GOP lawmaker: 'We can't trust’ Obama on immigration reform

Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) said Monday night that Republicans who oppose the Senate's immigration bill don't trust President Obama to enforce the border enforcement provisions in that bill.

"One of the biggest fears we have about the Senate amnesty bill … is we can't trust the president," Fleming said on the House floor. "We can't trust him.

"Whatever we pass into law, we know he's going to cherry-pick. How do we know that? The Defense of Marriage Act; he refused to defend that to the courts. Appointees to the NLRB; he did that when, of course, the Senate was not actually in session.

"ObamaCare; he's picking and choosing the parts of the law that he wants to implement."

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"This president is doing something I have never seen a president do before," Fleming concluded. "In a tripartite government with its checks and balances, we have lost the balances. We have a president that picks and chooses the laws the he wants to obey and enforce.

"That makes him a ruler," he said. "He's not a president, he's a ruler."

Fleming's comments about Obama drew the standard rebuke from the presiding officer, who instructed members not to engage in "personalities toward the president." But several other Republicans agreed with Fleming's comments during late Monday night speeches in the House, including Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), who noted that Obama has often said that he will act on various issues if Congress fails to act.

Gohmert and others said those comments erode the checks and balances built into the U.S. federal government.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) started off 90 minutes of late GOP debate on the Senate's immigration bill. Bachmann said her constituents tell her that Congress should focus on enforcing the border, and that only after that happens can there be a discussion about amnesty for illegal immigrants.

"Amnesty is our deal breaker," Bachmann said. "We are not doing amnesty, no way, no how, not until you secure the border."

Many Republicans view the Senate-passed bill as an amnesty program because it would almost immediately allow illegal immigrations to apply for provisional status. Language in the Senate bill also allows these provisional residents to start applying for green cards after 10 years, even if most of the border enforcement provisions are not in effect.