The answer to President Obama’s failure to enforce immigration laws is to take away his unilateral control and start sharing enforcement power with state and local authorities, the chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary says.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, Virginia Republican, says such a requirement must be part of any immigration reform legislation.

The Supreme Court last year agreed with the Obama administration that current law does not allow state or local enforcement except with federal approval.

“We need to have a role for state and local law enforcement that is clear, statutory, something that no administration can simply kick you out of the program like this administration has been doing … It should be clear by law that state and local governments are allowed to participate in enforcing these laws, because that’s how we handle most other areas of the law.”

Mr. Goodlatte commented in remarks pre-recorded for Thursday’s broadcast of “The Ernest Istook Show” on The Washington Times Radio Network. (The program airs noon to 3 p.m. Eastern time, and can be heard online at

Rather than relying on 5,000 federal officers to enforce immigration laws away from the borders, Mr. Goodlatte says his suggested requirement would make a million state and local officers available for immigration enforcement, which would “take away the on-off switch from this president and from any future president.”