Alexander: Congress Writes Immigration Laws—Not the President

Posted on April 4, 2016

Joins with Republican leaders denouncing Obama’s efforts to circumvent “the rule of law and the will of the American people”

WASHINGTON, April 4, 2016 – U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today joined 42 other U.S. Senators in a brief submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court condemning President Obama’s efforts to grant lawful presence and work authorization to more than 4 million illegal aliens through unconstitutional executive overreach.

“President Obama should be working with Congress to secure the border and create a system of legal immigration – not circumventing the rule of law and the will of the American people. Our Founders did not want a king and the American people do not want a president who acts like one,” Alexander said.

The amicus brief, also called a “friend of the court” brief that is often used to share additional information and arguments for the court to consider, is being filed in response to a case currently being heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, the United States v. Texas, involving the constitutionality of President Obama’s “Deferred Action for Parents of Americans” program. The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an injunction blocking President Obama’s proposed policy to grant legal status to certain undocumented immigrants without approval from Congress. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) led a group of 43 Senate Republicans in filing the brief.

The brief filed with the Supreme Court states Obama’s executive actions on immigration “contravene the letter and the spirit of the immigration laws, and threaten the separation of powers enshrined into the Constitution.”

In the brief, members argue that Congress has already created laws to determine how immigrants can work, live and ultimately become naturalized in the United States.

“Yet Congress has never given the Executive unchecked discretion to rewrite federal immigration policy or to fashion its own immigration code.  In this case, the Executive sought to do precisely that by granting ‘lawful presence’ – and the governmental benefits and work authorization that purportedly come with it – to over four million aliens who are illegally present in the United States and who are otherwise barred from working here or receiving federal benefits under the statutes that Congress has enacted,” the filing states.


For access to this release and the senator’s other statements, click here.

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