WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today responded to President Obama’s unilateral action on immigration, saying that the president has not only refused to listen to the American people, but in doing so has sabotaged efforts to enact immigration legislation, punished those who have obeyed the law, and encouraged others to come here illegally, putting their lives at risk. Boehner pledged that the House would take action to protect the rule of law and the Constitution in the face of what the president himself has described as the actions of an “emperor.” Following are Boehner’s remarks:
“Our nation’s immigration system is broken, and I think we need to work together to fix it. But fixing it starts with a commitment to working through the democratic process and enforcing the laws that the president is sworn faithfully to execute.
“All year long, I warned the president that by taking unilateral action on matters such as his health care law -- or by threatening action repeatedly on immigration -- he was making it impossible to build the trust necessary to work together. As I warned the president: you can’t ask the elected representatives of the people to trust you to enforce the law if you’re constantly demonstrating that you can’t be trusted to enforce the law. The president never listened. And with this action, he has refused to listen to the American people.
“The president has taken actions that he himself has said are those of a ‘king’ or an ‘emperor’ – not an American president. And he’s doing this at a time when Americans want nothing more than both parties to focus on solving the biggest problems in our country, starting with our still-struggling economy.
“And the action by the president yesterday will only encourage more people to come here illegally, and putting their lives at risk. We saw the humanitarian crisis at our border last summer, how horrific it was. Well, next summer it could be worse. And this action also punishes those who have obeyed the law and have waited their turn.
“With this action, the president has chosen to deliberately sabotage any chance of enacting bipartisan reforms that he claims to seek. And, as I told the president yesterday, he’s damaging the presidency itself.
“President Obama has turned a deaf ear to the people that he was elected, and we were elected, to serve. But we will not do that. In the days ahead, the People's House will rise to this challenge. We will not stand idle as the president undermines the rule of law in our country and places lives at risk. We’ll listen to the American people, we’ll work with our members, and we will work to protect the Constitution of the United States.”