UPDATED POST w/ audio from Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), who won’t say if he will block Obama’s executive order
Think about it- this is illegally importing the equivalent of the population of 5 Montanas. We have about 1 million people in Montana, and this President is moving forward with an illegal immigration plan for a population five times the size of our great state.
So, what will Democratic Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) do if he really intends to be the moderate he now says he wants to be? He failed the Keystone test, so what will he do on immigration?
So far, it seems he is giving a weak response to President Obama’s moves on illegal immigration, as Reuters reports:
If six or seven Democratic votes in the new Senate joined Republicans, they would have the 60 needed to block the executive order and force Obama into a politically embarrassing veto.
Democratic Senator Jon Tester of Montana said he would like to see Congress try again.
“I would prefer the Congress acted, yes,” Tester said. “I think it would be great to have the House take up the Senate-passed bill …. That would be a solution to the problem.”
I do have an update to this post here on Friday morning. During Friday’s Voices of Montana statewide radio show, a listener sent me a clip of Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) speaking with KMMS Radio’s Chris Griffin in Bozeman, Montana. In the audio, Tester is asked if he would block the president’s executive order, and he never answers the question. Instead, he “pivots” and simply lectures the GOP. Maybe all that post-election moderation and cooperation isn’t coming from Sen. Tester after all…
Click below to listen:
Click to Listen
Meanwhile, a much stronger response is coming from the other two elected members of Montana’s Congressional Delegation. Here’s a couple excerpts from their press releases:
Zinke Calls President Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration Unlawful
Congressman-elect Ryan Zinke, 23 year Navy veteran and former Commander at SEAL Team Six, called the executive order on immigration issued by President Obama unlawful and criticized him for enacting amnesty by executive order instead of working within the confines of the law to accomplish immigration reform.
“What the president is doing is not only unfair and unlawful—it is an example of gross misconduct and abuse of power,” said Congressman-elect Zinke. “Unilateral action from President Obama will only delay the restructuring and reform that our broken immigration system needs.”
DAINES: OBAMA SHOULD ABANDON EXECUTIVE AMNESTY PLAN; SECURE BORDERS INSTEAD
“President Obama’s plan to extend executive amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants is an unacceptable abuse of power that goes against the will of the American people,” Daines said on the House floor. “President Obama should abandon this planned executive overreach and work with Congress to secure our borders and strengthen enforcement of the existing immigration laws.”
AP FACT CHECK:Obama’s claims on illegal immigration
OBAMA: “It does not grant citizenship, or the right to stay here permanently, or offer the same benefits that citizens receive – only Congress can do that. All we’re saying is we’re not going to deport you.”
THE FACTS: He’s saying, and doing, more than that. The changes also will make those covered eligible for work permits, allowing them to be employed in the country legally and compete with citizens and legal residents for better-paying jobs.
Washington Examiner editorial- Triumph of cynicism: Obama just killed immigration reform
Obama’s justification for taking this action unilaterally – from behind the closed doors of an executive agency and not in the sunlight, televised in a transparent debate in the chambers of Congress – is that he is merely exercising discretion in enforcement. He is supposedly just shifting resources away from deporting families, as he put it, and toward deporting felons.
But in reality, this “re-prioritization” is a mere pretext for a power grab that has a nakedly political aim. There is no “re-prioritization” here. In fiscal 2013, 98 percent of the 368,644 deportations carried out were of “convicted criminals, national security risks, serious immigration offenders, and recent border crossers,” the New York Times reported. Obama’s order applies to none of the groups currently being deported. And so the idea that the conferral of status is part of a “re-prioritization” is fiction. The priorities aren’t changing – what is changing is that Obama is cynically picking a political fight that he thinks will help build his legacy, expand his own executive power, and solidify his party’s position with a crucial voting bloc.
NPR- WATCH: President Obama’s Speech On Immigration
Still, she mostly lived in the shadows – until her grandmother, who visited every year from Mexico, passed away, and she couldn’t travel to the funeral without risk of being found out and deported. It was around that time she decided to begin advocating for herself and others like her, and today, Astrid Silva is a college student working on her third degree.
Jim Geraghty with National Review shared a Politico piece and offers his take:
Will those middle-of-the-road white voters forget? Note the concession by Politico that one doesn’t have to be an “extreme” “right-wing” “xenophobic” voter to object to this policy.
Mo Elleithee, the Democratic National Committee’s communications director, vowed that the GOP would pay a price for its heated attacks on the White House’s policy: “The rhetoric coming out will come back to haunt them. We are capturing every bit and will make them answer for it. They are not just alienating, they are offending, the [Hispanic] community.”
Republicans believe that Obama is inviting deep punishment with his actions this week. Not only does the GOP sense genuine anger among voters about the ongoing mess on the border, but party leaders say that Obama’s orders will look like pure arrogance, the brazen actions of a discredited president.
Though the GOP has struggled to assemble a viable, diverse coalition in national elections, the party is on a hot streak in large, traditionally Democratic states across the Midwest – big, blue-collar battlegrounds like Ohio, Wisconsin and Michigan, where a certain segment of Democratic-leaning, populist white voters may recoil from what they perceive as overreach on the border.
The Republican National Committee posted its own rebuttal video just hours before the speech.