OTR Interviews

Gowdy on Obama's executive action on immigration: 'Be careful' - when you weaken the law today, you weaken it forever

Rep. Trey Gowdy on House hearing on the injunction on Pres. Obama's executive on immigration reform and what could be next in the legal debate


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," February 25, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Heating up, I'm talking about the fierce battle over President Obama's executive action immigration. Today, Congressman Trey Gowdy warning the Obama administration to be careful what you do with the law.


REP. TREY GOWDY: Attempts to undermine the law, via executive fiat, regardless of motivation, are detrimental to the foundation of a democracy.

REP. LOUIE GOHMERT: As a good monarch would do, the president spoke law into existence.

GOWDY: You may like the policy, you may wish the policy were the law, but one person does not make law in a republic.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are clear violations of his constitutional responsibility to faithfully execute the laws.

GOWDY: If you enjoy a single person making law, you should appreciate living investigate living another country.

REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE: The executive actions are in actuality a reflection of those laws being faithfully executed.

GOWDY: Be careful what you do you with the law today because if you weaken it today, you weaken it forever.


VAN SUSTEREN: And Congressman Trey Gowdy joins us. So, what are you attempting to achieve today?

REP. TREY GOWDY, R-S.C.: Just be careful. I mean, you may benefit from the failure to execute the law today, but I just don't like it when either side plays games with the rule of law because it is the most unifying, equalizing force we have in our culture. And when you begin to erode or use it for political expediency, you are damaging the republic. I would say the exact same thing to republican. Be careful, even if you benefit from the non-enforcement today, there will come a point where you cry out for the law to be enforced. So just be careful.

VAN SUSTEREN: The thing is this in connection with the executive order on immigration that the president issued. What I don't get is that I went to American University on July 1st, 2010 when he gave the speech about immigration. At the time, democrats held the house. Democrats held the senate. Between July around November -- actually July to August, mid-term elections in November, the president did absolutely nothing on immigration. It would have been pretty much a walk through. ObamaCare was done. He did absolutely nothing, and he could have done it with congress, the right way, legislate. But he wanted to get through the mid terms and not offend anybody. Well, lo and behold, the republicans took over the house, end of that game. So you go around a couple years, a couple year cycle and we get to now, and he decides rather than to use congress, he tries to legislate it from the Oval Office. So that has bitten him for not following the law.

GOWDY: And again, he waited until after the mid-terms because that's how little confidence he has if this is the right thing to do. And there are some democrats like Luis Gutierrez who called the president's hand. You had a chance to do this legislatively and you didn't do it. Greta, I'm not sure, I can't read other people's minds, I don't know what is in the president's heart, but the democrats are benefiting from this as an issue more than they are as a resolved issue. So color me cynical, they may just enjoy this being an issue. They are doing very well from an election standpoint nationally, having this as an issue instead of a resolved issue.

VAN SUSTEREN: But immigration is such an important issue. And when you sit and play these games, it hurts -- you know, it hurts everybody from top to bottom whether here legally or illegally, whether you are born here or whatever. All this sort of you know the game in the system, when you don't follow the law as you said, that's what we have right now, that's where we're right now. Nothing is getting done for anybody.

GOWDY: There are myriad things about our current system that ought to be changed. Whether it's the amount of time you have to wait to be reunited with a spouse, whether it's the fact that if you overstay a visa you are treated differently than if you cross a border, there is the agricultural component, we had the farmers on Capitol Hill today. It all seems to go back to that 11 million. And I even think that could be worked out. But people don't trust what we do in Washington. They don't trust us. They don't believe that.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you blame them?

GOWDY: No, I wouldn't either. That's why I tell people back home, you should not believe us when we say we are going to secure the border and provide interior enforcement. You should make us do it and then you should believe us afterwards. No, I don't blame them one bit for trusting us, which is why there isn't a huge public outcry to get this resolved. I don't think they trust any of us.

VAN SUSTEREN: Congressman, always nice to see you.

GOWDY: Yes, ma'am, you, too.