Idaho's congressional delegation wasted little time Thursday evening to begin blasting President Barack Obama's primetime address to the nation in which he said he was prepared to use his authority to lift the immediate threat of deportation for nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants.
U.S. Sen. Jim Risch said Obama's plan only reflected the president's "refusal to enforce the laws on the books today." And U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo said Obama was not "respecting the voices [of voters] in the last election," and instead was imposing "his deliberately divisive action."
Rep. Raul Labrador tagged Obama a "failure as a leader on immigration. Instead of finding common ground with Congress, he chose to bail out his bankrupt presidency through an order he has already admitted he cannot legally take." And Rep. Mike Simpson offered the most inflamed rhetoric when he called Obama's actions "illegal, unconstitutional and contrary to the way in which the American people expect the president and Congress to interact. They have the potential to throw us into a constitutional crisis."
Obama’s executive actions will defer for three years deportation for people who came to the U.S. as children and for parents of children who are citizens or legal permanent residents. Meanwhile the Department of Homeland Security would expand options for foreign entrepreneurs who meet criteria for creating jobs. Additionally, there would be greater protections for graduates of U.S. universities in science and technology fields. DHS would also streamline the visa process for foreign workers and their employers, giving them more so-called "portable" work authorization.