Here’s what several potential 2016 presidential candidates had to say about Thursday’s executive action on immigration by President Obama and his prime time speech. And below are statements from key New Hampshire elected leaders.
Among Republican potential presidential candidates:
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul: “President Obama is not above the law and has no right to issue Executive Amnesty. His actions blatantly ignore the Separations of Powers and the principles our country was founded on. The President has said 22 times previously that he does not have the power to legislate on immigration. I believe that immigration reform is needed, however for true and effective reform, we must first secure the border. I will not sit idly by and let the President bypass Congress and our Constitution.”
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio : “We need immigration reform. But 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. After we do these things, we will eventually have to deal with those here illegally in a reasonable but responsible way. The President’s actions now make all of this harder and are unfair to people in our immigration system who are doing things the right way.”
Texas Gov. Rick Perry: “In Texas we know firsthand the problems brought by illegal immigration and bad federal policy. As we saw with the tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors who came across the border, a bad policy led to children being put at risk. The president’s decision tonight will lead to more illegal immigration, not less. It is time for the president and Congress to secure our border, followed by meaningful reforms. There is no more time for political grandstanding.”
On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton posted on Twitter: “Thanks to POTUS for taking action on immigration in the face of inaction. Now let’s turn to permanent bipartisan reform.”
Meanwhile, locally, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat said: “Our immigration system is broken and needs a comprehensive, permanent fix. The reform bill we passed in the Senate more than 18 months ago with strong bipartisan support was the best way to address this problem. It invested in border security, reformed our visa programs and provided a tough, practical plan to deal with the millions of undocumented immigrants who are already here in the United States.
“It’s unfortunate that the House has refused to act on this bipartisan, comprehensive bill. If it were brought to the floor, I believe it would have the votes to pass. The House leadership should reconsider their opposition to this commonsense legislation while there is still time to pass this bill this year. Immigration reform is a national challenge that requires a long-term, comprehensive resolution by Congress.”
As the New Hampshire Journal earlier reported, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, a Republican, opposed the President’s move.
Reps. Ann Kuster and Carol Shea-Porter. both Democrats, have not issued statements on the immigration action.
U.S. Rep.-elect Frank Guinta, a Republican, said: “The President’s decision to effectively grant amnesty to 5 million illegal immigrants stands in direct opposition to the message the American people sent two weeks ago. Granite Staters are crying out for leadership to fix our economy, strengthen the middle class and are looking for our elected officials to engage in collaboration not confrontation. The President’s action offers none of this. This is a shocking display of presidential ambivalence toward our system of checks and balances and an affront to Americans who want our leaders to work together.”