On June 30, Obama vowed to stand firm for reform, saying he would act unilaterally if necessary to take millions of immigrants “out of the shadows” of society.
“I’m beginning a new effort to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress,” Obama said in a statement from the Rose Garden.
Despite the firm rhetoric, Obama has delayed releasing an executive order. In June, he said would issue the order by the end of the summer, but in early September he hinted that Democrats in contested races urged him to wait until after the elections were over. “When I take executive action, I want to make sure that it’s sustainable,” Obama said.
The intensity of Republican opposition may depend on an order’s scope and sweep.
“Our members are discussing. We haven’t issued any new statements on that. And don’t know yet what exactly the president plans,” said Don Stewart, spokesman for Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate Minority Leader who takes over as Senate Majority Leader in January.
Meanwhile, Senate Republican firebands Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah said they will quiz Obama’s pick for Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, about her views on the constitutionality of an executive order.
“The Attorney General is the president’s chief law enforcement officer. As such, the nominee must demonstrate full and complete commitment to the law. Loretta Lynch deserves the opportunity to demonstrate those qualities, beginning with a statement whether or not she believes the president’s executive amnesty plans are constitutional and legal,” they said in a joint statement last week. Roll Call first reported the news of the statement.