Three of the Republicans who helped write the Senate immigration reform bill last year warned President Obama on Thursday not to issue an executive action after the midterm elections.
In a letter to President Obama, Sens. John McCainJohn McCainDrug importation won't save dollars or lives Dem rep Charlie Crist files for divorce Why the GOP cannot sweep its Milo scandal under the rug MORE (R-Ariz.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamThe Hill's 12:30 Report Back to the future: Congress should look to past for Fintech going forward CNN to host town hall featuring John McCain, Lindsey Graham MORE (R-S.C.) and Marco RubioMarco RubioAt CPAC, Trump lashes out at media Conquering Trump returns to conservative summit Rubio brushes off demonstrator asking about town halls MORE (R-Fla.) said that such a move would poison the well for an immigration overhaul.
If Obama did take executive action, the components seem likely to include allowing new work permits and expanding ways for immigrants in the U.S. illegally to stay. The three senators argued that bypassing Congress through an executive action would violate the constitutional system of checks and balances.
"Taking executive action along the lines that have been reported would flaunt [sic] the separation of powers and our system of checks and balances, undermine the rule of law, and frustrate the proper administration of our current immigration system," they wrote.
But McCain, Graham, and Rubio maintained that Congress should take its own action on the topic.
"Congress must fulfill its obligations under the Constitution and address this issue," they wrote.
Some pro-reform Republicans have indicated that the party could consider an immigration overhaul if it wins control of the Senate. But Democrats are skeptical the GOP could move such a measure through both chambers, especially when a presidential election year is on the horizon.