(Updated as statements are received.)
Senator Lamar Alexander:
“The president is always welcome in Tennessee, where he can see for himself why Republican leadership has our state headed in the right direction. Most Tennesseans would prefer to hear the president talk about working with Congress to secure the border and create a legal system of immigration, instead of discussing his decision to disregard the Constitution and make our broken system worse.”
Senator Bob Corker (from November when the President announced his executive actions):
“The president is not acting in strength, he is acting in weakness. This decision makes it clear that the president doesn’t have the ability and willingness to lead by rolling up his sleeves and doing the hard work to reach a consensus that is in the best interest of our country. The president is blatantly ignoring the rule of law and Congress’ constitutional role, and I could not be more disappointed. Congress has to respond, but the response should be prudent and we should not lose sight of the fact that our job over the next two years is to enact policies that will make our nation stronger.”
Congressman Phil Roe:
“I was disappointed to hear more partisan rhetoric from the president as he spoke in Tennessee today. We can—and should—take steps to reform the immigration process, starting with fully securing the border. But the president’s attempt to rewrite immigration law from the Oval Office is the wrong solution, not to mention a slap in the face to every naturalized citizen that waited in line to live in this country. Right now we have an opportunity to make changes to our immigration system to help future generations. Rather than repeating past mistakes and kicking the can down the road, we need to implement real reform, but President Obama’s ‘plan’ is about the furthest thing from a long-term solution possible.”
Congressman John Duncan:
“The President continues to ignore or gloss over the fact that we already have very detailed immigration laws on the books, and no President has the right or the power to pick and choose which ones to enforce. This latest executive order will encourage many millions more to come here, illegally if necessary, as President Obama himself said in 2010. The American people are the kindest, most generous people in the world. We have allowed many millions to immigrate here legally over the last 25 or 30 years, far more than any other nation. But our entire infrastructure—our schools, hospitals, jails, roads, sewers, etc.—just could not handle the mega-millions who would come here in the next few years if we simply opened our borders. We must have a legal, orderly immigration system, and it must be enforced.”
Congressman Chuck Fleischmann:
“Unfortunately, the President used today’s trip to try and sell Tennesseans on his unlawful executive orders -orders even he once said would violate our laws. We owe it to the American people to secure our borders, and those waiting to legally enter the country, to enforce the current immigration laws before we make any radical changes. While the President claimed, after the election, that he heard the American people, it’s clear he has not. This is just another example of the President failing to lead, and instead, taking his own path and ignoring the will of the people.”
Congressman Scott DesJarlais:
“While I am sure this scripted event in Nashville will attempt to present the president in the best possible light, I would encourage him to travel a few miles to the south to Tennessee’s Fourth Congressional District and speak with real folks from all walks of life who continue to voice their concerns over his unilateral action on immigration. Although President Obama might wish otherwise, our Constitution does not give him the authority to circumvent Congress simply because existing laws conflict with his particular ideology. Fortunately, Congress maintains the power of the purse and it is incumbent upon us to use this power to put a stop to this flagrant usurpation of power.”
Congressman Diane Black:
“More than 200,000 Tennesseans remain out of work, but rather than prioritize their plight, the President is putting the interests of those who have broken our laws ahead of them.”
“Why should unemployed Tennesseans have to compete with illegal immigrants for jobs? And why should those who break our laws to come here be rewarded while so many wait to come here legally? This is wrong and the President does not have the authority to change our immigration laws without Congress, as he himself has said at least 22 times. But now he has changed his mind and chosen Nashville as a destination to publicly thumb his nose at the American electorate that just rebuked him in the last election. The Obama Presidency has been a disaster and can’t end soon enough. But in the meantime, I will work with my colleagues in Congress to fight the President’s unconstitutional power grab and to advance policies that will help get Tennesseans and those who have immigrated here legally back to work.”
Congressman Marsha Blackburn:
“America’s workforce participation rate sits at a 36-year low due to the Obama economy. More than 90 million Americans are out of work, so it is unfair to Tennessee families that this President wants to force hard-working taxpayers to compete for jobs with illegal aliens to whom he is unilaterally granting work permits. In addition, what is the President’s response to those immigrants who have been lawfully waiting in line for years to become citizens? Is that consistent with the societal “fairness” of which he so often speaks?
“During the first two years of his term, the President had a Democrat super-majority in Congress and did nothing to address this immigration crisis that he now claims is such an emergency that he must go it alone. He kicked the immigration reform can down the road for six years and failed to work with Congress on serious solutions to address the problems with our immigration system.
“His solution to immigration is to take out his pen and write an executive memo that encourages thousands of illegal aliens to flood our borders through unconstitutional executive actions. DACA is the primary example. President Obama’s actions have effectively nullified the immigration laws of this country and made America an ‘open borders society’ with no rules governing entrance except those announced through royal decree.
“That is exactly why I led the House effort this summer in passage of legislation that would freeze the DACA program and prevent President Obama from taking future executive actions to expand amnesty for illegal aliens. H.R. 5272 passed the House with bipartisan support on August 1st. I share in the frustration Americans have with this President and will continue to do everything in my power to stop his executive amnesty. Enough is enough.”