Defeating Obama's Amnesty
Washington, D.C. – Tuesday morning Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) joined with the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) in hosting a briefing for congressional offices to discuss upcoming legislative proposals and the best path forward to combat President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. According to a report from the Center for Immigration Studies, from January of 2000 to January of 2014, the American economy created a net gain of 5.6 million jobs for people in the 16 to 65 age bracket. Despite this increase in employment, American citizens had a net loss of 127,000 jobs over that 14 year period, because 5.7 million of those 5.6 million net new jobs went to lawful immigrants and illegal aliens.
Text of Congressman Brooks’ remarks:
Mark thank you so much for the opportunity to be here. Steven, Rosemary, I appreciate the work y’all are doing in this immigration field. One of the challenges we have in Washington, is so many of our policy makers they have these blinders on. And when you start talking about immigration policy all they see is the immigrant and that’s it. They don’t see the impact of immigration on American citizens, and when I talk about the impact on American citizens, I’m talking about the income, family income, impact. And so what we have to do, is we have to be able to get a lot of our Congressmen and Senators to take off the blinders so that they can see the whole picture. And if they see the whole picture then I think we have a chance of being successful in doing what needs to be done for American citizens. But if we keep on those blinders, then there is going to be hell to pay for American families because they are going to suffer.
I don’t know how many times in discussing immigration with my fellow Congressmen and Senators, I feel almost like I’m up against a brick wall, because all they see, again, is the immigrant, and you have got to have compassion for the immigrants and the plights that they are trying to escape from as they come to the United States of America. If you don’t have that kind of sympathy, well then quite frankly, you’re somewhat heartless. But what you have to then look at is the impact on American citizens, because if you don’t look at the impact on American citizens then you’re also heartless because there is tremendous damage being done. And in that vein, I’m so thankful for the information that the Center for Immigration Studies is able to provide so that we can look at, with greater understanding, the impact of immigration policy on Americans.
Now in that vein, I’ll use as an example a report the Center for Immigration Studies put out last summer. I read the report and it was somewhat mindboggling and the gist of it was that if you look at the economic picture from January of 2000 to January of 2014, a 14 year period, the American economy created a net gain of 5.6 million jobs for people in the 16 to 65 age bracket. Sixteen to 65 is a pretty big age bracket, and you’re thinking ok well it’s good to know that our economy is strong enough to create 5.6 million new jobs for people to fill. And then you get into the rest of the report and of that 5.6 million net new jobs 5.7 million went to lawful immigrants and illegal aliens. Meaning that American citizens who we’re supposed to be representing — they’re the people who hired us, they’re the people who elected us — they had a net loss of 127,000 jobs over that 14 year period. In addition to that, because of the net job loss for American citizens coupled with population growth in that 16 to 65 age bracket, there were 17 million more Americans unemployed today, 16 to 65, than 14 years ago.
And that’s the kind of information that you have to get to the policy makers so that they can take those blinders off and see the full picture. And I’m so thankful that the Center for Immigration Studies does so much work on this particular issue. And I would be remiss if I did not also add that with respect to Rosemary Jenkins, I’m very thankful for what NumbersUSA does on more of a political level and an informational level to help us get the information we need to make the kinds of decisions that must be made for our country and for the people who sent us here.
That having all been said, I’m going to touch just a little bit about the legislation that is pending. Let me be real clear, in my judgment, everything we’re doing right now in the House of Representatives is political theatre. It’s well-intentioned political theatre, but for us to be able to restrain the president’s illegal actions with respect to amnesty and DACA and things of that nature, you have to have the president’s consent with the path that is being taken. If the president vetoes this effort to defund these unconstitutional programs - well then he wins. Because I don’t know of anybody who would suggest that we have the votes to override that veto.
Now we’re going to go through this exercise in the House, and hopefully this week we’ll pass legislation that will help better protect American citizens from the damage that is being wrought by this surge in the labor supply because of our immigration policies. But nonetheless, once we have gone through this political theatre and it goes to the Senate, if it passes the Senate and goes to the president’s desk he’s threatening to veto and where are we once that veto is exercised?
In my judgment, the only path that we have in congress to stop the president’s illegal conduct with respect to immigration is through the judicial system. And the reason I say that is we don’t need the president’s consent to go to court. The House of Representatives, by way of example, House Resolution 11, if the House of Representatives passes that then immediately the speaker is authorized to file a declaratory judgment action to determine whether the president’s conduct is in accord with the law, and if not to seek equitable relief, a writ of mandamus, to compel the president to obey the law. And if the president does not comport or comply with that federal court order then our next recourse is contempt of the president with all with all the kinds of sanctions that federal courts have to compel people to obey the law. In that scenario there is no signature of the president needed so it doesn’t make any difference if the president likes it or dislikes it, he doesn’t have veto authority. All we need are the votes in the House of Representatives, we don’t even need the Senate to go along with this; it’s a parallel path to what we are now doing with Obamacare where we passed legislation authorizing litigation to challenge in court the constitutionality of the president’s Obamacare executive orders.
I would submit that is the path we need to get behind because this is the only one that does not require the president’s consent to be successful. There will be a third party, the judicial system, that makes the decision on whether we win or lose. But nonetheless, what NumbersUSA is doing, what the Center for Immigration Studies is doing, and what you are doing by being here today is critical to this process working properly, because having the right information in your hands that allows you to make a rational decision is key to making good policy and that’s what this forum is about.