OTR Interviews

Sen. Rand Paul: 'King' Obama has no right to write new immigration laws

Senator on president plan to outline executive action on immigration reform

 

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," November 19, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Senator Rand Paul joins us. Good evening, sir.

SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KY: Hey, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: The president says he is going to make an announcement tomorrow night, 8:00 p.m., about an executive order immigration. I take it you don't like this.

PAUL: He said 22 times previously that he doesn't have the power to legislate on his own with regard to immigration. I hope he keeps that in mind when he comes forward to do something different.

No, I think he has absolutely no right through executive order to write new immigration law. So I am very much opposed to it. I'm open to some form of immigration reform. I'm open to expanding work visas. I'm open to a lot of ideas. But the president can't do this. This goes against the fundamental separation of powers that we have in our country.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. The judicial branch can review an executive order. There may be some other branch of government that can take a look at this. In the meantime, what do you intend to do? He has made it very plain what he intends to do.

PAUL: It's difficult, because if Congress rebukes him -- and right now we have a Democrat controlled Senate, which is not going to rebuke the president. But let's say even in January, we decide to rebuke him with legislation, he could simply veto that. But I would say that there is a case from the 1950s, the Youngtown Steel case, and in that case, the Supreme Court said to Harry Truman that he had done something unlawful through an executive order. This is kind of rare. But they said there are three kinds of executive orders. One executive order is to execute the law as it was intended and there's no conflict with Congress. One type of executive order is murky and it's unclear. But then there's an executive order that directly contradicts what Congress wanted. So what I would recommend to the House is they should immediately pass a resolution saying that what he is doing is contrary to the will of the House of Representatives. That would set up, I think, a very clear-cut case in the court. And it may take a while to get him. But the thing is history will treat him unkindly on this if he thinks he can become king.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, though, the whole idea is, like, in Washington, people are always worried about their reputation. History will treat them unkindly. These order, whether you're for them or against, have real impact on people. It's not who is the hypocrite and not the hypocrite, who can do something? These have a real impact. I'm curious whether you think the House should have voted on the Senate immigration bill that was sent over at least a year ago?

PAUL: I have always been in favor of securing the border first, doing some things to increase work permits. For example, there's a couple of bills that are very uncontroversial, and I'm for passing them immediately in January, and I think we may do this. Visas for people with a Master's degree or a PhD in math and science, they are being gobbled up by other countries. And we would love to have them in Silicone Valley, or Texas and Austin and different places, at our universities, teaching. We want those people in our country. But we don't have enough visas for people that have great skills. A bill passed in the House last year, but the Democrats have basically held it hostage and said, unless we get everything we want, we won't give you part of what would be good for the country.

I think what will happen when Republicans take over is some good things that there is overwhelming support for, like increasing visas people with college degrees people with math and science, I think that will happen immediately. And we'll see, is the president willing to work with us to get part of what he wants or will he insist of always getting everything he wants?

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, we will be watching. Tomorrow night, at 8:00 p.m., the president will speak to the nation.

Thank you, sir.

PAUL: Thank you, Greta.