Tonight President Obama will address the American people to outline his executive order overhauling U.S. immigration policy. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, it’s being opposed by nearly all congressional Republicans.
Republicans in Washington have levied a variety of threats toward the president including another government shutdown and even impeachment. They say if the president bypasses Congress on immigration reform it’ll prevent a more sweeping and permanent solution to the issue. Republicans also say the move exceeds the president’s authority.
Jeff Flake is one of Arizona’s Republican U.S. Senators.
“I’m one who believes we need broad-based immigration reform. The president’s action is not going to do what we need to do, and it’s just going to make it far more difficult to do what we need to do in the Congress to fix our broken immigration system,” Flake says.
President Obama’s executive order could make up to 5 million undocumented immigrants eligible for work permits, safeguarding them from deportation. It could also halt deportations of people living in the country illegally whose children are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
But the order could be reversed by a future president, and wouldn’t include a path to permanent citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
Last year, the Democratically controlled Senate passed a bipartisan comprehensive immigration bill. But, the Republican-dominated House failed to hold a vote.