On the heels of President Obama’s unprecedented announcement Thursday night of his plan to sign an executive order essentially ordering various agencies to refuse to enforce federal law, Republican presidential hopefuls have united publicly to denounce the move.
Jeb Bush and Rick Perry both immediately responded by calling the move ‘unconstitutional’ and ‘manipulative’ and repeated a call for Congress to act on smart legislation that actually improves the immigration mess. Perry chided, “His actions are not only unconstitutional and in defiance of the American people who said they did not want amnesty in the 2014 elections, but they are also unfair to every immigrant who has come to our nation legally.”
Scott Walker and Rand Paul agreed that a federal suit by Congress against the White House is a reasonable next step toward holding the president in check and enforcing it via the judiciary branch. Paul commented on Fox News of the order, “I think the Supreme Court would strike it down. That takes awhile, but that may be the only recourse short of a new president.”
Additionally, Rick Perry and governor-elect Greg Abbott have endorsed the possibility of a separate suit from Texas against the federal government.
Marco Rubio, son of Cuban immigrants, also commented that piecemeal action through Congress is the right way to handle the situation, not executive fiat, “[The] right way to do it is to first bring illegal immigration under control by securing the borders and enforcing the laws, then modernizing our legal immigration system.”
The one hold-out in public reaction is Gov. Chris Christie, who signed a similar version of the DREAM Act in his state of New Jersey.
Should the issue continue to boil over, as many expect it will, Christie may be increasingly in the hot seat to defend an alternate perspective in the face of a Republican primary voter base that is overwhelming against any form of amnesty.