Exclusive: Obama Inspires GOP Rep to Take Hardline Immigration Approach
GOP Congressman no longer open to immigration deal, citing Obama's winner-take-all approach to governance.
Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), the vice chairman of the House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, has decided to take a harder line stance against President Obama’s efforts to grant amnesty to America’s at least 11 million illegal immigrants. Poe said his stance is a specifically a result of President Barack Obama’s style of dealing with congressional Republicans during the recent government shutdown and debt ceiling battles.
"The President has proven over the last few weeks that ‘negotiating’ means conservatives must give in and that it's his way or no way,” Poe said in an email to Breitbart News. “In his opinion, there is no compromise, just intimidation with inflammatory rhetoric. The President is putting his political agenda ahead of what's best for America."
"He wants to do what's best for his legacy," the Congressman said of the President. "Conservatives want to do what's best for our nation."
Poe added that he thinks “there's no question that our broken immigration system needs a lot of work.”
“That's why conservatives will still work on individual bills, such as border security, interior enforcement, E-verify and filling our future labor needs,” Poe explained. “Future, temporary, foreign workers must not displace any American. Conservatives will not support a wrapped up present with amnesty inside. Amnesty, to quote the President, is not negotiable.”
Poe’s decision to turn against amnesty comes on the heels of Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), a supporter of immigration reform, saying it would be “crazy” for House GOP leadership to negotiate with the Senate and President Obama on the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” immigration bill because Obama’s motives with it are not pure. Obama is using this debate to try to “destroy” the Republican Party, Labrador said.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee’s immigration subcommittee, similarly came out publicly against Obama’s new push for immigration reform this year, saying in response to Obama’s claims that immigration was next on the congressional legislative agenda: “No, it’s not.”
Gowdy had originally been open to some kind of immigration reform deal, but like Labrador and now Poe, he is closed to doing anything because of Obama’s brash style of negotiation.
Poe showed signs earlier this year that he would have been open to some kind of an immigration deal. “I’ve changed,” Poe said in an interview with Fox News Latino published in April.
“I used to think we had to do border security before we ever talk about other immigration issues,” Poe said then. “But we have to do them in tandem, because [otherwise] we’ll never get to those other issues. The border is really not secure because of the drug cartels.”
Now, though, Poe becomes the latest conservative Republican to go back to being an immigration hardliner and, like the others, he claims it is because of President Obama’s demonstrated refusal to negotiate.