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Executive Needs to Faithfully Observe and Respect Congressional Enactments of the Law Act of 2014

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Chairman, in the committee report that accompanies these bills, on page 13 and 14, there are three items that the majority says that the President can't do.

One is to defer action for the DREAMers, young people who are brought here innocently in violation of immigration laws; two, to allow the wives of American soldiers who are undocumented to stay and not be deported; and, finally, to allow parents who have been arrested for immigration to try and preserve their parental rights.

Is it legal for the President to take these actions? Certainly, it is. In Heckler v. Chaney, as well as in the Arizona v. United States court decision, the Supreme Court makes clear that, in immigration, the ability to enforce or decide not to enforce is part of the broad executive authority; and further, the United States Congress has actually delegated to the executive branch, at 6 U.S. Code 202, the national immigration enforcement priorities and policies to the President.

Now, is this anything new? No. We have paroled-in-place Cubans since John F. Kennedy was President. In 2010, a bipartisan group of members, including Congressman Michael Turner and Mac Thornberry from the Armed Services Committee and myself wrote and said: Please, Mr. President, don't deport the wives of American soldiers.

The President used his authority to do that as prior Presidents had done. The use of parole in place is delegated to the President and nothing new.

Now, why is this important? These bills are drafted to keep the President from doing the things that he did to allow the children to stay and to allow the wives of American soldiers not to be deported.

I think that what the majority wants to do is to not only have a do-nothing Congress, but to have a do-nothing President. When it comes to immigration, this is very serious. We have had one vote on immigration here in the Congress that was on Congressman King's bill to deport the DREAM Act kids.

We have heard a lot of discussion about a bill supposedly that is going to be brought forward by the majority about the innocent children who have been brought here, but we haven't seen a bill; instead, we see these bills, which would allow the Congress to overrule the President's action, so that the DREAM Act kids will be deported, so that the wives of soldiers who are in battle in Afghanistan would be deported, so that individuals who are caught up in an immigration problem would lose their children to social services, would lose their parental rights.

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