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Midstate congressmen blast President Obama's immigration move

Written by Tim Lambert, WITF Multimedia News Director | Nov 21, 2014 5:13 AM
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Photo by AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo

(Washington) -- Several Republican congressman from the midstate are criticizing President Obama's changes in the immigration system.

The president unveiled expansive executive actions that could shield from deportation some five million people living illegally in the U.S.

Congressman Lou Barletta, whose district includes Columbia County and parts of Cumberland, Dauphin, Northumberland and Perry counties, says Obama has gone one step too far.

"To put our national security at risk and to put American jobs at risk, ignoring Congress' will and the American people...what they have said clearly at the polls...we cannot sit idle and allow this to happen," he said.

The GOP lawmaker says the House and Senate will not stand for what the president has done.

"We hold the power of the purse in Congress and we're going to, number one, try to stop any funds from being used for his executive action," Barletta says.

He's introduced a measure to clarify undocumented immigrants granted amnesty by the executive action cannot be issued work permits. 

Other midstate Republican congressman, including Joe Pitts and Scott Perry, were unhappy with the president's move.

“This isn’t just going around Congress, it’s going around the American people, who just spoke in the 2014 elections," says Pitts, who represents portions of Lancaster and Berks County. "This isn’t a long-term solution and it puts up a substantial barrier to getting such an agreement during the President’s remaining years in office.”

Perry agrees with the president the country's immigration system is broken and presents a serious problem. But, he opposes the steps Obama has taken.

"We have 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country. But unilateral action by the President is not the right answer," says Perry, whose district includes Adams County and parts of York, Dauphin and Cumberland counties. " The first step in any reform process must be to secure our borders, period. Significant progress must be made on this issue before we take any further steps."

Obama says immigrants who've lived illegally in the U.S. for more than five years can avoid being deported if their children are citizens or lawful permanent residents, and they pass background checks and pay fees.
 

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