WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama says Republican opposition to his executive actions on immigration should not be a "deal breaker" on other issues.
He also says that if Republicans question his right to act on his own, they should act on a comprehensive immigration overhaul. He says he wants to work with both parties to pass a more permanent solution to fixing the immigration system.
He says: "Americans are tired of gridlock."
Obama spoke Thursday night as he unveiled his plans to sidestep Congress and help nearly 5 million immigrants in the United States illegally by making them eligible to avoid deportation and obtain work permits.
Republicans have said Obama's actions would not only hurt chances of passing an immigration overhaul but also damage his relations with the incoming Republican-controlled Congress.
“Executive action granting amnesty to millions of illegals is President Obama taking out his anger on the American people for rejecting his agenda through the due process of elections two weeks ago," said U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Gainesville. "He’s had six years to work with Congress, two of those years with his party in total control of Washington, on constructive, compassionate, and fair immigration reform. His singular action defies all three of those principles.”
Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss issued a joint statement via news release taking exception to the president’s actions.
“President Obama continues to circumvent Congress by executive order. This is the wrong way to govern,” the senators’ statement read. “Bottom line, any attempt to circumvent Congress and grant legal status to millions is unacceptable. We must stop the president from executing bad policy and will consider all legislative and legal options when determining the best course of action to do so.”