Tags: republicans | obama | immigration | border security

GOP Gears Up to Take On Obama's Amnesty Order

By    |   Monday, 29 Dec 2014 09:54 AM

As the Republican Party prepares to take full control of Congress in the new year, lawmakers are considering a range of proposals on immigration that would enable them to forge their own path distinct from the president's executive action.

According to The Wall Street Journal, many in the party are intent on overturning Obama's orders, but there will also be a focus on new legislation to reform the system, such as border security measures.

"We want to set our own agenda on this," Texas Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, told the Journal. "My bill passing, hopefully in the early part of next year, can lay the groundwork for other measures."

Legislation is slated to be ready from both the House and the Senate as early as late January.

A House bill will likely include provisions to better track illegal crossings, as well as improvements in equipment and technology along the Southwest border, the Journal said.

On the Senate side, legislation will likely provide additional surveillance, fencing, an improved visa-tracking system, and stronger workplace enforcement using the electronic system, E-Verify, to check the legal status of prospective employees.

"Once we pass a strong border security enforcement bill, we'll turn our attention to the other things, as well" to reform immigration policy, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, the incoming chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, told the Journal.

One bill already in the works would create a temporary worker program for low-skilled jobs in industries such as construction and restaurants. Another bill could broaden the availability of visas for high-tech workers.

For his part, President Barack Obama has said he would veto any bills that roll back his plans, and it is unclear whether Democrats or the White House would sign on to new measures if they do not include provisions to legalize millions of undocumented immigrants, the Journal reported.

Meanwhile, South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham has said that the GOP's chances of winning the White House in 2016 will hinge on its efforts to push through immigration reform.

"If we don't at least make a down payment on solving the problem and rationally dealing with the 11 million [illegal immigrants believed to be in the U.S.], if we become the party of self-deportation in 2015 and 2016, then the chance of winning the White House I think is almost non-existent," he said on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday.

Graham has been a vocal opponent of the president's executive action, accusing Obama of "acting in a rogue fashion" for "political reasons," but he said Republicans need to "do more than just fight the executive order."

Graham supports creating a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, or immigrants who entered the United States illegally as children.

"If the Republican Party cannot muster the political courage to deal with the DREAM Act children in a fair and balanced way after we secure our border, that says a lot about the Republican Party's future regarding the Hispanic community," Graham told CNN.

"I don't believe most Americans would fault the Republican Party if we allowed children who have been here since they're babies to assimilate into society with a pathway to citizenship after we secure our borders."

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has also warned that the GOP needs to act on immigration, among a range of issues, if it is to maintain its Senate majority and win the White House in 2016.

"There's one thing they could do right now, and quickly — pass a bill," Chamber chief executive Tom Donahue told the Journal. "Would you want to run for president in either party if you were opposing an immigration bill?"

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As the Republican Party prepares to take full control of Congress in the new year, lawmakers are considering a range of proposals on immigration that would enable them to forge their own path distinct from the president's executive action. According to The Wall Street...
republicans, obama, immigration, border security
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2014-54-29
Monday, 29 Dec 2014 09:54 AM
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