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President Barack Obama’s move to end the deportation of many young undocumented immigrants was an end run around Congress that complicates efforts to find a comprehensive, long-term fix to the nation’s immigration laws, Republicans charged today.
Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Obama should instead work with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and other Congressional supporters of the DREAM Act, which would provide a path to citizenship for some illegal immigrants. Obama failed to press the issue when Democrats controlled both chambers of Congress during the first two years of his term, McCain said.
“The president of the United States is now dictating that certain laws will not be enforced. That is a rather serious step,” McCain said.
Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) echoed the criticism on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” saying Obama is “breathtakingly getting around the law.”
“You’re going around Congress and the American people and doing nothing about a broken immigration system,” Graham said.
McCain said that as a Senator, Obama helped scuttle a comprehensive immigration bill that McCain and the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) wrote, with an amendment dealing with guest workers.
David Plouffe, a senior adviser to Obama, said the move to end the deportations amounted to a legitimate enforcement decision. He blamed Republicans in Congress for standing in the way of an overhaul of immigration laws.
“This was well within our boundaries to do,” Plouffe said on “Meet the Press.” “Congress hasn’t acted. If they want to do something about this, they should pass the DREAM Act.”
Amanda Becker contributed to this report.