HOUSTON, Texas — The governor-elect of Texas, Attorney General Greg Abbott, claimed that President Obama is is “dispensing with the immigration law as it currently exists and is rewriting that law.”
Abbott’s comments come on the heel’s of the presidents Thursday night speech, during which he announced that he will shield some 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation.
On Fox News Sunday, Abbott said he is prepared to sue Obama for taking executive action. He told host Chris Wallace he will sue on “several grounds. One is what the president has done violates the take Care Clause under Article ii, Section 3 of the Constitution, requiring that the president take care to faithfully execute the laws. Understand this is no little trinket in the Constitution. At the Constitutional Convention itself, they considered whether or not the president should have the authority to dispense with enforcing certain laws, and they decided no. They didn’t want to give the president that authority. They wanted to ensure the president would be limited in his authority and ensure that the president would take care to execute the laws passed by Congress. In this case he’s violating that clause.”
Wallace pointed out that several scholars say Obama acted constitutionally, as what he did is “simply a matter of prosecutorial discretion.”
“What the president is doing here is giving affirmative benefits to people who are here illegally,” the governor-elect responded. “That is not prosecutorial discretion. That is rewriting the immigration laws to help those the president wants to help.”
Abbott went to on to describe that Texas is often hurt, financially, by large waves of illegal immigrants crossing the Texas-Mexico border. He said, “Right now we are spending more than $15 million a month just for law enforcement alone. We have thousands of children who have come here as unaccompanied minors in our schools, [and] Texans are footing the bill for [it]. I sent a letter to [DHS Secretary] Jeh Johnson.”
Texas’ new governor is no stranger to suing the administration. Since Obama took office, Abbott — as Texas’ Attorney General — has sued him 38 times. “This president, more than any other president, has abdicated his responsibility to uphold and enforce this Constitution,” Abbott said. “I have won a majority of those cases….We have a president who feels completely unconstrained by the Constitution. Attorney Generals across the United States of America are the leaders in stepping up and holding this president accountable to the United States Constitution. If we don’t have the Constitution enforced, it will lead to dire consequences in our future.”
Abbott ended by stating that “the president of the United States not only doesn’t follow the law, but adamantly refuses to follow the law….[His actions are] the epitome of lawlessness that leads to dire consequences for our future if we don’t have Attorney Generals making sure the president abides by the law.”
Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate.