Lawmakers in the Republican Party have pledged to counter the executive action taken by President Obama by coming up with their own solutions for immigration reform, despite their inability to move on the issue in the two years since a comprehensive bill was passed by the Senate.
The Republicans want to address border security first and foremost before possibly moving on to deal with other elements of the immigration system in the United States. Republicans in the Senate and the House of Representatives say that things are different now their party is in charge of Congress and they intend to take their own piecemeal approach and avoid giving what they see as amnesty to undocumented immigrants.
“It is happening now because members want it to happen, the American people want it to happen,” says conservative Representative Lou Barletta. “We should do a border bill first, secure our borders. It’s a big job, and it’s going to be a tough bill.” At a joint retreat for House and Senate Republicans, proposed legislation for border security was outlined by Texas Representative Michael McCaul, who wants administration officials who fail to comply with the bill’s provisions penalized.
Lawmakers are also still struggling to come up with a way to put a stop to the president’s executive action on immigration reform, with Obama threatening to veto a bill passed by the House of Representatives to block funding for his reform plans while funding the Department of Homeland Security.