Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson tells Newsmax that President Barack Obama is using executive action on immigration as a "political weapon" and he's "poking a stick" in the eyes of the Republicans.
"What he's serious about is using immigration cynically for political gain. He's using it as a political weapon," Johnson told J.D. Hayworth on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV
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"If he was really serious about passing the bill, which he was taunting us to do, he would've worked with us to find an agreement to start doing this in a common sense approach," he explained.
The Wisconsin Republican contends that there was a lot in Obama's immigration plan, which he described in his speech Thursday night, that Republicans agree on and that those areas of "common ground" could have been a good place to start negotiations to begin to "build a level of trust."
"Last night, the first thing he talked about was more resources, the border, speed return and return criminals first — we agree on that. Let's do that," he explained.
"High skilled laborers — there's a great deal of agreement on that — let's keep the brightest minds in the world here in America to help our economy," he said.
"Where we start running into areas of disagreement . . . in terms of what we should do is with the people that are already here and the timing of how we should do it — we don't agree on that yet," he contends.
"Let's do the first things we agree on first and worry about the areas of disagreement in the second step in the process, but he's not giving us that opportunity," Johnson explained.
"He's poking a stick in our eye, he's making it far more difficult to pass a bill, and he knows that, which is why he's starting the relationship with the new Congress by picking a fight rather than trying to find common ground," he said.
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Johnson also contends that if Obama was really serious about immigration reform "he would've done it in the first year," but the Wisconsin senator thinks that "he's not serious about fixing the problem."
In addition, he fears that the president's actions "will create incentive" for more illegal immigrants to come into the country.
"Let's reduce the flow, let's reduce the incentives for illegal immigration," he said.
"President Obama's unilateral action is going to increase that and exacerbate the problem," he said.
"That's why you have to secure the border first before you do these other things," he explained, adding that the Deferred Action of Childhood Admissions (DACA) is "probably the best example we could use as a predictor of what might happen."
"Obama's memorandum on the Deferred Action of Childhood Admissions did not apply to anybody coming into the country currently, but it did apply," he said.
"We can't trust President Obama to even enforce the letter of his own memorandum, much less the letter of the law that has been passed previously," he contends.
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