Summary of House Judiciary Hearing

Before McConnell and Reid struck a deal in the Senate yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing entitled, “The Unconstitutionality of Obama’s Executive Actions on Immigration.” The witnesses who testified were Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt (who is part of the 26 state lawsuit); Profs. Josh Blackman and Elizabeth Foley speaking against the president’s action; and Prof. Stephen Legomsky who defended the executive amnesty.

The Republicans on the committee focused on Judge Hanen’s ruling as well as the concept of prosecutorial discretion. Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) used his opening remarks and questioning to highlight the Texas ruling which AG Laxalt and Profs. Blackman and Foley agreed as the right decision and predicted the states will win on the merits as well. Immigration subcommittee chair Trey Gowdy (R-SC) grilled Prof. Legomsky on the limits of prosecutorial discretion, specifically focusing on the limits. Prof. Legomsky said granting deferred action for all 11-12 million exceeded the limits but declined to say if exempting 9 million went too far. Additionally, when Gowdy asked if Congress provided sufficient funding to deport all illegal aliens if that meant President Obama had NO discretion on the matter, Prof. Legomsky initially agreed to that point before backpedalling and saying the question has never been explored by the courts.

Meanwhile, the Committee Democrats stuck to the usual talking points about how these programs are determined on a “case by case” basis and continued citing the debunked statistic that President Obama has deported 2 million illegal aliens. Many of the Democrats used most of their questioning time to complain that the hearing’s title said “Obama” rather than “President Obama.”

Although most of the hearing was a repeat of the usual talking points, there was a fiery exchange between outspoken amnesty advocate Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) and Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA). Gutierrez used his time to focus on a letter from over a decade ago authored by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) and several other congressmen urging President Bush to use his discretion in immigration matters. Rep. Doug Collins immediately interjected that the letter dealt with legal permanent residents and not illegal aliens.

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Content written by Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.


  1. avatar

    So the Democrats are still trying to claim that this president has deported more illegals. Here’s what the president himself said in October 2011 to a group of Hispanic journalists about those “record” numbers:

    “The statistics are actually a little deceptive.” “..We’ve been apprehending folks at the border and sending them back. That is counted as a deportation even though they may have only been held for a day or 48 hours.”

    DECEPTIVE. His word. And when he says they are “counted as a deportation” he’s clearly saying they really are not deportations in what everyone understands to be the common usage of the word, which is removal from the interior of the country.

    But of course, he gets to have it his way with no media accountability. He tells Hispanics not to worry because we are not removing those from the interior and his lackeys go out and claim some record numbers. Which the national media accepts.

    • avatar

      “The Unconstitutionality of Obama’s Executive Actions on Immigration.AND the treason by the Republicans in doing NOTHING for 8 years…..

  2. avatar

    Republican United States Senators say they oppose President Obama’s unilateral executive action on immigration…. but refuse to say it is unlawful. I am referring to Senators like Orrin Hatch, Lindsey Graham, and Jeff Flake. It was very revealing that these three Republican Senators who are members of the Senate Judiciary Committee voted on Wednesday 2/26/15 to confirm Loretta ***** as U.S. Attorney General. ***** in her confirmation hearing defended President Obama’s executive amnesty decree that prevents five million illegal immigrants from being deported. She agrees with the President that he has legal authority to go around Congress and grant unauthorized aliens social security numbers, work permits, and the authority to file back income tax returns where they can claim tax credits that could be worth tens of thousands of dollars paid to them by our government.

    • avatar

      Crazy people for crazy times. For Loretta to make such comments should disqualify her as the US AG. With no budget authorized by Congress and no authority to issue Social Security Numbers to illegals, the President via the Constitution must enforce laws passed by Congress and not make laws. Add on to this the fact that these illegals will also be given the right to bring relatives from their homeland to the United States, this illegal activity will create a financial liability of between $20B and $200B with no one being able to articulate the full cost. Where does this money come from and what does this do to unemployment, particularly the young blacks and the poor?