U.S. Representative Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) issued a statement Thursday on President Barack Obama’s decision to bypass Congress and take executive action on immigration.
"Our broken immigration system desperately needs to be permanently and statutorily fixed,” said Denham. “I have long and actively supported an immigration solution that will secure our border, strengthen our economy, reduce our debt, create safer communities and end the de facto amnesty we have today.”
On Thursday evening, President Obama addressed the nation and announced executive action on immigration reform, providing relief for more than four million undocumented parents of U.S. citizens.
According to WhiteHouse.gov, illegal immigrants who have been in the U.S. for at least five years and are parents of children who are American citizens can apply for temporary reprieve without fear of deportation.
“That's the real amnesty — leaving this broken system the way it is,” said Obama. “Mass amnesty would be unfair. Mass deportation would be both impossible and contrary to our character. What I’m describing is accountability — a common-sense, middle ground approach: If you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. If you’re a criminal, you’ll be deported.”
Those who register would also have to pass a criminal background check and be willing to pay taxes.
However, Denham spoke out against the President’s decision to use executive action, rather than letting legislation run its course through Congress.
“The President’s decision to bypass Congress and ignore the U.S. Constitution will only further erode trust and create greater obstacles to a lasting fix,” said Denham. “Congress must be involved in fixing our broken system. His actions today deal a harsh blow to our efforts to establish real solutions.”
“That’s why I’ve cosponsored and introduced legislation to do just that and driven this message home among my colleagues on both sides of the aisle,” said Denham.
Denham, a cosponsor to H.R. 15, the House Bill titled the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act,” has been an avid supporter of an immigration solution.
H.R. 15, according to the Bill text, “recognizes that the primary tenets of its success depend on securing U.S. sovereignty and establishing a coherent and just system for integrating those who seek to join American society.”
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has stated that immigration reform has the potential to reduce deficits by $175 billion over the first 10 years and about $700 billion in the second decade
The CBO notes that a workforce that is legal would generate increased tax revenue through new income and payroll taxes, ensuring that everyone pays their fair share in taxes.
President Obama's address to the nation can be seen below.
Video courtesy of The White House