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Immigration Reform

Texas’ Abbott: The Constitution Itself Is ‘Under Assault’

Greg Abbott: Texas Harmed Financially by Executive Orders 2:51

The Governor-elect of Texas appeared on Meet the Press Sunday morning, saying the state’s lawsuit against President Obama’s executive order on immigration is to protect the Constitution.

Greg Abbott, who currently serves as the state’s attorney general, argued that the financial impact of the action opens the door for legal action, but that’s not the basis of the lawsuit. “What we're suing for is actually the greater harm, and that is harm to the Constitution by empowering the President of the United States to enact legislation on his own without going through Congress,” Abbott said

The Republican disagreed with the notion that illegal immigrants could have a positive impact because they participate in the economy. “Legal immigration has been great for America,” Abbott said. “And if bringing more immigrants here is the appropriate thing to do then what Congress needs to do and what the president needs to do is to figure out a way to improve our immigration system.”

He also said that he and President Obama did not talk about immigration in a meeting he attended at the White House on Friday. However, he did raise the issue with members of the president’s Cabinet. He asked about whether there was a way Texas “could be compensated” for costs related to unaccompanied minors crossing the border. “None of them had any answers,” Abbott said.

When asked by Chuck Todd about the possibility of Texas and Texas-adjacent officials like Rick Perry, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul running for President, Abbott did not commit to supporting any of the three. “I'm staying out of the primary,” Abbott responded, saying he would support the eventual Republican nominee.

Abbott Endorses None of his Texas Colleagues 0:30
— Dale Armbruster and Shawna Thomas