Democratic members of Congress said on Wednesday that “most” of the estimated 11 million people in the United States illegally should be allowed temporary legal status through an executive order President Barack Obama is expected to issue in the coming weeks.
“I think the president should take a look at all the authority that he has and act under that authority,” Rep. Juan Vargas (D-Calif.) told CNSNews.com following a press conference staged to demand Obama issue such an order.
“Now I believe that most of the families that are here he can actually save in the sense that he does not have to deport them,” Vargas said.
When CNSNews.com asked him to put a number on the oft-repeated phrase that the president should act “big and bold” when issuing an executive order, Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) referred to Senate Bill 744, which if passed by the House and signed into law would have provided a “pathway to citizenship” for millions of illegal aliens.
“If I was to put a floor on it, it would be the number that would have been affected by the bill in the Senate, which is 7 or 8 [million],” Grijalva told CNSNews.com.
Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) spoke at a press conference on Nov. 12, 2014 at the Capitol urging President Barack Obama to issue an executive order to give amnesty to millions of illegal aliens in the U.S. (CNSNews.com/Penny Starr)
When CNSNews.com asked him to clarify how many of the estimated 11 million illegal aliens should be given amnesty, Vargas said criminals should not be included.
“Not all 11 million, no,” Vargas said. “For example, I don’t think that the law allows him not to deport criminals.
“So the criminals should be deported,” Vargas said.
However, Vargas said illegal aliens who have a child that is a citizen should be allowed to stay in the United States or if they are the spouse of someone serving in the military.
Obama could, Vargas said, provide amnesty for “most” illegal aliens.
“I think he can take a look at all the law and say, most of the people – not everybody – most of the people if they are causing no problems, there’s no criminal activity; if they’re no issue of taxes they haven’t paid or anything like that – any kind of criminal activity – he can help and he ought to do it,” Vargas said.