A recurring fear has colored Republicans’ attitude toward the current immigration reform debate in Congress: President Barack Obama has no actual interest in reaching a deal, and is instead pursuing the issue to exacerbate the GOP’s problems with Hispanic voters. …

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who’s established himself as an outspoken conservative after just a couple of months on the job, was only the latest Republican to give voice to that fear.

“I don’t believe President Obama wants an immigration bill to pass, instead I think he wants a political issue,” he said in a speech on Wednesday, according to a report by the Houston Chronicle. ”His objective is to push so much on the table that he forces Republicans walk away from the table because then he wants to use that issue in 2014 and 2016 as a divisive wedge issue.”

It’s a fear that many of Cruz’s fellow elected Republicans appear to share.

“The question that many of us are asking, Republicans and Democrats, is he looking to play politics or does he want to solve the problem?” Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, the former GOP vice presidential nominee, asked during his Jan. 27 appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” preceding Obama’s major policy speech on immigration.