Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, voted Wednesday against a fundamentally flawed bill that, instead of addressing the critical need for comprehensive immigration reform, attacks the authority of the president’s executive power to help fix our broken system.
House Resolution 4138, the so-called ENFORCE Act, would enable a majority of one House of Congress to sue the president, heads of federal departments and agencies, and even federal officers and employees whenever they decided that any of those individuals has failed to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”
Specifically, the House majority says that a principle reason for the bill is to stop the president’s use of executive authority to help “DREAMers” — young people who were brought to the United States as children who either are in or have completed high school or are an honorably discharged veteran. The Deferred Action for Children Arrivals program, which was created by President Obama in June 2012 through an executive order, protects DREAMers from deportation.
“I was heartened by the bipartisan action earlier this year, when both parties in Congress came together to pass the Omnibus budget deal and the 2014 Farm Bill, both important bills for the Central Coast,” Capps said. “Those bills are examples of how we can and must work together to find middle ground to address the needs of the nation.
“But I’m disappointed that instead of working together to fix our broken immigration system through a comprehensive immigration reform effort, the House leadership has instead prioritized partisan politics. Just last month in their principles for immigration reform the House majority said they wanted to support DREAMers and offer them a path to citizenship, but yesterday they put forward a bill that takes aim at the one policy we have in place on behalf of DREAMers. Instead of focusing on this divisive legislation, it is my hope that Congress can work together on the aspects of comprehensive immigration reform that we agree on — action that is desperately needed to help our economy grow, particularly along the Central Coast of California.”
While the Senate passed a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill last year, the House majority has so far refused to bring the bill to a vote on the House floor. Capps is a co-sponsor of H.R. 15, a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill based on the legislation that passed the Senate.
The bill includes many of the goals long supported by Capps, including an earn path to citizenship, an expedited path to citizenship for DREAMers and our agricultural workforce, reforms to improve the current visa system, border security and employer enforcement measures. She urges the House leadership to bring this bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill to the House floor for a vote.
— Chris Meagher is the press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.