This morning, Representative Paul Ryan had no kind words for the president’s proposed immigration legislation and what he characterized as the White House’s decision to leak it yesterday. He explained that recent developments “makes [immigration reform] that much more difficult.”
The host noted that “just last week,” Ryan “said that the president deserved credit for not politicizing the immigration issue and thought that was a good sign,” and asked Ryan whether he “still believed that” after yesterday’s leak of the White House proposal. Ryan minced no words: “Actually, I don’t.” He said he thought the president’s “words were measured and productive in the State of the Union, but leaking this out sets things in the wrong direction.”
The congressman said that the question from the beginning on this immigration debate has been, “Is the president looking for partisan advantage, or a bipartisan law?” The leak of the White House’s own plan at this time, Ryan said, is a clear indication that the president “is looking for partisan advantage,” which is “very counterproductive” for actual efforts to reform the U.S. immigration system.
Ryan confirmed to the host that he has expressed support for a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, for which the president’s proposal includes a specific program (which Ryan called “giving [them] advantage”), but he blasted the other aspects of the bill, explaining that it has “no guest-worker program,” doesn’t “address future flow” of immigration, and simply “is not dealing with border security adequately.” Contrasting congressional plans with the White House, Ryan said “we think there’s away to do this while still respecting the rule of law; it’s clear that what the president’s talking about does not do that.”