Republican governors are furious about President Obama’s declaration that he will announce his plans for immigration reform through executive action. The president is believed to be about to grant new legal protection to around five million undocumented immigrants, which will ultimately force the states to deal with the subsequent issues. Dozens of governors opposed to the decision will have to grapple with new questions such as whether to grant driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants.
The Republican Governors Association held its annual meeting this week, with simmering resentment over Obama’s immigration plans obvious to see and hear. Texas governor Rick Perry was among those visibly seething at the president’s plans, saying that Obama was “sticking his finger into the eye of the American people”, given that Americans just last week voted the Republicans into power in the Senate and the party retained control of the House of Representatives.
A number of governors, including Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, are threatening to try to block the measure using legal action, and Perry said that there was a real chance of a lawsuit being filed against the Obama administration.
Many other governors said that they will simply not allow many of Obama’s new policies to go ahead in their state. Kansas governor Sam Brownback says that his state legislature, which is controlled by the Republican party, would not accept the idea of granting driving licenses to undocumented immigrants, regardless of whether the federal government gives them work permits.