Orange County’s two Democratic congressional representatives praised President Barack Obama’s executive order to allow an estimated four million undocumented immigrants avoid deportation.
“The president’s announcement tonight provides long-awaited relief for millions of families suffering from our broken immigration system,” Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Garden Grove, said. “It’s been 511 days since the Senate overwhelmingly passed bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform. All House Republicans had to do was bring it to the floor, but because they were unwilling to use their power to act the president had to act. Executive action is not ideal, but, unfortunately, it is necessary.”
Sanchez, who serves on the House committee on Homeland Security subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, said, “Republicans in the House and Senate are not off the hook. Congress has a responsibility to pass the comprehensive reform necessary to provide certainty for American communities, businesses and families. I will continue to work towards the kind of permanent reform only Congress can enact.”
Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, who represents various cities in northern Orange County, agreed with Sanchez.
“During my time in Congress, I have strongly supported comprehensive immigration reform that would provide a pathway to citizenship while securing our borders and fixing our broken immigration system. While the Senate passed a bipartisan bill by wide margins last year, the House Leadership has yet to even call a vote, though this bill would pass with support from both parties.”
Lowenthal said he believes the president has the authority to issue the executive order.
“I have repeatedly urged the president to use his authority and protect families until Congress passes immigration reform,” Lowenthal said, adding presidents of both parties have issued similar executive orders in the past.
“The president’s action will help thousands of people in California’s 47th District,” Lowenthal said. “People like Gurmukh Singh, a devoted father who faces deportation despite having young children and never committing a crime. Thousands of people like Mr. Singh will be able to continue contributing to our communities and raising strong families.”
— City News Service