Bilirakis Supports Amendments to Halt President’s Executive Immigration Action
Washington, D.C. – Representative Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), today released the following statement following his votes in favor of five amendments to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations legislation to stop the President’s Executive Action on immigration.
“As a grandson of Greek immigrants, I have a firsthand understanding of the importance and power of the American dream, as well as the sensitivity and passion surrounding immigration reform. But today, the crisis facing us is not about immigration; it is about the Constitution and separation of powers. President Obama himself said over 20 times that he does not have the authority to take the Executive Action he ultimately took. In the President’s own words: ‘That’s not how our democracy functions.’
“We can all agree our immigration system is broken, but it will not be fixed through Executive Orders. The President cannot write the laws, and that is why I supported amendments to completely defund the Obama Administration’s Executive Actions. I believe the Administration's lack of enforcement of immigration laws, as well as recent actions, set a dangerous precedent that threatens the well-being of the security of our country and the rule of law,” Bilirakis said.
The five amendments that passed would prevent any funds, whether they are appropriated or collected through user fees, to be used to carry out or enforce the Executive Actions announced on November 20, 2014. The amendments would ensure no funds are used to consider new or existing deferred action applications, and ensure that sex offenders are a deportation priority for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The amendments also promote the ability of businesses to hire American citizens and legal immigrants over undocumented aliens.
On January 8, Congressman Bilirakis cosigned a letter to Speaker Boehner urging him to take action in the 114th Congress to stop the President’s overreach.