Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus said Friday that the GOP views President Barack Obama’s pledged executive actions on immigration as “a nuclear threat.”
He described the upcoming orders, which Obama earlier this week reasserted his intention to issue, as “executive amnesty, which is in our mind a nuclear threat that would reject the basis of the separation of powers doctrine.”
“The President is just throwing a barrel of kerosene on a fire if he signs an executive amnesty order,” Priebus told reporters during the Christian Science Monitor breakfast in Washington, D.C.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have sounded similarly dire warnings in the days after the election.
“I don’t think most people are interested in immigration reform unless they believe the border is secure,” he said. Of the new Republican Congress, he also said a border crisis “will not allow the legislature to move forward unless people are convinced that the border is secure.”
If Obama does issue an order granting legal status to some undocumented immigrants, Priebus pointed to the courts or legislation in the new Congress as possible responses from Republicans.
“I think those options have to be explored,” he said.