Tags: Immigration | John McCain | Paul Ryan | immigration | executive action

Pelosi, Dems to Latinos: Obama Will Act Boldly on Amnesty

Pelosi, Dems to Latinos: Obama Will Act Boldly on Amnesty
(Pat Benic/UPI/Landov)

By    |   Friday, 31 October 2014 11:19 AM

With the prospect of a Republican takeover of the Senate, Democrats are making a final pitch to Latino voters, asserting President Obama has existing legal authority to take executive action on immigration.

In an op-ed published Thursday on Univision.com, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Reps. Luis V. Gutierrez of Illinois and Zoe Lofgren of California make the case that "Congress and the Constitution give presidents broad authority to take executive action on immigration policy" and that the authority has been used by past presidents.

"In addition to taking steps to make our immigration enforcement efforts more humane, there are dozens of reforms that the President can adopt. Two that could have the greatest impact involve the expanded use of his deferred action and 'parole' authorities," wrote the Democratic House members in a message posted in English and Spanish.

Noting President Obama's pledge to take executive action on immigration after the elections, the Democrats say they "look forward to the President’s bold and meaningful action to improve the lives of Americans and immigrants alike and advance the interests of our nation."

The Univision message came a day after Pew Research reported that Latino support for Democrats has fallen, although they continue to have a healthy advantage over Republicans.

The nationwide survey of adults found that Latino registered voters are less supportive of the Democratic Party than in previous election cycles. In 2012, 70 percent of Hispanic voters said they identify with the Democratic Party, compared to today when 63 percent said they lean Democrat.

In addition, 50 percent of respondents said Democrats were more concerned about Latino interests than Republicans, which is down from 61 percent in 2012.

According to the Pew Research Center, as many as 25.2 million Latinos will be eligible to vote in the upcoming midterms, which represents 11 percent of all eligible voters nationwide.

Republicans also weighed in Thursday on the prospect Obama may take executive action on immigration after the election.

Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Marco Rubio of Florida — all members of a bipartisan coalition who crafted a compromise immigration reform package — wrote a letter Thursday to the president to "strongly discourage such action."

"Congress must fulfill its obligations under the Constitution and address this issue. Furthermore, it is not clear under what authority you would take such action, if you chose to do so," the senators letter reads

"Taking executive action along the lines that have been reported would flaunt the separation of powers and our system of checks and balances, undermine the rule of law, and frustrate the proper administration of our current immigration system."

The senators also maintained that providing legal status via executive action "will only incentivize illegal immigration and open the floodgates to more visa overstays and illegal entries over our southern border."

The signature most notably absent from the letter is that of Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, who participated in the bipartisan negotiations and opposes using executive action on immigration.

Sen. Flake "feels strongly that problems created by the Obama administration's apparent refusal to prosecute illegals under the Operation Streamline program in Arizona must be part of any conversation or communication on the issue," his spokeswoman, Bronwyn Lance Chester, told The Arizona Republic in an e-mailed statement.

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan warned in an appearance on Fox News' "Hannity" show that the House will take action to prevent Obama from implementing immigration reform unilaterally.

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"If we can get the power of the purse, we will explore every option that we can to exercise that power of the purse to get this executive to honor the Constitution," said the former Republican vice presidential candidate.


"If he were to do something like that (executive action on amnesty), by the way, he’d put millions of people in legal limbo, poison the well for Congress, and do something that’s so blatantly unconstitutional. And so we’re telling the administration, ‘Don’t even think about doing this,'" Ryan said.

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With the prospect of a Republican takeover of the Senate, Democrats are making a final pitch to Latino voters, asserting President Obama has full authority to take executive action on immigration.
immigration, executive action, amnesty
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2014-19-31
Friday, 31 October 2014 11:19 AM
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