Sen. Ted Cruz has accused President Barack Obama of “counterfeiting immigration documents” in order to make it possible for undocumented immigrants to work inside the U.S. Cruz made his remarks to Fox News late Tuesday after a federal judge put a hold on the president’s executive order to stop the deportation of some 5 million immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally.
Cruz, a Tea Party favorite, became the latest Republican lawmaker to accuse the president of overstepping his authority. Obama has cited the Constitution in his decision to forgo such a large deportation, saying that he has the right of nonenforcement.
“One of the things the president has claimed, rather absurdly, is that the basis of his authority is ‘prosecutorial discretion.' That he’s simply choosing not to prosecute 4.5 million people here illegally,” the Texas senator told Fox News.
“But what the district court concluded, quite rightly, is they’re doing far more than that," Cruz said. "The administration is printing work authorizations. It is affirmatively acting in contravention of federal law. Basically, what it’s doing is counterfeiting immigration documents, because the work authorizations it's printing are directly contrary to the text of the federal law. It is dangerous when the president ignores federal law.”
U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen issued a temporary injunction against the president’s executive order on Monday. His ruling determined that the 26 states that filed suit against the Obama administration over the decision not to deport so many undocumented immigrants while also offering them work visas would cause states to “suffer irreparable harm.”
That ruling comes amid a GOP effort to slash funding to the Department of Homeland Security, which is responsible for carrying out Obama’s executive order. The DHS temporarily stopped accepting new applications for deportation deferrals Tuesday, even as Obama defended the rationale behind his executive order.
“I think the law is on our side and history is on our side,” the president told reporters Tuesday, as quoted by The Hill. “This is something we necessarily have to make choices on.”