House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) on Thursday blasted the White House for openly admitting that it delayed unilateral action to ease immigration in order to ensure that move wouldn't hurt Democrats in the mid-term election.
"Whether before or after the election in November, it is never acceptable for the President to re-write our laws by executive decree – the Constitution does not give him the authority to do so," Boehner and Goodlatte said in a joint statement. "By taking unilateral action on immigration, President Obama will inject serious constitutional questions into an already heated debate."
House Speaker John Boehner was among the Republicans who criticized the Obama administration Thursday for acknowledging that it delayed action on immigration to spare Democrats from an election-day revolt. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
"Such shortsighted actions will undermine the American people's trust in the President’s commitment to enforcing our immigration laws and will further setback any chance of enacting immigration reform."
Sessions said Americans wouldn't tolerate efforts to eradicate the border, and said "activist CEOs" should be able to write immigration policy.
"One is left breathless by the White House's admission that it is timing its planned nullification of America's immigration laws for after election day in the hope that it will spare Senate Democrats from the public's wrath," he said. "Instead of rebelling against executive amnesty, Senate Democrats have supported it every step of the way."
On Wednesday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest admitted the link between the election and the mid-term election.
"The fact, or I guess the concern is that had the President moved forward with his announcement prior to Election Day, you would have seen Republican candidates do more to make the immigration issue central to their campaign. And in the event that they were successful in their campaign, the concern would be that they would cite their opposition to immigration reform as a reason for their success. That is not a storyline that the President wanted, or that anybody here wanted to contribute to.
That admission is a change from past statements in which the administration said only that more time was needed educate people about the need to reform the immigration system.
Administration officials are thought to be considering an executive action that would let millions of illegal immigrants to stay in the country and even work. Republicans have said Obama has no right to take this action.