President Barack Obama's executive order granting legal status to 5 million illegal immigrants deals with only part of the issue, and Congress should pass legislation to address the rest, says Sen. Jeff Flake.
Any comprehensive bill should look at border security, interior enforcement, a guest worker plan and have a mechanism to deal with those who are here illegally, the Arizona Republican said Sunday on "Meet the Press."
"He's done one portion of the latter. So I'd rather move legislation on the other three items and put it on his desk," Flake said.
Multiple legal challenges have been threatened after Obama's Thursday announcement. Flake seemed to shy away from that approach, reiterating that legislation was the appropriate response.
"We did much of what the president did, and, in fact, went even further in the Senate bill," Flake said. "The problem is, the way he did it is going to make it very difficult to move the other parts of immigration reform that we really need. So it's not that he did something that we wouldn't have done otherwise; it's the way he went about it."
Leading Republicans in the House and Senate have said Obama is "poisoning the well" of cooperation by acting without input from Congress.
Turning to the Benghazi report that was released Friday that found no coverup by the administration, Flake said he has long thought Republicans should move past conspiracy theories. But he was critical of former U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice's famous talking points that she used on all five Sunday morning news shows to blame the attack on an anti-Muslim video produced in the United States.
"I've always thought that the biggest problem with Benghazi is how it was cast by the administration, and the remarks of Susan Rice just really flew in the face of what we knew was going on," Flake said.
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