WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, warns that the United States will become a third world nation if the federal government does not enforce its immigration laws.
Speaking to “The Sean Hannity Show,” the Republican lawmaker said the country will be destroyed if the U.S. continues to allow thousands of immigrants to cross the border illegally.
“You’ve got to follow the law. You cannot bring hundreds of thousands of people in this country without destroying the country,” Gohmert told Hannity. “Then there’s no place that people can dream about coming.”
Gohmert stated that it’s the government’s job to defend the U.S. “against anybody that would overwhelm the country and bring it down.”
“It’s always been such an irony, though, that people would flee a country that’s got … drug cartels, people that ignore the law, or bribe people to look the other way,” Gohmert said. “So they don’t have jobs there so they come to the United States because we’ve mostly been a nation of laws where the rule of law matters. But then once they are here, they say now we want you to ignore the rule of law, which ironically is like the country they came from.”
Gohmert continued: “Either we’re going to enforce our law and remain strong economically and otherwise, or we ignore the rule of law and go to being a third world nation.”
Gohmert’s comments come as President Barack Obama announced Monday that he will not rely on Congress and take executive actions to fix much of the immigration system as he can on his own.
Even as Obama blamed House Republicans for frustrating him on immigration, Obama asked Congress for more money and additional authority to deal with the unexpected crisis of a surge of unaccompanied Central American youths arriving by the thousands at the Southern border. Obama wants flexibility to speed the youths’ deportations and $2 billion in new money to hire more immigration judges and open more detention facilities, requests that got a cool reception from congressional Republicans and angered advocates.
Obama’s announcement came almost a year to the day after the Senate passed a historic immigration bill that would have spent billions to secure the border and offered a path to citizenship for many of the 11.5 million people now here illegally. Despite the efforts of an extraordinary coalition of businesses, unions, religious leaders, law enforcement officials and others, the GOP-led House never acted.
“Our country and our economy would be stronger today if House Republicans had allowed a simple yes-or-no vote on this bill or, for that matter, any bill,” Obama said in the Rose Garden. “They’d be following the will of the majority of the American people, who support reform. And instead they’ve proven again and again that they’re unwilling to stand up to the tea party in order to do what’s best for the country.”
Obama said that House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, informed him last week that the House would not be taking up immigration legislation this year.
A growing number of advocates and congressional Democrats already have declared immigration dead, the victim, in part, of internal GOP politics, with the most conservative lawmakers resisting the calls of party leaders to back action and revive the GOP’s standing with Latino voters. The Central American migrant surge, along with the surprise defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor at the hands of an upstart candidate from the right who accused him of backing “amnesty,” helped kill whatever chances remain.
Boehner blamed Obama for the outcome.
“I told the president what I have been telling him for months: the American people and their elected officials don’t trust him to enforce the law as written. Until that changes, it is going to be difficult to make progress on this issue,” he said. Boehner called Obama’s plan to go it alone “sad and disappointing.”
Obama directed Homeland Security Department Secretary Jeh Johnson and Attorney General Eric Holder to present him by the end of the summer with steps he can take without congressional approval.
The Border Patrol has apprehended more than 52,000 child immigrants traveling on their own since October.
Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, accused Obama of seeking a “blank check” with no real solutions. “President Obama created this disaster at our Southern border and now he is asking American taxpayers to foot the bill,” said Goodlatte.
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