Like many other Republicans, McCain said Obama was now doing "something that he said he didn't have constitutional authority to do a year ago." Also like other members of his party, he said the president's announcement had complicated efforts to work out a comprehensive solution to a vexing problem.
House Speaker John Boehner told reporters that because the economy is so weak, Obama has "turned to the politics of envy and division, which I don't think the American people are going to accept."
Boehner said Obama's announcement "puts everyone in a difficult position," including young illegal immigrants who "from no fault of their own" are in the United States, as well as lawmakers seeking legislation to tackle more than just the problem of younger illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children.
Democrats have applauded Obama's announcement, many of them adding that he acted after Republicans refused to permit a more wide-ranging immigration measure advance in Congress.
Associated Press writer Laurie Kellman contributed to this report.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.