The Buzz

Sen. Blunt: President’s plan to change immigration policy violates Constitution


The Star’s Washington correspondent

Blunt AP file photo

Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt took to the floor of the U.S. Senate on Wednesday to condemn President Barack Obama’s planned executive order on immigration as executive overreach.

Obama is expected to announce he is taking unilateral action to relax the nation’s immigration policy as early as Thursday. Blunt suggested such a move would be unconstitutional.

“After legislation overhauling the immigration process died in the Congress, the president says he’s going to act on his own,” Blunt, a Republican, said in his speech Wednesday. “I can’t find that part of the Constitution that allowed that to happen, and in fact, statements he made more than one time show he couldn’t find it either. He said, ‘I can’t do this on my own, we are a nation of laws.’”

Blunt, who voted against the immigration bill that passed the Senate last year, said it’s not up to the president to suspend the legislative process just because it’s cumbersome.

Blunt quoted Article 2 Section 3 of the Constitution, which states that the president should take care that the laws are faithfully executed.

“The president is supposed to enforce the law,” Blunt said. “And yet President Obama continues to refuse in this and other areas to show a willingness to try to convince the Congress to change the law rather than assume that, ‘If the Congress doesn’t do this, I will.’ I’m still trying to find the place in the Constitution that says if the Congress doesn’t do this, the president can.”

Blunt also plugged a bill he introduced in March, Enforce the Law Act, which would authorize Congress to bring a legal case against the president if he fails to uphold the law as written.

“This law would restore the system of checks and balances iterated in the Constitution,” Blunt said.