WASHINGTON, D.C. — Members of West Virginia’s congressional delegation responded Friday night to President Barack Obama’s move to shield 5-million undocumented immigrants in the United States.
“I disagree with the President’s decision to use executive action to make changes to our immigration system, and I disagree with the House’s decision to not even take a vote on the bipartisan Senate legislation that overwhelmingly passed in June 2013,” U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin said in a prepared statement.
President Obama said the immigration system is broken and has been for decades.
“We’ll deport felons, not families,” Obama said.
West Virginia First District Congressman David McKinley called Obama’s announcement “a divisive, political calculation that will poison the well for his ability to work with the new Congress that will be sworn in just six weeks from now.
“Earlier this month the American people roundly rejected President Obama’s policies by electing a Republican Senate and larger majority in the House. They sent a message that the President must work with Congress. Tonight’s announcement that he will act alone on immigration shows that he wasn’t listening.”
Under the President Obama’s executive order, the undocument immigrants can stay in the country for up to three years but they will have to pass background checks and pay back taxes.
Manchin is calling on Congress to work toward a solution.
“We will only achieve sustainable, comprehensive immigration reform if all sides work together,” he said.
West Virginia Second District Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito called Obama’s decision “unconstitutional and wrong.”
“These actions by executive order intrude on the constitutional role and responsibility of Congress to write, debate and pass laws. Even President Obama said as recently as last year that he lacked the constitutional authority to take this action unilaterally,” Capito said.