Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has joined Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in chastising President Barack Obama for his handling of the immigration crisis. In an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Graham indicated that he feels the current stalemate over immigration is the fault of the president, but also that he believes the GOP-led House of Representatives must act soon if Republicans want to contend for the presidency in 2016.
“I blame Obama for this moment,” Graham said on the show. “[If Congress doesn’t pass immigration reform] our chances in 2016 are very low. The House should lead.”
Graham is not the only member of Congress speaking out against the handling, or lack thereof, of the current immigration crisis. His comments were preceded earlier in the same day by statements from Cruz during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.” Cruz, in responding to claims by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., that Republicans were holding immigrant children “ransom” by refusing to act, tossed the same allegation at Reid and Obama.
“I’ll tell you who is holding these kids ransom – Harry Reid and the president because their view is, ‘Don’t do anything to fix the problem,'” Cruz told interviewer Chris Wallace.
Democrats have maintained that Republicans are to blame for the unresolved issue after failing to act on the comprehensive immigration reform bill introduced into Congress last year. The bill was passed through the Senate and has remained untouched in the House of Representatives. As was indicated in Graham’s comments, Republicans are aware that they need to act on immigration reform if they are to stand a chance in the 2016 presidential election. Immigration reform has become an increasingly hot-button issue as numbers of undocumented immigrants entering the U.S. have risen dramatically. By the end of 2014, 90,000 undocumented and unaccompanied children are expected to cross the border, and early projections estimate nearly 145,000 will do the same in 2015.