With his edict on immigration now in effect, President Barack Obama has flooded a struggling American labor market with millions of new workers who will further depress wages and make jobs harder to find, former Sen. Rick Santorum told Newsmax TV
"He's doing this as a slap in the face of every working American, and that is what we should be talking about," Santorum, a Pennsylvania Republican and former presidential candidate, told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner.
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In that besieged working-class group, said Santorum, are some of the very people that Obama claimed to be aiding by announcing on Thursday that 5 million immigrants living here illegally will be shielded from deportation
"You know, who gets hurt most by what the president just did? Hispanics in America," said Santorum.
"You're adding 5 million mostly unskilled workers into a labor pool right now, where wages are declining and income in America is declining."
With the economy creating "maybe if we're lucky, 2 million new jobs a year," Santorum said that amnesty will add 5 million new workers "in addition to 1.1 million new legal immigrants that are coming into this country every year.
"Plus more illegals who will be coming because the president has now created a path to citizenship to whoever gets into this country," he said.
"We are going to flood labor markets."
Obama declared amnesty in a televised address over the objections of Republicans
in Congress, who say the president is exceeding his authority and effectively inventing law, which he has no constitutional right to do.
House Speaker John Boehner
said on Friday that Obama is "damaging the presidency" with his actions and that Congress will act to "protect the Constitution."
Santorum, like others, rejected the argument that Obama's executive action is no different from deportation stays issued by former presidents
Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, calling the comparison "a farce."
"What President Reagan and President Bush both did, they dealt with a very small group of people and they acted pursuant to a congressional act," said Santorum.
"In other words, Congress acted, did something on the issue of immigration and, in implementing that law, the president cleaned up some loose ends. He dealt with a very small group of people, which in fact, Congress agreed with him doing."
"That is not what's going on here," Santorum said.
With comprehensive immigration reform stalled in Congress, "The president is saying, 'You won't act, so I will. You won't grant amnesty to all these people. You have opposed doing that, and therefore I'm going to do it,'" he said.
"That is not what Reagan did and that is not what Bush did."
Santorum said that by "acting like a tyrant" and "against the Constitution," the president "has thrown the Republicans and the country a curveball.
"We have never dealt with anything like this before," he said.
"It's a time where people from both parties have to take a step back," said Santorum, arguing that Democrats in Congress should be just as concerned as their GOP colleagues.
"You've just seen the president of the U.S. basically tell you that 'You're irrelevant and we don't really need you anymore. I don't need you to change the laws of this country. I can do what I want to do irrespective of what you say and what you want in the [legislative] conference.'"
Santorum said that Obama's act "is not just backing Republicans in a corner, it's backing Americans in a corner."
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