WASHINGTON (CNN) — Incoming Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Monday he expects to legally challenge President Barack Obama’s new immigration action “in the next two weeks.”
Abbott, currently the attorney general in Texas, said he’s reaching out to other governors and top state attorneys about joining the expected lawsuit.
“Our constitutional structure does not work when our president is untethered from the law. That is what has happened here,” he said at a news conference Monday.
Abbott’s charge against Obama’s executive order limiting deportations has vaulted the Republican onto the national stage, giving him a lead role on a prominent issue just as he prepares to replace outgoing Gov. Rick Perry.
He accused Obama on Monday of violating the Constitution’s requirement that the president faithfully execute laws passed by Congress, and said Obama’s move is dangerous because it paves the way for future presidential candidates to claim, for instance, that they would waive penalties for Americans who didn’t pay taxes.
He said the attorney general’s office is currently conducting “research and analysis” on a legal challenge and is contacting other states with status updates. Oklahoma officials have already said they expect to sue, and others — including Indiana Gov. Mike Pence — have said they’re considering joining the challenge, as well.
He said a 2012 Obama order deferring the deportation of “dreamers” — undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children, who would have gained legal status under a bill dubbed the “DREAM Act” that never became law — led to “millions of dollars in costs to schools, to law enforcement, to health care” in Texas.
“If history repeats itself even in the slightest, Texas will once again sustain consequences from the president’s executive order,” Abbott said.