Aaron Schock: Nothing In Senate's Immigration Bill Could Have Prevented Crisis

Sunday, 13 Jul 2014 02:07 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Even if the House were to pass the Senate's immigration bill, there is nothing there that could have stopped the thousands of young immigrants streaming across the nation's southern border, according to Illinois Republican Rep. Aaron Schock.

"That's a fact," Schock told CNN "State of Union" host Candy Crowley Sunday. In addition, he said, "there's nothing proposed by House Democrats that would have stemmed the tide of refugees seeking asylum."

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Schock appeared on a panel on Sunday's show along with Tennessee Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn and Democratic Reps. Beto O'Rourke, of Texas, and Donna Edwards of Maryland.

Immigrants are coming, said Schock, because "their home countries are unsafe and [because of] the president's ambiguity on whether or not he will enforce America's borders and the rule of law we currently have on the books."

Also, said Schock, last week, "the entire press internationally was a-twitter" when Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson was ambiguous over whether children arriving illegally would be deported.

Such actions lure more people to the border, "hoping and believing they can stay," he continued. And rather than passing new laws about immigration, "the president needs to be clear what his intent is [when] enforcing our nation's laws.

Blackburn, who on Saturday told Newsmax that the illegal immigrant children arrested for crossing the U.S. border are merely pawns in President Barack Obama's "political game," said on Sunday's show that there are many actions the president can take.

"I've been at the shelter," Blackburn told Crowley. "There are things the president needs to do. He needs to stop releasing criminal aliens. Do you realize in 2013 he released 36,000 criminal aliens?"

The way to deal with the crisis, said Blackburn, is to secure the borders first. "The June 2012 executive order of not deporting children is one of the drivers of this," she said. In addition, Blackburn noted, when you speak to the people handling the effects of the situation, they "say to a person" that efforts must be made to secure the border.

Also on Sunday's show, Schock and Blackburn defended House Speaker John Boehner's lawsuit against Obama over his executive action strategy.

"The lawsuit is about process, and the American people appreciate and want an orderly process," said Blackburn. "To them, the means is as important as the ends, and what they have seen is a president who has gone outside of his constitutional authority and is trying to make his own laws."

She said the argument isn't a partisan issue, but reflects concerns spoken by members of all parties.

"There is an expectation that the president will conduct himself in a certain manner and that he is going to follow the letter of the law," said Blackburn. "We are a nation of laws and I've got to tell you, a lot of constitutional scholars are on our side in this debate.

Schock commented that the lawsuit is about several factors, but "first and foremost it's about the rule of law and the fact of the matter is we have a president who has boasted rally after rally if Congress doesn't pass the law he wants he will act unilaterally and implement his own laws."

Schock said it doesn't matter what a person's political philosophy is when it comes to the president's actions.

"We have a constitution, and every two years each of the four of us around this table take an oath, raise our right hand and swear to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States," he said. "This lawsuit is more than just about holding the president within his realm of authority, which is to faithfully execute the laws that Congress passes, it's also about us fulfilling our constitutional responsibility, our oath to protect and defend the constitution."

If Obama is allowed to continue to implement his own laws, said Schock, "we will open the floodgates for future presidents of Republicans and Democrats to do the same, and that's a dangerous precedent to set."

Blackburn pointed out that the Supreme Court has ruled numerous times that Obama has acted outside of his jurisdiction.

"The president is trying to consolidate his power," Blackburn said. "The American people don't like it...he should act in the manner allowed to him and not be trying to make his own laws and be an imperial president."

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