GOP blasts Obama on House floor for 'imperial' immigration decision

House Republicans on Monday lashed out at President Obama's decision not to enforce immigration law with respect to young illegal immigrants, and said that move was just the latest sign of Obama's "imperial" style of governing that ignores the basic rules of the Constitution.

"What this is is new policy, new policy that is being implemented by the administration unilaterally, no respect for the people's House, no respect for the United States Congress, no respect for the legislative branch," Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) said on the House floor. "This Congress needs to stand up to this administration starting today."

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Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) quoted the president from a year ago, when he said the administration can't ignore laws on the books — advice that Poe said Obama ignored last week.

"On Friday the administration issued an imperial decree acting to unilaterally ignore portions of the immigration law of the land," Poe said. "The last time I checked, it was Congress who makes law, not the president, and it is the job of the executive to enforce laws, not ignore the ones he just doesn't like.

"He doesn't like the constitutional process for lawmaking because it just gets in his way, so he acts like an emperor instead of a president," Poe added. "It's time for the former constitutional professor to read the Constitution."

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) said he is "deeply alarmed that America's president so blatantly undermines the rule of law."

"In America, we elect presidents, not caesars," Brooks said. "The only way to change America's immigration law is as our Constitution demands, through Congress not by imperial decree."

Aside from the constitutional problems with the immigration decision, Burgess said the new policy would make it harder for American citizens to find jobs, because it would allow illegal immigrants to stay and take some of these jobs.

"The administration has produced an executive order that is a political decision, purely political, and one that will continue to block opportunities for American citizens trying to find employment," he said.

The administration's position is that it is within its rights to relax certain deportation rules.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, young people who were brought to this country as children, are not felons and meet other criteria will now be eligible to receive "deferred action for a period of two years" on their deportation, their status will be reviewed in two years and, in the meanwhile, they will be eligible to apply for work authorization.