Weekly Columns

I’ve heard from thousands of Arkansans who are concerned about President Obama’s executive action to grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. I share those concerns because the President’s order is unconstitutional. While Congress works to defund the President’s overreach, a recent court decision by a U.S. District Court Judge has fortunately put the brakes on that plan.

In his 123-page decision blocking the President’s immigration policy Judge Andre Hanen wrote, “These changes go beyond mere enforcement or even non-enforcement of this nation’s immigration scheme.”

This ruling verifies that when the President moved from enforcement to simply ignoring the law, he clearly overstepped his authority.

This is a recurrent pattern by the President. He has arbitrarily changed who has to follow the law, what laws to follow and when. He directed his administration to make changes to our nation’s immigration policy, circumventing Congress and the system of checks and balances clearly defined in the Constitution. The President acknowledged nearly two dozen times that he doesn’t have the authority to grant this executive action before he announced his unilateral plans.

I was pleased that Arkansas joined 25 other states to challenge this executive overreach. The judicial process is one tool in the fight against this overreach. I also support using the power of the purse to defund these actions.

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) funding expires at the end of February. The House passed a bill that defunds the President’s immigration executive action while funding the rest of the DHS’s responsibilities, but Senate Democrats blocked the bill from even being debated in the senate. Considering the recent court ruling, passing this bill is not an unreasonable request.

We face serious threats to our national security. Filibustering this bill leaves our country vulnerable to terrorists. It’s time to stop putting the vital DHS security programs at risk. Senate Democrats should stop protecting this unconstitutional overreach and debate the bill to ensure the safety and security of our nation.

Our immigration system needs to be fixed but improvements must be made by Congress. We need to secure our borders, enforce the immigration laws we have and hold those people who break the law accountable.

America continues to be a beacon of hope and attracts people from around the world who are encouraged to live the American Dream. However, we are a nation of laws and everyone must follow those laws or face the consequences. Judge Hanen’s ruling is an important first step in reversing the President’s unconstitutional overreach because even he is not above the law.