Elections | Nation

Obama Says He Will Use Executive Action To Address Immigration System

NPR | June 30, 2014 1:08 p.m.

Contributed By:

Eyder Peralta

President Obama steps out of the Oval Office on June 26, 2014 in Washington, DC.

President Obama steps out of the Oval Office on June 26, 2014 in Washington, DC.

Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images

President Obama says he is going to use executive action to deal with what he says is a broken immigration system.

“While I will continue to push Republicans to drop excuses and act,” Obama said, “Americans cannot wait forever for them to act.”

Obama made the announcement at the White House Rose Garden on Monday. He said he will begin “a new effort to fix the immigration system on my own, without Congress.”

Obama announced one piece of concrete action — that he would move some immigration enforcement assets from the interior of the country to the border.

Obama added that he made the decision a year after the Senate passed an immigration reform bill and after Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, told him that he would not push for a vote on an immigration overhaul bill this year.

This is, of course, also a controversial move by the president, because it was just last week that Boehner threatened to sue Obama over his executive actions. Republicans have long complained that Obama is running afoul the Constitution by taking executive action instead of pursuing legislation.

President Obama also received a rebuke from the Supreme Court, which decided last week that Obama had overstepped his powers while making appointments to the National Labor Relations Board while the Senate was in a pro forma session.

The announcement also comes amid a crisis at the southern border, which has seen an almost 100 percent year-to-year increase in the number of unaccompanied minors crossing into the United States illegally. As we reported, yesterday, Obama is asking Congress for more than $2 billion to stem the tide of migrants and says the executive needs more flexibility in deportation laws to be able to quickly deport non-Mexican children.

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