Katko, Gillibrand disagree on federal judge's ruling blocking executive action on immigration

Feb 18, 2015

A federal judge this week blocked two executive actions by President Obama, that would have protected as many as 4 million immigrants in the country illegally from deportation. U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen said the president overstepped his authority. 

Central New York Congressman John Katko agrees with the judge's ruling. 

Rep. John Katko, R-Camillus
Credit Ryan Delaney / WRVO News File Photo

"I think the president did overstep his boundaries," said Katko, a Republican from Camillus. "I'm concerned that the president, instead of trying to work with Congress, he basically ignores them. You can't legislate from the executive branch, and that's what this judge said." 

Katko said if there's a positive from this, it's that the system seems to be working.

"The system is built on checks and balances," he said. "This judge is checking what the executive branch is doing. How it all shakes out, we don't know. But at least we know the system still works."

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat, doesn't think the judge's ruling helps business owners in New York who rely on immigrant labor, like farmers.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.
Credit Senate Democrats / Flickr

"Leaving it for local communities to figure out isn't fair," said Gillibrand. "And leaving it to our employers to not have the resources and the employees they need in industries like agriculture? We have a lot of immigrant workers in agriculture in our state. Leaving those employers without clarity about whether their employees will be able to be ready when they're needed is problematic," she said. 

Meanwhile, a coalition of 23 mayors from around the country, including Syracuse mayor Stephanie Miner, have released a letter opposing the judge's ruling. In a statement released on the city of Syracuse's Facebook page, the mayors say "Despite this temporary delay, we are confident the President's executive actions will be upheld and enforced as the law of the land, benefiting millions of families and spurring much needed economic growth nationwide."

The Justice Department plans to appeal the judge's ruling.