Tags: Barack Obama | Immigration | immigration | illegal | immigrants | executive action | amnesty

Jeh Johnson, House GOP Ready for Immigration Clash

By    |   Tuesday, 02 Dec 2014 08:34 AM

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, the author of President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration, will be grilled by Congress on Tuesday in what will be a certain showdown with angry Republicans.

According to Politico, Johnson will fiercely defend the plan — which grants temporary amnesty to millions of undocumented immigrants — during testimony to the House Homeland Security Committee.

"The president's decision to bypass Congress and grant amnesty to millions of unlawful immigrants is unconstitutional and a threat to our democracy," said House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, who will vow to "use every tool at my disposal" to block the executive actions from being implemented, Politico reported.

Other top GOP lawmakers are also leading the charge, including New York Rep. Peter King, a senior member of the committee. King intends to focus his questioning on the timing of the action, security measures at the southern border, and the scope of the executive order.

"How far can the president go in an executive order?" King told Politico. "This is almost like a mass amnesty, almost, and the degree of it, I think, it's unprecedented."

Johnson's prepared remarks indicate he is planning to forcefully defend the president's plans and will note that he personally recommended each of the provisions, Politico reported.

"The reality is that undocumented immigrants … have been in this country for years, raising American families and developing ties to the community," Johnson plans to tell the House committee in his prepared testimony, Politico reported.

"Many of these individuals have committed no crimes and are not enforcement priorities.

"It is time that we acknowledge this as a matter of official policy and encourage eligible individuals to come out of the shadows, submit to criminal and national security background checks, and be held accountable."

Tuesday's showdown with Johnson will come as senior Republicans convene for a closed-door session to discuss strategies to counter Obama's executive action.

One plan on the table would combine a broad-based spending bill to fund the government through September 2015 with a stopgap spending measure to fund the Department of Homeland Security, which will be carrying out the president's orders.

Republican leaders are also pushing for a measure that states that the executive branch cannot exempt "by executive order, regulation, or any other means, categories of persons unlawfully present in the United States from removal under the immigration laws."

Johnson has been respected and well-liked by Republicans up until now.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham told reporters on Monday that Johnson was an "outstanding guy," Politico reported. The two formerly worked as lawyers at the Pentagon.

"At the end of the day, it's President Obama that I'm upset with, not the people around him," Graham said.

At the same time, the controversy of the president's immigration action has prompted Johnson to withdraw himself for consideration as a nominee to replace Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, to avoid the confirmation process becoming a referendum on the immigration directive.
 
"Secretary Johnson is not the right nominee for the Department of Defense because he does not have the depth of understanding that we need at this point in history," Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and vocal critic of Obama's immigration policies, told Politico.

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Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, the author of President Obama's executive action on immigration, will be grilled by Congress on Tuesday in what will be a certain showdown with angry Republicans.
immigration, illegal, immigrants, executive action, amnesty, Johnson, Obama, House
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2014-34-02
Tuesday, 02 Dec 2014 08:34 AM
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