In a meeting in the Oval Office between President Obama and half a dozen undocumented immigrants yesterday, Obama promised that any legislation that attempted to block his executive action on immigration reform would receive his personal veto.
The White House was hosting the meeting with the Dreamers in a bid to add a human face to the issue. “I will veto any legislation that got to my desk that took away the chance of these young people who grew up here and who are prepared to contribute to this country,” Obama declared. Last week the House of Representatives passed a bill that would put an end to both the president’s deferred action policy from 2012 and his most recent executive action.
Obama had threatened to veto the bill even before it was rejected by the Senate this week. The president noted that too often in the debate over immigration reform the topic is treated as an abstract subject rather than something that has a deep impact on real people. “I don’t think there’s anybody in America who had a chance to talk to these six young people, or the young Dreamers all across the country, who wouldn’t find it in their hearts to say, these kids are Americans just like us and they belong here and we want to do right by them’,” the president told reporters.
Republicans in the House of Representatives are planning to sue the Obama administration, claiming that the president has gone beyond his constitutional authority. The White House says there is no case to answer to.