WASHINGTON, June 19 (UPI) -- Congressional Republicans launched a counterattack against President Obama's order halting deportations of people who crossed the border illegally as children.
A bill dubbed the Prohibiting Back-door Amnesty Act of 2012 was introduced Monday by Rep. Ben Quayle, R-Ariz., which would scuttle Obama's executive order to the Department of Homeland Security to temporarily halt deportations of young people who are technically in the United States illegally but are attending school, serving in the armed forces and otherwise keeping their noses clean.
Quayle echoed the outrage of other GOP lawmakers who accused Obama of circumventing the role of Congress in immigration policy and pitting illegal immigrants against unemployed American citizens. "It's time for Congress to send a loud and clear message to the Obama administration that its efforts to circumvent the legislative branch and ignore our nation's laws will not stand."
The Los Angeles Times said despite the outrage, it was unclear Tuesday if the Republicans were intent on pushing a law that could alienate Hispanic voters in an election year.
"The president's actions are going to make it much more difficult for us to work in a bipartisan way to get to a permanent solution," House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said.
Congressional Democrats led by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., dismissed GOP criticisms, saying Congress had failed to make any meaningful stabs at immigration reform in recent years.