By Greg Campbell
As legislators on both sides of the aisle in Congress debate the different ideas of how to tackle the issue of illegal immigration, one man, Barack Obama, has decided that he, too, will jump into the fray and propose his own plan, much to the chagrin of legislators.
The Obama Administration’s illegal immigration plan was leaked to USA Today, a move that is sure to irk Republican legislators that feel that President Obama has been playing fast and loose with his role as executive by acting like a unilateral legislator by utilizing executive orders to rule.
Obama’s plan would allow illegals to become permanent residents within eight years, a more lenient plan than what is largely being considered in Congress. Marco Rubio, a Republican Senator that is part of the bipartisan group of senators known as the “Gang of Eight” that is dedicated to immigration reform, has called Obama’s plan “dead on arrival” in Congress.
“It’s a mistake for the White House to draft immigration legislation without seeking input from Republican members of Congress. President Obama’s leaked immigration proposal is disappointing to those of us working on a serious solution…
It fails to follow through on previously broken promises to secure our borders, [and] creates a special pathway that puts those who broke our immigration laws at an advantage over those who chose to do things the right way and come here legally. It would actually make our immigration problems worse.”
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul also noted that the plan was deeply flawed and so outside of what Americans actually want, that it has no chance of coming to fruition. Paul claimed,
“The president is torpedoing his own plan. It shows me he is really not serious. … The bill won’t pass.”
Lawmakers had asked President Obama to step aside and not attempt to legislate because of the divisive nature of his presidency. While tension between Democrats and Republicans remain incredibly high, interjecting Obama’s agenda into the mix would be a surefire way to stall negotiations as Republicans don’t trust his motives.
Furthermore, Obama is not a legislator. As his job is the executive, his duties are to execute the laws the Congress passes. Last year, several legislators, including Senator Rubio, were working on substantive immigration reform policies when the president, by executive order, unilaterally mandated the halting of deportations for illegals creating a frenzy of animosity on the issue of illegal immigration.
It seemed, for a period, that Obama would heed the call by Democrats and Republicans to stay away from the issue. However, this recent reversal signals the Obama will be attempting to engage on the issue. Joel Pollak of Breitbart News noted,
“Last month, it appeared that the president had heeded the advice of immigration reform advocates. His much-anticipated speech on immigration in Las Vegas, Nevada seemed to have been toned down, and avoided specific proposals that might have triggered opposition. Skeptics, however, continued to believe Obama would attempt to ensure that immigration reform would not pass, in order to continue using it as a political tool to drive Latino voters to the polls. That skepticism was reinforced by the fact that Obama had previously promised several times to take action on immigration reform without actually doing so.
Now, Obama’s reversal on allowing the bipartisan negotiations to take their course, and his proposal for legislation whose policies are objectionable to the GOP, is a sign that he may prefer defeat to passage, at least until the 2014 midterm elections.”