Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 17, 2014

Democrats Challenge Obama on Deportations

vargas 051 041113 445x308 Democrats Challenge Obama on Deportations

 (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

CAMBRIDGE, Md. — Behind closed doors here Friday morning, President Barack Obama told House Democrats challenging his deportation policies that there are limits to his executive authority.

Multiple House Democrats challenged the president on his refusal to end deportations that are splitting up families. Advocates for legalizing immigrants here illegally have been seeking an executive order ending such deportations for years, and have renewed their push after Speaker John A. Boehner downplayed the chances the House would act on an immigration overhaul.

According to sources in the room, Rep. Brad Sherman of California asked Obama what the White House could do to provide relief for the parents of so-called “DREAMers” — immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.

Sherman clarified that he was asking Obama what he could do in the event the House does not act on an immigration overhaul bill this year.

While Obama’s administration has gone around Congress to give “DREAMers” relief from deportation, Obama pushed back on the idea of ending deportations for their parents, sources said.

“[He said] it’s very important that people understand that there are ‘outer limits to what we can do by executive action,’” a Democratic aide said. “[He] cautioned that there are ‘genuine limits to what we can do.’”

“Don’t take your foot of the pedal,” Obama continued, imploring lawmakers to keep the pressure on House Republicans to pass a comprehensive immigration overhaul bill this year.

Rep. Juan C. Vargas of California also asked Obama what the administration planned to do about reunifying families fractured by deportations. According to the Democratic aide, Obama replied: “We have actively changed policy to focus on folks with criminal records [and] … relieve burdens on families.”

Obama also noted that it was Congress, and not his administration, that allocated funding for new agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Despite the push-back from Obama, an aide said the president’s remarks on immigration generally earned him a round of applause.

  • Melissa Montana

    Certainly, there’s no material difference between today’s liberals and the socialists, marxists, and communists of yore.

  • blfdjlj

    Utter lawlessness… they think that Obama can just stop enforcing laws he doesn’t like. I support immigration reform, but it should be enacted by Congress, and not by executive order.

    • Dokter Lekter

      Why are Executive Orders by this President “utter lawlessness” but by all the other White guys not? Take you hood off for a moment and check the FACTS on who has used the most EOs in the history of the country…if you can read.

      • blfdjlj

        Obama has some discretion when it comes to enforcing the laws, but he cannot just say he will stop enforcing laws he doesn’t like. It is borderline ludicrous to state that Obama could just decide to stop enforcing immigration laws. What would be your reaction if President Ted Cruz decided to stop enforcing federal gun laws?

  • Jon McCasper

    In this YouTube video, CNN anchor Ashleigh Banfield laughs at the nonsense espoused by delusional liberal Charlie Rangel: http://youtu.be/g2zzs-rOayc?t=2m45s

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