During their first meeting after the midterm elections, House Speaker John Boehner requested President Barack Obama give Congress "one more chance" to work on a proposal to reform the nation's broken immigration system.
The GOP leader detailed his conversation with the president during the party's caucus meeting on Thursday, reports The Weekly Standard
However, Boehner also cautioned Obama that by taking executive action, it would result not only in the death of immigration reform, but endanger the possibility of cooperating on other issues, too.
"I told the president last week directly: 'If you proceed with executive amnesty, not only can you forget about getting immigration reform enacted during your presidency, you can also expect it to jeopardize other issues as well,'" Boehner said, a source at the meeting told Politico
"We don't know when exactly he'll do it or how exactly he'll do it. But if he proceeds, we are going to fight it," the source added.
A fight seemed all the more likely as news leaked Thursday of the administration's plans to move on immigration when Obama returns from his trip to Asia next week.
As Boehner and his Republican colleagues were discussing how to react to any executive action, The New York Times reported Obama would move forward
with plans to provide 5 million illegal immigrants protection from deportation.
In addition to shifting immigration agents away from enforcement activities, the executive order would allow parents of children born in the United States or legal residents to obtain legal work documents.
That initiative could impact as many as 3.3 million people who have been living in the United States illegally for at least five years, according to an analysis by the Migration Policy Institute, a think tank which backs immigration reform.
Republicans have not settled on a response to any executive action taken by the president, but Arizona Republican Rep. Matt Salmon has written to the chairs of the House Appropriations Committee
asking that language be included in legislation banning funding for initiatives included in any executive order.
"We respectfully request that as you work to finalize the year-end funding legislation that language be included in all relevant appropriations legislation for FY 2015 to prohibit the use of funds by the administration for the implementation of current or future executive actions that would create additional work permits and green cards outside of the scope prescribed by Congress," reads the Nov. 13 letter, which is signed by 59 House Republicans.
Rep. Hal Rogers, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said Thursday that if Obama acts
before the spending bill is done, there will be an "explosion."
The 10-point draft plan would address several aspects of immigration reform from strengthening border security to increasing pay to immigration officers and expanding the deferred action to as many as 4.5 million illegal immigrants, reports Fox News
Individuals who entered the U.S. illegally as children, as well as their parents, would be granted a path to citizenship.
The deferred action plan was created by the administration in June 2012, and applied to illegal immigrants who entered before June 2007 and were under age 31 as of June 2012.
Under the new plan, the program would cover those who crossed the border before they were 16, and it would move the cut-off from June 2007 to Jan. 1, 2010, according to Fox News.
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