Republicans are responding to the news that a federal judge temporarily halted President Obama’s executive actions on immigration by invoking the number 22.
That’s the number of times Republicans claim Obama previously spoke out against the idea of executive overreach before he unilaterally ordered changes last year to immigration law, including stopping the deportations of certain illegal immigrants.
U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of Texas temporarily stopped the implementation of Obama’s immigration actions late Monday, giving opponents of the order more time to prepare a legal case.
In statement after statement released Tuesday, Republicans referenced the “22 times” talking point.
“The president said 22 times he did not have the authority to take the very action on immigration he eventually did, so it is no surprise that at least one court has agreed,” House Speaker John Boehner said. “We will continue to follow the case as it moves through the legal process. Hopefully, Senate Democrats who claim to oppose this executive overreach will now let the Senate begin debate on a bill to fund the Homeland Security department.”
“This ruling underscores what the President has already acknowledged publicly 22 times: He doesn’t have the authority to take the kinds of actions he once referred to as ‘ignoring the law’ and ‘unwise and unfair.’ Senate Democrats — especially those who’ve voiced opposition to the President’s executive overreach—should end their partisan filibuster of Department of Homeland Security funding,” Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said.
“I strongly support the recent federal district court decision finding that President Obama exceeded his authority under the law with his latest executive order on immigration — an action that the president himself conceded as unlawful as many as 22 times over the past two years,” Arizona Sen. John McCain said.
“The U.S. District Court judge in Texas is raising the same legal concerns the president himself raised 22 times: he does not have the authority to take this immigration executive action. I am glad the court agreed,” South Dakota Sen. John Thune said.
Meanwhile, White House press secretary Josh Earnest defended Obama’s executive order.
“The Supreme Court and Congress have made clear that the federal government can set priorities in enforcing our immigration laws—which is exactly what the President did when he announced commonsense policies to help fix our broken immigration system,” Earnest said. “Those policies are consistent with the laws passed by Congress and decisions of the Supreme Court, as well as five decades of precedent by presidents of both parties who have used their authority to set priorities in enforcing our immigration laws.”