WASHINGTON: Fresh off his election as speaker of the US House of Representatives, Congressman Paul Ryan refused to cooperate with President Barack Obama on immigration, ruling out any reform before 2017.
“You cannot trust this president on this issue,” Ryan said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
The lawmaker made the rounds on America’s Sunday morning talk shows, following a vote that swept him into the most powerful job in Congress on Thursday.
The 45-year-old Republican made it clear that he would not negotiate with the Democratic president.
Obama, whose term ends in January 2017, sidestepped gridlock in Congress on immigration by signing a number of executive orders on the topic since the end of last year.
“I think it would be a ridiculous notion to try and work on an issue like this with a president we simply cannot trust on this issue,” Ryan told CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
“He tried to go it alone, circumventing the legislative process with his executive orders.”
Obama had made immigration reform a campaign promise in 2008, but he focused on other priorities early on in his administration and his recent efforts have been hampered by a Republican-dominated Congress.
Obama’s executive orders have given approximately five million immigrants in the country illegally a path to legal status.
Those measures include allowing parents of US citizens or permanent residents to seek a three-year work permit if they have been in the country since the start of 2010.
The topic of immigration has figured prominently on the campaign trail for the 2016 US presidential election.
Billionaire businessman Donald Trump has promised that he will expel immigrants who are in the United States illegally and build a wall on the US-Mexico border if he is elected.
Some 11 million people, mostly from Mexico, are thought to live and work in the United States illegally.