Texas Gov.-elect Greg Abbott speaks to member of the media following a meeting with President Barack Obama and newly elected governors at the White House on Dec. 5, 2014.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Texas governor-elect: Obama is putting the Constitution under ‘harm’

Updated

Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott and governor-elect of Texas said that his state’s immigration lawsuit against President Barack Obama is to prevent executive actions from causing “harm” to the U.S. Constitution.

MSNBC Live with José Díaz-Balart, 12/4/14, 9:49 AM ET

17 states file joint lawsuit over immigration action

José Díaz-Balart talks with Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Tx., about the 17 states suing President Obama over his announced immigration action, and the fight brewing on Capitol Hill to avoid another government shutdown.
Seventeen states, including Texas, filed a joint lawsuit against the White House on Wednesday for its executive actions. Abbott, who will replace current Gov. Rick Perry next month, is leading the legal action. He previously cited his beliefs that the country’s immigration system is “broken,” and that the Constitution says the immigration policy must be fixed by Congress, not by presidents.

“What we’re suing for is actually the greater harm, and that is harm to the Constitution by empowering the president of the United States to enact legislation on his own without going through Congress,” Abbott told NBC News’ Chuck Todd Sunday on Meet the Press.” He continues to argue that the president’s actions will inspire a fresh wave of undocumented immigrants into the country.

But undocumented immigrants who are working in Texas participate in the economy, Todd argued. Abbott responded by saying that Obama and Congress need to improve the immigration system together, if allowing the individuals to remain in the country is the right decision.

Last month, Obama signed the most sweeping changes to the U.S. immigration laws in three decades, excusing millions of undocumented immigrants living in the country for three years. His decision enraged conservative lawmakers. On Thursday, the House passed a bill aimed at blocking executive actions the president is taking to protect millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation. The measure isn’t expected to become law because the Senate likely won’t take it up, Majority Leader Harry Reid said. And the White House already has threatened to veto the bill if it reaches the president’s desk.

RELATED: President Obama announces immigration action

House Republicans failed to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill, even after senators approved a measure more than a year ago. Speaker of the House John Boehner is among the GOP members who have criticized the president’s plan, saying he is “acting like” a king and emperor.

Tens of thousands of children have attempted to enter the southern border of the United States from Central American countries since October, and the number is only expected to rise.

House Republicans also recently filed a long-anticipated lawsuit against the White House, alleging the Obama administration abused its power by making unilateral changes to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Barack Obama, Constitution, Executive Orders, Greg Abbott, Immigration Policy, Immigration Reform and Texas

Texas governor-elect: Obama is putting the Constitution under 'harm'

Updated