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Immigration Reform

Bipartisan Consensus on MTP: Congress Should Act on Immigration

Sen. Flake: Put Immigration Legislation on the President’s Desk 1:11

Despite differing opinions on President Obama’s executive order, two Senators said Sunday that the proper response from Congress should be to put legislation on the President’s desk.

Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press, Senators Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) advocated passing a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

“You know, the president has only addressed one small portion of what needs to be done with immigration reform,” Flake said. “We've got to do border security, interior enforcement, guest worker plan, and have a mechanism to deal with those who are here illegal. He has done one portion of the latter. So I'd rather move legislation on the other three items and put it on his desk.”

When asked by NBC’s Chuck Todd about a possible lack of urgency in reform, Menendez challenged the House to move forward. “(The Senate) did (pass a bill) over a year and a half ago, it's been languishing in the House,” the Democrat from New Jersey said. “They still have time to pass that bill and do the comprehensive nature that will strengthen our security, promote our economy, and preserve our history as a nation of immigrants. And so there's still clearly a persistent, urgent need to do that.”

Menendez cited the precedent of 11 presidents over 60 years acting on immigration as proof that the action was legal. Senator Flake did not weigh in on whether suing the president over his executive action was appropriate, but did say that he thought President Obama had "moved beyond his authority." “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,” said Flake.

“So it's not that he did something that we wouldn't have done otherwise. It's the way he went about it.”

Sen. Menendez on Immigration: 'The Precedent is There' 1:07
— Dale Armbruster