The politically charged decision comes as Obama faces a tough reelection fight against Republican Mitt Romney, and Hispanic voters in swing states will play a crucial role in the contest.
The change in policy could allow as many as 800,000 immigrants who came to the United States illegally not only to remain in the country without fear of being deported, but to work legally, according to a senior administration official speaking to reporters Friday.
Reaction from Georgia Congressman Rob Woodall came in the form of a press release:
“America is a beacon of freedom in the world and it is no wonder that hundreds of thousands of people each year apply to complete the legal and proper steps to become citizens or permanent residents of this amazing land. After all, who wouldn’t want to raise their family in the land of opportunity and under the rule of law? Unfortunately, President Obama’s decision to cease the deportation of potentially millions of illegal immigrants and instead grant them legal work permits—while millions of legal U.S. residents remain unemployed and unable to find work—undermines both the rule of law and the economic opportunity that is America.”
“As of 2011, more than 13.7 million U.S. citizens were unemployed, and today our national unemployment levels remain disappointingly high at 8.2 percent. How can the President and his Administration offer the few American jobs that are available to those who have come to America illegally rather than those U.S. citizens who have always paid their taxes and played by the rules?”
“With today’s decree, President Obama demonstrates the same contempt for America’s laws that those who enter illegally do. He is undermining the balance of power laid out by the U.S. Constitution, going far beyond his power within the Executive Branch and advancing his election-year politics at the expense of the American economy and the American people’s trust.”
“I am tremendously proud of America’s history as a nation of immigrants, and I am committed to continuing and improving the legal avenues that allow another generation of legal immigrants to become U.S. citizens. But, as every new American citizen knows, we are a nation of laws, and the U.S. Constitution extends lawmaking power to Congress and Congress alone. This executive power grab—whether proposed by President Obama, President Romney, or President Reagan—is an unconstitutional act, and I will fight it with every tool at my disposal.”