New Jersey’s Republican Gov. Chris Christie called on Congress and the White House to push immigration reform on this year’s agenda, adding that they should take a cue from him on how to build a bipartisan consensus.
“The president and the Congress have to step up to the plate, they have to secure our borders, and they have to put forward a commonsense path to citizenship for people,” Christie said on ABC’s “This Week.”
While Christie stopped short of blaming Democrats or Republicans for the continued stalemate on immigration reform, he referenced his work with New Jersey Democrats in passing his state’s budget this year as proof that political parties could work across the aisle to reach agreeable solutions.
“If you want to lead and build
consensus, you can, and it's on the obligation of those people in charge to
build consensus,” he said.
Christie also pointed to his time
as a U.S. attorney, saying the government didn’t have the adequate
resources to deal with the plethora of immigration issues that New Jersey faced
then, and until a bill is enacted, government will continue to suffer from the
“States are going to struggle all
over the country with this problem [until President Obama and Congress craft an
immigration reform measure], and so is federal law enforcement, who doesn't
have the resources to do it effectively,” Christie said.
On a separate topic, Christie said
New Jersey was still on the fence about whether it would join a growing lawsuit
against the federal government claiming that the soon-to-be enacted individual
mandate to provide healthcare insurance is unconstitutional.
“I have both my attorney general and my commissioner of health studying two things: First, what are the chances of succeeding in the lawsuit? Because with limited resources in New Jersey, I'm not going to throw good money after bad,” he said. “And, secondly, what's the effect of this 2,000-page bill going to be on the people of New Jersey? When I get answers back from them, I'll make a decision.”
About 20 states have filed lawsuits against the federal government so far, pushing to nix the individual mandate.