Immigration reform divides Wisconsin lawmakers - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Immigration reform divides Wisconsin lawmakers

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -- President Barack Obama will announce a new immigration reform Thursday.

Obama will bypass Congress by using his executive power. The controversial move is expected to redirect deportation efforts to criminals who are undocumented immigrants. The plan could also expand some worker visas.

Many Republicans disagree with the reform. U.S. Representative Sean Duffy (R) has been vocal in his opposition to the way Obama is handling the immigration law.

"The American people," said Duffy, "want immigration reform done. They don't want it done by executive action."

Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin (D) says she agrees with the president's decision to take action.

"I support the president keeping his promise to take action and do what he can legally do to fix our broken system," Baldwin said.

Duffy and Republican Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson fear taking executive action will hurt the president's relationship with the new Senate and House of Representatives

"President Obama has chosen and this is his choice," explained Johnson, "to start his relationship with the new Republican majority in the Senate and the new Congress picking a fight."

"If he goes this way were gonna set the new Congress off in the wrong foot. I think its going to tear the country apart at the seams," said Duffy.

But Democrats say Republicans aren't moving quickly enough and the president needs to do something.

"The president won't sit around and wait for two years to do something," said U.S. Representative Ron Kind (D). "Now, all eyes should be on Congress to take action when there is such a clear need for reform."

"For over 500 days House Republicans have refused to take action on bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform. Given the fact that House Republicans have failed to act on the bipartisan Senate reform bill, the president should not accept the status quo," said Baldwin.

Duffy says he supports a step-by-step approach to immigration reform. He says the president should give the new congress enough time to see if it can come up with a bill that fixes the system.

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