Reactions to Obama's immigration executive order

June 20, 2012

Republican Congressman David Schweikert and Democratic Congressman Raul Grijalva react to President Obama’s decision regarding so-called Dreamers, or young illegal immigrants. Two experts also comment on the reactions from the GOP and answer listener calls.

On Friday, Obama decided to allow certain young illegal immigrants apply to work in the United States for two years. Obama’s Dream Act modification led to celebration and condemnation.

Schweikert says even on the other side of the aisle there’s worry about separation of powers and an imperial presidency. He worries about the long term consequences of Obama’s actions, and thinks the decision was hasty with little consideration for immigration and employment policy.

Grijalva says Obama finally broke the ice on a deadlocked issue. He says people have avoided the issue out of politically motivated fear. Grijalva says many children immigrated to the U.S. without a choice in the matter and find themselves coming to a point in life where they can no longer move forward due to their immigration status. Grijalva believes that ultimately the opposition doesn’t have the support of the people.

Shane Wikfors, communication director for the State Republican Party, and Rey Torres, president of the Arizona Latino Republican Association, also spoke on the issue.

Wikfors calls the decision a political ploy by Obama to pander to the Latino vote, and thinks it’s patronizing towards Latinos. He says the whole debate should have been addressed by Congress, and public policy changes should only occur there.

Torres says the economy is the most important issue to Latinos, and thinks Latinos will find it offensive that the president believes immigration is all they care about. He says the big-picture problem is instability in Mexico, everyone is just too afraid to admit it. Both men agree that Latinos will likely prove to be a significant part of the voting community.