The massive new immigration initiative unveiled by the White House has Democrats and ethnic identity organizations accusing Republicans of election-year pandering, and has the Republican base wondering whether George W. Bush and the Republican Party has sold them out.” Yes, you read that correctly, George W. Bush. How quickly the Republican Party and its supporters have forgotten about the Amnesty Plan for Illegals implemented by George W. Bush in 2004. How were the Utah Republican leaders in 2004 voicing their opposition? They weren’t.

  • Amnesty For Illegals November 21, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    Senator Hatch’s very own version of Amnesty For Illegals. The DREAM Act, 2001. I see Senator Hatch was vocal (against Obama) with the Amnesty Plan for Illegals. Senator Hatch was in Congress in 2004 when President Bush hatched his own Amnesty Plan for Illegals. Also, you should look up Hatch sponsorship of the Dream Act. The DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) introduced in the Senate on August 1, 2001, by Dick Durbin and Orrin Hatch.

  • Koolaid November 21, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    Weren’t some churches in St George helping illegals get their green cards in the early 2000’s?

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