WASHINGTON — House Speaker Paul Ryan on Sunday ruled out a comprehensive overhaul of the immigration system while President Barack Obama is in office.
The new leader of the Republican-controlled House said in several interviews Sunday that he will not work with Obama because the president went around Congress with an executive order to shield from deportation millions of people living here illegally.
“I don’t think we can trust the president on this issue,” Ryan said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and other programs. “I do not believe we should advance comprehensive immigration legislation with a president who has proven himself untrustworthy on this issue.”
The decision puts off any prospect of addressing a comprehensive immigration overhaul until at least 2017 — after the presidential race and Obama’s departure from office. It leaves the legislation stalled in the House and without a chance of being revived in the Senate.
For Ryan, the move removes the prospects of a clash with the same House conservatives who made John Boehner’s life difficult and helped push Boehner into retirement. Ryan was a proponent of the stalled comprehensive immigration bill, and conservatives had been concerned that he would try to revive it as speaker.
But in several interviews aired Sunday, Ryan stamped out any such possibility. He said it’s possible to get smaller immigration-related policy passed.
“If we believe and have consensus on things like border enforcement and interior security, then fine,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.”
Obama issued directives a year ago that gave temporary relief from deportation to about 4 million immigrants in the country illegally, along with permits authorizing them to work in the U.S.