President Obama Pushes Immigration Reform Using Executive Power, Frustrating Congress
In the latest round of finger pointing, President Obama took Republicans to task from the White House Rose Garden on Monday, blaming the inaction on immigration reform legislation for the latest wave of problems surrounding illegal immigration, including the uptick in undocumented children crossing the U.S.-Mexican border. Obama vowed to take executive action on immigration reform as much as he's able, trying to circumvent a largely dormant Congress.
"The failure of House Republicans to pass a darn bill is bad for our security, is bad for our economy, is bad for our future," the President said on Monday. "America cannot wait forever for them to ask."
Obama wants to use executive action to relocate immigration enforcement resources from mid-American to the border, according to The New York Times. The president also penned a letter to Congress Monday, asking for more authority to deport the children who have just arrived. U.S. authorities estimate that between 60,000 and 80,000 children will cross the border this year without parents, calling it an "immediate humanitarian crisis." While the surge in illegal immigrants has overwhelmed government officials, they are particularly troubled about the fate of the children.
The House GOP has consistently thwarted Obama's efforts to push for immigration reform, something that he emphasized as a platform during his 2012 run. Now, with limited time left in office, it is time for action. Even if that action is limited, and not delivered via the typical congressional process.
"Pass a bill. Solve a problem. Don't just say no on something that everybody agrees needs to be done," the President said.
Although he aimed frustration at House Republicans as a whole, the real beef started with Speaker John Boehner. Last week, Boehner said he would not bring immigration reform legislation to the floor House this year, extending a long-waged battle over the Senate-passed bill, which the more conservative sect of the GOP will not support because it provides a pathway to citizenship for people currently living illegally in the United States.
When Boehner told Obama that he had no plans to move immigration legislation through the house, Obama began to flex executive muscle. Still, The New York Times reports that it is unlikely we will see any moves on immigration reform until the end of the summer.