Voting privileges, tax refunds and other potential entitlements for non-citizens are the "absolutely infuriating" result of President Barack Obama deciding to ignore Congress and make his own immigration laws, U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV
"This is what happens when you have one man in charge and you overlook the way the Founding Fathers intended it — going through Congress," said the Texas Republican, referring to the president's executive order last fall shielding millions of people here illegally from deportation.
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Those immigrants will be able to illegally register and vote in elections,
thanks to the driver's licenses and Social Security numbers that will become available to them under Obama's amnesty decree, two state election officials told a congressional panel on Thursday.
Their testimony followed news last week that illegal immigrants with deportations deferred might be eligible for
the federal Earned Income Tax Credit, and could claim it retroactively for up to three years' or $24,000 worth of tax credits.
They also might qualify for
Social Security checks and Medicare coverage, according to reports.
It didn't have to happen this way, said Farenthold, a House Oversight & Government Reform subcommittee chairman.
"If we had looked at the immigration issue through Congress and gotten everybody's input, we would've come up with a better solution," he said. "But no, the president would rather kick back in the Oval Office, sip a beer and make the law all by himself."
He said it now falls to somebody — probably state officials, possibly the federal government — to fix a problem created by Obama's order: how to distinguish between citizenship and residency.
Whether that's done through color-coded Social Security cards or some new federal form of identity — "and quite frankly I worry about a government-issued national ID," he said — officials are "certainly are going to have to look at some ways to improve the security of the system," said Farenthold.
Meanwhile, the fight to defund executive amnesty in the Homeland Security budget is not going well, even with Republican majorities in both chambers of Congress, he said.
"They certainly-out messaged us on this," Farenthold said of the Democrats. "We passed the bill [selectively] funding the Department of Homeland Security a month ago. We couldn't get it to 60 votes necessary to move it on to the president's desk in the Senate because the Democrats are blocking it. We sent something that funds all of DHS except the president's unconstitutional executive amnesty. It's a broken Senate that's the problem; it's not House Republicans."
With the DHS funding battle pushing the country toward another government shutdown, Farenthold said that Republicans are again being cast as the villains.
"We'll take the heat for anything that happens because we get out-messaged, and a good chunk of the media is biased towards the other side," he said.
"I am worried about it," said Farenthold. "But remember: All of the government is funded, except the Department of Homeland Security, and in the event there's a — and I am using air quotes here — a 'shutdown,' 95 percent of the Department of Homeland Security are deemed essential personnel and will end up working anyway."
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