Congresswoman Martha Roby

Representing the 2nd District of Alabama

House crafts strong strategy to address executive amnesty

January 9, 2015
Representative Roby's Weekly Column

The 114th Congress began this week, and House Republicans wasted no time addressing President Obama’s overreaching immigration actions. As you know, late last year President Obama attempted to bypass Congress to grant defacto amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. 

What the president has done is wrong and dangerous. It undermines the rule of law and threatens American jobs. Last month, Congress went forward with a plan that gave us the best chance to address executive amnesty through the Appropriations process in the new Republican Majority. In doing so, we also made a commitment that we would see that effort through in good faith. 

That’s why on the first day of the session, I introduced legislation to use the “power of the purse” to block the president’s executive amnesty plans by prohibiting funds from being used to implement the orders. That bill, H.R. 31, The Prevention of Executive Amnesty Act, is meant to provide simple “defund” language to be included in a Homeland Security Appropriations bill.

Several of my colleagues and I worked through the week to find the simplest, most straightforward bill language that could defund the president’s unconstitutional immigration orders. We are also seeking to block egregious selective prosecution policies implemented by the Obama Administration under the guise of “prosecutorial discretion.” My friend, Alabama delegation colleague and fellow Appropriations Committee Robert Aderholt put forward such a proposal. I am greatly appreciative of Rep. Aderholt’s strong leadership on this issue.

On Friday, the House Appropriations Committee released the fiscal year 2015 Homeland Security Appropriations bill that will be discussed in the coming week on the floor. The bill prioritizes frontline security and cuts funds for lower-priority programs. Our language addressing the president’s immigration policies will be added through amendments on the floor of the House next week. For updates on these developments, check out my Facebook and Twitter pages where I will post the latest. 

There is definitely a problem with immigration in this country, but I believe the best way to address it is by enforcing the law, not by backing down and allowing lawlessness. There are many reasons why the president’s action is dangerous, but one of the worst is that it will invite even more immigrants to ignore the law and cross the border illegally. We have to take action to stop this, and that’s why we are wasting no time and starting right away.

The will of Congress must be to fund Homeland Security and its important functions, but to specifically block implementation of President Obama’s unconstitutional immigration orders.