“We must be prepared for traditional, seasonal increases in illegal migration. The Dilley facility will provide invaluable surge capacity should apprehensions of adults with children once again surge this spring,” said Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Thomas S. Winkowski.
In advance of the president’s pro-immigrant announcement on Thursday night, ICE was already organizing its strategy for next year when over 100,000 illegals are expected to flood over the U.S.-Mexico border. The agency said in a statement that it hopes illegal immigrants look at what they are doing in building holding facilities like the 2,400 bed center in Dilley, Texas, and will decide the trip isn’t worth it.
“These facilities help ensure timely and effective removals that comply with our legal and international obligations, while deterring others from taking the dangerous journey and illegally crossing into the United States,” he said. But the construction of the facilities has not slowed the waves this year.
While most people find President Obama's immigration announcement to be lawless and unconstitutional, his supporters hail it as bold and meaningful. Obama's decree for halt deportations and grant work permits to 5 million illegal immigrants elicited satisfaction from Democrats, whose base of Latino voters were clamoring for the president to change national immigration policy.
Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee and one of the most ardent opponents of Obama’s legalization move, issued a strongly-worded statement accusing Obama of breaking the law.
“The president is providing an estimated 5 million illegal immigrants with Social Security numbers, photo IDs and work permits,” Sessions said, “allowing them to now take jobs directly from struggling Americans during a time of record immigration, low wages, and high joblessness.” Obama, Sessions added, "is endangering our entire constitutional order."
Republicans in Congress are planning their legislative response, with intense debate focused on defunding Obama’s immigration directive. Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that lawmakers are considering “a variety of options," but that “Congress will act” in January, when the GOP takes the Senate majority, to try to counter Obama’s action.
Across the Capitol, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy made the same commitment: “While House Republicans will still work to do everything we can to move the country forward, it is our obligation and responsibility to fight this brazen power grab that doesn’t solve the real problems,” McCarthy said Thursday night.
However, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, provided few specifics as to how Republicans would try to stop Obama. “We will not shrink from this duty, because our allegiance lies with the American people,” Boehner said after Obama’s announcement. ”We will listen to them, work with our members, and protect the Constitution.”