Illinois Republican Sen. Mark Kirk called President Obama’s immigration executive order “incredibly condescending to Latinos.”
The executive action offers temporary legal status to more than 5 million illegal immigrants.
“I don’t agree with the executive order. I think it was incredibly condescending toward Latinos. Now for millions of Latinos in the country, all of their rights and privileges hang in the thin thread of an executive order, which could be changed at any time by any president. The way to really base these rights and privileges is an actual statute that respects them as future Americans,” Kirk said during an interview with PJ Media.
“The point Republicans should make is the only thing Barack Obama gave you is a thin piece of paper which could be changed at any time by any president in the future,” he added.
Kirk said the fair way to proceed on immigration is to have a new bipartisan law.
“I think if you put real border security on the table that would be the way to build a real bipartisan consensus in the Congress and among the American people,” he said.
Kirk was asked about the timetable for further action against Iran if a nuclear agreement cannot be reached. Kirk and a group of senators have urged President Obama not to unilaterally seek a nuclear deal with Iran but work with Congress instead and keep sanctions pressure on the Islamic Republic.
“I’ll be working very closely with Mitch [McConnell] as to when we vote on Menendez-Kirk and I’m going to make sure Bob Menendez, who has been my partner and my buddy on this, is very involved in all of these decisions,” he said. “The difference here is there’s no Harry Reid equation at all in the Senate. He’s now just a minority member of the Senate.”
Kirk estimated that 17 Senate Democrats support the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act. Reid prevented the Menendez-Kirk sanctions bill from coming to the floor.
“We have 12 new Republican senators showing up. I think they’re likely to be supportive of my legislation,” he said.
Kirk was also asked what he is hearing from pro-Israel groups about the Obama administration’s policies toward Israel. Kirk said news reports indicating that the Obama administration is seeking to impose sanctions against Israel are not sitting well with pro-Israel activists. The administration has denied the reports.
“That really distrusted a lot of people in the pro-Israel movement throughout the country. I would say the mood that I hear from them is they’re shocked at this thing,” he said.
“It’s the continuing policy of this administration to treat our enemies as friends and our friends as enemies. To be discussing sanctions on Israel is a totally misguided policy, complete sort of wacko liberalism run amuck,” he added.
Kirk said he would like to see a one-state solution only for Israel and not for the Palestinian Authority.
“I would like to terminate assistant to UNRWA, the UN Work and Relief Agency, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hamas,” he said. “It’s not worthy of taxpayer support.”
Kirk currently serves as the chairman of the U.S.-China Working Group in the Senate. Chinese hackers reportedly breached U.S. weather systems and the satellite network. Hackers from China also hacked the computer systems at USPS and stole employees’ personal information. Kirk has addressed the issue with Chinese leaders.
“I’ve told them that they are creating a lot of anti-Chinese anger with these hacks,” he said.
“There’s a role for NSA’s mission to be expanded here to play defense in critical functions for the U.S. No foreign power should have the ability to hack and disrupt critical functions to the U.S. NSA should be given the mission of defending U.S. critical infrastructure,” he added.
Kirk said most cyber attacks come from Ukraine so the U.S. should increase pressure on the country.
“I think we should look at developing pressure against the Ukrainian government to make sure that we can extradite cyber criminals from the Ukrainian jurisdiction,” he said.