- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 8, 2015

Two bills against executive amnesty have now emerged. While the opening dramas of the 114th Congress played out, one Alabama Republican was in action mode: Rep. Robert Aderholt quickly introduced the “Repeal Executive Amnesty Act,” directed at President Obama’s executive amnesty proposal, an idea that has irked conservatives for many weeks. And Rep. Robert Aderholt’s legislation is gaining momentum - including an endorsement from Sen. Jeff Sessions, also from the Yellowhammer State.

“The laws of the land make it clear that it is illegal to enter the United States without going through the proper channels. The President’s order to enact amnesty, issued in November, circumvents Congress and sets a dangerous precedent. So, today I have introduced legislation that will reverse the President’s executive action. It not only defunds the President’s actions toward amnesty but also removes the President’s discretion in the ability to grant work permits, Social Security, and other federal benefits that go along with his order,” Mr. Aderholt declared, shortly after taking his oath of office on Tuesday. Reps. Lou Barletta of Pennsylvania and Lamar Smith of Texas joined him in the introduction.

“My legislation will also put limits on the President’s future ability to enact such wide-reaching actions that circumvent the Constitution’s separation of powers. It returns the legislative authority of our government back to the legislative branch,” Mr. Aderholt explained.

Mr. Sessions pointed out Thursday that Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus promised that the GOP would do “everything we can do” to stop executive amnesty.

“Legislation introduced by Congressman Aderholt would fulfill that pledge and accomplish that goal. It would block funds for the President’s illegal scheme; surely, Congress should not fund an illegal act that eliminates our constitutional role as a lawmaking body,” Mr. Sessions said in a statement. “Further, the Aderholt bill would take steps to address one of the most serious problems now unfolding: the mass release of illegal immigrants who show up at the border into the interior of the country.”

Rep. Steve King of Iowa, meanwhile, has introduced the “Defund Executive Amnesty Act,” which would do just that.

“My bill defunds all of the President’s illegal and unconstitutional actions regarding immigration. Beginning with the Morton Memos and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and covering all of his most recent illegal and unconstitutional acts to expand DACA to 5 million more illegal immigrants.” Mr. King says.

“To make sure President Obama doesn’t attempt to find other ways to circumvent the Constitution, my bill also has a catch-all provision that bars any similar actions in the future and has language to make it clear illegal immigrants are not authorized to work in the United States. This preserves the Constitution, reinforces the separation of powers, and fulfills Republican promises to the American people in the 2014 election.”

Activist groups have also taken note.

“For six years, the Obama administration has taken a wrecking ball to immigration enforcement, compromising the interests of American workers, taxpayers, national security and our constitutional system of government,” says Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a public interest organization. “This legislation will help restore respect for our nation’s immigration laws and for the right of the American people, through their elected representatives, to determine who can live and work in this country.”

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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