White House press secretary Jay Carney mocked the suggestion Monday that Republicans' reluctance to pass comprehensive immigration reform was because they could not trust President Obama to enforce laws on the books.
Obama’s top spokesman told reporters that GOP infighting on immigration has “nothing to do with the president.”
“Nobody buys that Republican reluctance to deal with and pass comprehensive immigration reform has to do [with Obama],” Carney added.
Last week, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, insisted that Obama's decisions to unilaterally halt deportations of DREAM Act-eligible immigrants and delay key Obamacare provisions had raised suspicions about how the administration would enforce border security measures in a potential immigration package.
“There’s widespread doubt about whether this administration can be trusted to enforce our laws,” he said Thursday. “And it’s going to be difficult to move any immigration legislation until that changes.”
Carney, however, pointed out Republican resistance to immigration reform when proposed by former President George W. Bush, saying the GOP has long struggled with this debate.
“This is a tough issue for Republicans,” Carney said, adding that White House officials “understand and are even sympathetic” to the GOP quandary.