Republican lawmakers said Sunday that while they would do everything to stop President Barack Obama from taking unilateral action on immigration reform, shutting down the government was not an option that is desirable.
"I think there's got to be more productive ways for us to be able to impress on the President the need to work for a permanent solution as opposed to a temporary stop-gap solution," former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney said on CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday.
Two months ago, the White House said it was delaying action on immigration until after the midterm elections.
Obama, who returns from a G20 summit in Australia Sunday evening, is expected to announce executive actions on the issues in the coming weeks, Reuters quotes Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson as saying.
"The President ought to let the Republican Congress, the Republican House and the Republican Senate, come together with legislation that they put on his desk which relates to immigration," Romney added. "And he can veto it or not, but let the Congress and let this election have its say, as opposed to jumping in by doing something unilaterally, and in a way which is extra-constitutional, he's poking an eye of the Republican leaders in Congress, and he's making it more difficult for there to be a permanent solution to this issue."
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal also said that shutdown should be avoided. "But absolutely they should do everything they can to force the President to follow the law," he said on "Fox News Sunday."
South Dakota Republican John Thune also appeared on "Fox News Sunday" and said that shutdown "doesn't solve the problem."
"But look, we're having those discussions... We're going to continue to meet about this. I know the House leaders are talking about, the Senate leaders are talking about it," added Thune, the chair of the Senate Republican Conference. "Republicans are looking at different options about how best to respond to the president's unilateral action, which many people believe is unconstitutional, unlawful action on this particular issue."
At the G20 Summit, Obama spoke about the immigration issue on Sunday.
"There is a very simple solution to this perception that somehow I'm exercising too much executive authority. Pass a bill I can sign on this issue," CNN quoted Obama as saying. "If Congress passes a law that solves our border problems, improves our legal immigration system, and provides a pathway for the 11 million people who are here, working in our kitchens, working in farms, making beds in hotels, everybody knows they're there, we're not going to deport all of them. We'd like to see them being able to be out in the open, pay their taxes, pay a penalty, get right with the law."
Democratic Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois said on CNN's "State of the Union" that House Speaker John Boehner should consider the immigration bill passed by the Senate earlier. "The message of the last election was, 'solve problems, don't just go to a political standoff, do something.' If the Republicans fail to do it, then the president will act and I will support it."