Congressman Tim Ryan made the following statement in response to President Obama's announcement to take executive action on Immigration:
"It's unfortunate that House Republicans, by refusing to allow passage of any comprehensive immigration reform bills, made this executive action necessary. While Senate Republicans and Democrats passed an immigration bill over 500 days ago, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives has refused to even have a conversation about this critical issue facing our nation. There is no doubt that our country's immigration system is broken, and I believe the best way to deal with these problems is to pass bipartisan, comprehensive legislation. House Republicans have proven that they are not serious about immigration reform. The extreme right wing of their party will not even allow their leaders to come to the table to negotiate. Unfortunately, President Obama's hand was forced by House Republicans' inaction and I fully support his use of presidential powers to move forward unilaterally. While Congress still must pass legislation to fully confront the many immigration issues we face, this is a step in the right direction.
"Federal courts have ruled time and time again that U.S. presidents have the power to exercise executive authority. In fact, beginning in 1957 every president since Dwight D. Eisenhower has used these powers on immigration. In 1987, President Ronald Reagan stopped the deportation of 20,000 Nicaraguans. President George H.W. Bush stopped the deportation of Chinese students and Kuwait citizens in the early 1990s. President George W. Bush stopped the deportation of Salvadorian citizens in 2001; he later called for prosecutorial discretion for undocumented immigrants who had served in the U.S. military. There is clear precedence for our nation's chief executives, on both sides of the aisle, to use their powers to deal with immigration, which shows that Republicans' crying foul is disingenuous and wholly political.
"There is no doubt that we would all prefer to fix our immigration system through the legislative process, and the time to act is now. President Obama's executive action on immigration is measured and will help level the playing field for all American workers -- not just for those who are undocumented - by putting an end to employers hiring undocumented workers in an effort to pay lower wages and avoid providing benefits. This move will create jobs, generate tax revenue and decrease our national deficit. I stand by President Obama's decision to act and I call on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration legislation to more effectively solve our nation's broken immigration system."