Alexander Statement on President’s Decision to Grant Executive Amnesty to Illegal Immigrants

Posted on November 20, 2014

WASHINGTON, Nov. 20, 2014 – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement on President Obama’s unilateral decision to grant executive amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants:

“Our Founders did not want a king and the American people don’t want a president who acts like one. Our immigration system is broken and our border is a mess. The president should be working with Congress to secure the border and create a system of legal immigration – not disregarding the rule of law and the will of the American people.”

The president’s decision contradicts what he, on multiple occasions over several years, characterized as both constitutional and legal restrictions on what the U.S. president in our system of government can accomplish on immigration through executive order: 

  • On Sept. 28, 2011, he said: “I just have to continue to say this notion that somehow I can just change the laws unilaterally is just not true. We are doing everything we can administratively. But the fact of the matter is there are laws on the books that I have to enforce …. We live in a democracy. You have to pass bills through the legislature, and then I can sign it.” (Emphasis added.) 
  • On June 25, 2011, he said: “Now, I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own. And believe me, right now dealing with Congress – believe me – believe me, the idea of doing things on my own is very tempting. I promise you. Not just on immigration reform. But that's not how – that's not how our system works. That’s not how our democracy functions. That's not how our Constitution is written.” (Emphasis added.) 
  • On March 28, 2011, he said: “ … for me to simply, through executive order, ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as president.” (Emphasis added.)

 # # #