GOP vows to take stand against deportation block
The rhetoric is barbed, but Republican presidential hopefuls generally fell in line behind the voices of restraint in the wake of President Barack Obama's order blocking deportation for millions of immigrants in the country unlawfully.
Former Senator Rick Santorum, a tea party favourite in the 2012 race, urged the Republican leadership in Congress to "use any means available to stop this unconstitutional attack on our liberty".
TAKING A STAND
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, who once filibustered the nomination of John Brennan as CIA director in a dispute over surveillance of US citizens, said: "I will not sit idly by and let the president bypass Congress and our Constitution."
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who voted for the bipartisan bill that cleared the Senate in 2013, said the Congress should try to unravel Obama's actions, and he called for Republicans to call a vote early next year on a strict immigration enforcement bill.
Yet he, like nearly all other potential presidential contenders, offered no specifics on what sort of response they favour to try and force a presidential retreat.
Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has been an exception. He said the new Republican-controlled Senate that takes office in January should refuse to confirm any of Obama's nominees except for vital national security positions as long as the president's order remains in effect.
Interviewed on Fox on the weekend, he also said Republicans should "use the power of the purse" to attach conditions to funding, but offered no details. He disputed the suggestion that the government shutdown of a year ago inflicted long-lasting damage on the party, noting its sweeping mid-term election victories.