Obama: I'll act on my own on immigration

President wants to place emphasis on deporting most recent border-crossers
Associated Press
Jun 30, 2014

In the face of an unyielding Congress, President Barack Obama said Monday he will no longer wait for Republicans to act on a sweeping immigration overhaul and will move on his own to make policy changes in what has been a top second-term priority of his presidency.

Obama's decision to take a targeted approach at the immigration system signals the end of a years-long quest for legislation that also proved elusive for President George W. Bush. It also illustrates the deep-rooted and complicated politics of immigration within the Republican Party.

Obama said he will refocus immigration enforcement onto a Mexican border that has seen a tide of children crossing illegally from Central America. That means putting resources into deporting people who are the most recent border-crossers or individuals who pose a threat to public safety and national security.

He also said he has instructed Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Attorney General Eric Holder to recommend ways to bypass Congress with executive actions that "fix as much of our immigration system as we can." He said he expects those recommendations before the end of the summer and said he would adopt them promptly.

"I take executive action only when we have a serious problem, a serious issue, and Congress chooses to do nothing," Obama said. "And in this situation, the failure of House Republicans to pass a darn bill is bad for our security, it's bad for our economy and it's bad for our future."

Obama said he decided to act on his own after House Speaker John Boehner informed him last week that the House would not vote on an immigration overhaul this year. A congressional leadership aide said Obama and Boehner spoke privately before an event last week at the White House honoring U.S. golfers who won last year's Presidents Cup.

Arguing there are enough Republicans and Democrats in the House to pass an immigration bill today, Obama said he had chosen to wait for more than a year to give Boehner space to act.

Obama said the thousands of unaccompanied children showing up on the border underscore the need to drop the politics and act on immigration. On Monday, he sent a letter to Congress asking for more authority to deport new border crossers from Central America more efficiently and to penalize smugglers.

"As a first step, I'm directing the secretary of homeland security and the attorney general to move available and appropriate resources from our interior to the border," Obama said. "Protecting public safety and deporting dangerous criminals has been and will remain the top priority, but we are going to refocus our efforts where we can to make sure we do what it takes to keep our border secure."

Obama's decision effectively declares that a broad-based change in immigration policy is dead for the year, and perhaps for the remainder of his administration. Changing immigration laws and providing a path to citizenship for about 11 million immigrants in the country illegally has been one Obama's top priorities as he sought to conclude his presidency with major second-term victory.

His decision is likely to win few allies. Immigration advocates on Monday already were criticizing his stepped-up measures to deal with children on the border and Republicans were ready to pounce on his decision to take matters into his own hands.

"Speaker Boehner told the president exactly what he has been telling him: the American people and their elected officials don't trust him to enforce the law as written," Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said. "Until that changes, it is going to be difficult to make progress on this issue."

Obama still expressed hope that Congress could act after the November elections or next year. But Republicans have argued that if Obama were to act on his own, that would further entrench his opponents.

"If House Republicans are really concerned about me taking too many executive actions, the best solution to that is passing bills," he said. "Pass a bill. Solve a problem. Don't just say 'no' on something that everybody agrees needs to be done."

Obama's actions also represent a delicate balancing act between responding to what the White House has called a "humanitarian crisis" over unaccompanied children and a demand from immigration activists to reduce the administration's record number of deportations.

Deportations have spiked under the Obama administration to a total of around 2 million so far — the same number removed during the full eight years of the Bush administration. At the same time, formal removals from the interior have decreased each year of the Obama administration, while the number of deportations from the border has increased.

The Obama administration also has taken steps already to focus deportations on people with more serious criminal records or those who pose a threat. But this so-called "prosecutorial discretion," while harshly criticized by Republicans, never succeeded in calming concerns in immigrant communities about how deportations are conducted.

Obama on Monday was dropping by a meeting at the White House among immigration overhaul advocates and Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett. Many of those advocates reacted harshly to Obama's plan Monday to seek emergency money from Congress that would, among other things, help conduct "an aggressive deterrence strategy focused on the removal and repatriation of recent border crossers."

"President Obama is asking Congress to change the law to enable the government to inflict expedited removal on unaccompanied children. That is simply unconscionable," said Leslie A. Holman, president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. "No matter what you call it, rapid deportations without any meaningful hearing for children who are rightly afraid of the violence and turmoil from which they fled is wrong, and contradicts the fundamental values of this nation."

 

Comments

freespeech1

Don't forget Harry Reids and Joe Bidens Racist comments!! And they are what? Democrats!!

JMOP

With the SCOTU, a congressional lawsuit coming, and all the scandals, obama is realizing the American people are finally seeing his true identity. He can't keep faking it, until he makes it, The truth always comes out eventually.

Darwin's choice

It's time for the obama's to be removed from the White House.

obama/failed

Great post Sam.....

coasterfan

Nope. He has done nothing that has risen anywhere close to the level of impeachment. If we didn't impeach Bush for far greater mistakes, we're not going to impeach Obama.

He is handling things as a Democrat would, and was twice voted into office because a majority of voters decided they didn't like the way Republicans handle things. His effectiveness/success is NOT determined by the opinions of the opposing party.

Donegan

"He is handling things as a Democrat would"
That is over ride his authority and belittle the voice of the people (Congress) while claiming to be the sole power in the US. Yeah i could see where a liar and wanna be dictator comes from the Democrat party. The sad thing is people like Coaster and Dog do not care until it comes from the opposition and then they act all upset. That's hypocrisy.
Just think if Stalin had a "D" behind his name Coaster would cheer for him murdering millions. (Probably still cheers for the murdering SOB but not in public)

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

ATTENTION WIFE BEATERS!

If you wish to continue beating your wife and get away with it, become coasterfan's neighbor. He will seemingly not oppose you so long as you only beat her every so often and beat your wife less than his last neighbor did with his in total. He may even come up with excuses to defend you in case someone wants to report your heinous actions.

The wife's opinion does not determine the morality of the husband's actions because she is in the minority of household voters who wish to continue the practice of domestic violence. So if you want to keep feeling like a man and bloodying up your broad because "she gives you no choice", "you have to take actions when others won't", and "the time you gave her to change her mind is up", make sure you have an ally with someone who thinks like coasterfan does.

It's totally legit and completely moral and acceptable in opinions like this. Remember, just don't hit her any more than the last neighbor did, else THEN he'd think about calling you out or maybe questioning your actions.

EDIT: If it isn't apparent I was sarcastic above. I'm just so sick and tired of this thinking that something is ok this time because it was last time. It's frustrating, especially for someone who reached voterhood under the G.W. Bush Presidency and actually would LIKE SOMETHING BETTER than this show of people regurgitating in each other's mouths instead of consuming something new or actually letting some of that vomit flow out to be replaced. GRRRR.

Donegan

This is where the checks and balances comes into play, Hopefully they check his a$$ out of office.

2cents

Is it time to buy more 9, 223, 45, 50 yet?

totallyamazed

.
I am so going to become a Latino. I renounce my race!

double HA!

Good luck with the whole immigration thing. Mark it down on your calendar that you heard it here first : The North American Union will occur by 2018, many advantages to that you know (resources and cheap labor will abound). Next President will be a Democrat and Congress will be nothing more than house sitters as it pertains to laws and writing them.

No HA! to see here, move along >>>>>>
.

samiam

Waa Waa Waa. What a cry baby! It's my ball and if we don't play my way, I'll take my ball and go home. If only he would!

coasterfan

Sam: Apparently, you're quoting a transcript of Ted Cruz' final planning session, before the teabaggers shut down the government?

Personally, we Dems find it amusing when the ultrarightwingnuts start frothing at the mouth.

Donegan

Democrats are also amused by shiny lights and promises from inexperienced street corner activist. So it doesn't take much to entertain them.

Darwin's choice

6 post's here propping up the failure! Who's foaming at the mouth? More like wetting your pants, you can't defend the stupidity!

obama/failed
impeach obama

Darwin's choice

"As of now, Real Clear Politics polling data has Republican already solidifying a FIVE seats in the U.S. Senate. That puts the current projected Senate split at 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans.

The new is better than 50/50 though – much better.

At least four more Senate races appear to already be leaning Republican, and by the end of the summer, that number could rise to a total of seven. That means a well within the realm of possibility of TWELVE Senate seats moving to the Republican column in 2014.

That’s a HUGE shift, beyond even what was accomplished in 2010.

Harry Reid will lose his Majority Leader status, and for the first time since Barack Obama became president in 2009, he will face a united Congress that won’t have so much of its legislation killed in the Senate. When politicians and pundits complain of a “do nothing Congress” they have it half right. The House has passed hundreds of examples of pro jobs, pro military, pro individual freedoms legislation that has then been shelved by the Harry Reid led Democrat controlled Senate. Barack Obama has never had to face a Congress unified in opposition to his far left, Big Government, progressive-authoritarian policies."

If the current Senate race trends hold, Mr. Obama will be president in name only, and that would be fantastic news for all freedom loving Americans.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

How is it good news when Republicans are, at this point, the "Not Democrat Party"? Many are feckless, passive-aggressive grumblers who enjoy waggling fingers more than actually doing something. At least they have a movement within their ranks to cut back the deadwood, but until the new growth can blossom and their platform change and/or be adhered to, it's a placeholder party at best.

Establishment Republicans are out of touch with a great many aspects of society. That isn't to say that conservatism can't be "progressive", but there are more important fires to fight than what is currently being done.

I'd be delighted if what you said was actually good news, but especially after Mississippi, I can't see things getting better in any measurable way. This can't happen soon enough because Congress won't fix what they enjoy being broken: http://conventionofstates.com/

Darwin's choice

On a rant roll today?
Anything will be better than the current state of failure, what do you suggest?

obama has failed, for over 5 years, neither party is helping.

obama/failed

here's something for you HZ.....
http://www.americanthinker.com/2...

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I am, Darwin. I really am.

This really just frustrates me that seemingly our only "hope" lies with a party who aren't even necessarily a true opposition party nor one with a clear attachment to the population. Rather they "just aren't Democrats". The Tea Party movement inside it is helping, but overall it is just so...ugh. It riles me up that we can actually be making our country better but instead are distracted by the antics of party clowns.

I appreciate the link, by the by. Thank you for that if I may break momentarily from frothing to be polite. Heh.

Contango

Funny, Pres. Obama suspends the deportation of illegal immigrant juveniles who were brought here as children.

"Obama also created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which gives a more formal reprieve from deportation to so-called Dreamers, undocumented young people who entered the U.S. as children."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/20...

This action becomes misconstrued in Central America in that the U.S. is not deporting children. They then began to arrive in droves.

NOW, Mr. Obama is taking action on the border to halt the influx.

Nothing quite like the quixotic activity of causing and attempting to solve his own self-made problems and then per usual blaming it on someone else.

http://stylemagazine.com/news/20...

Nor'easter

We have more than enough law on the book. Illegal is illegal. Deportation should be automatic and extremely swift. The already authorized and required wall to stop border crossings should be completed by returning military. Enforce the law and this manufactured problem will go away. If we used even half the energy to follow our laws as is being used to create a false impression that we need new law, this problem would end before Thanksgiving.

Dr. Information

This is not how you run a country Obama. When you do not get your way, you do not side step everything and everyone to get your way. What is that proving?

You cannot bash Bush and defend Obama in the same sentence. Bush went to war with intelligence that was VOTED ON BY BOTH PARTIES WITH A RESOUNDING YES! Obama dumped another 100k troops in Afghanistan and they are still there dying each day.

What should we learn from this? That we cannot change the nutty middle east. Lesson learned, put down the past and present and move forward TOGETHER as a nation. That will never happen with Obama. This man has small penis syndrome or something that is causing him to act irrational. His wife is irrational and I suspect his children will grow up to be the same way.

Work with Congress, both side, come to a resolution on issues that satisfies both sides and the people. We realize we cannot always have it our way but this mockery has to end.

SamAdams

I am so tired of the excuse offered up by the Democrats: "Well, George W. Bush did it!" Maybe he did, but so what?

Did Republicans excuse Clinton for lying because, "Well, Richard Nixon did it!" Did Democrats excuse Bush for overreach because, "Well, Clinton had sex in the Oval Office, so...?"

Sure, I CARE what wrongs were committed by past presidents. But excusing the wrongs done by THIS president based solely on the fact he's not the first (though he IS, by far the worst) is ridiculous! Do you excuse your kids for stealing because the boy down the block got caught at it? Do you excuse your employees for slacking off because you once worked somewhere else where a few did the same thing? Of COURSE not! And there's no difference here. Unless, of course, you're the very definition of amoral and hypocritical...

Contango

Re: "Obama said he will refocus immigration enforcement onto a Mexican border that has seen a tide of children crossing illegally from Central America."

Yep! I @#$%* it up with my big mouth and I'll fix it!

BUT - it's the Republicans fault!

Darwin's choice

And the hits just keep coming......

"A devastating new Health and Human Services (HHS) Inspector General report released on Tuesday reveals that the Obama administration has yet to determine whether 1,295,571 of the over 8 million Obamacare enrollees are U.S. citizens lawfully in the country.

The finding, located on page 11 of the report, states that 44% of the remaining 2,611,780 application "inconsistencies" are related to verifying "Citizenship/national status/lawful presence." Another 960,492 application inconsistencies were related to verifying whether subsidy applicants provided accurate income information.
Moreover, the Inspector General report only covered the federal Obamacare exchanges to determine how the Obama administration resolved verification problems through December 2013. As for the 15 state-run Obamacare exchanges, the report says four--Oregon, Nevada, Vermont, and Massachusetts--are simply "unable to resolve inconsistencies."
As the Washington Post reported in May, as many as one million Obamacare enrollees may be receiving incorrect taxpayer-funded subsidies due to Obamacare's continued technical failures and inability to properly verify income and citizenship eligibility.
One year ago, conservatives warned that the Obama administration's decision to use the so-called "honor system" for income eligibility was merely a backdoor way to get as many individuals on the public dole as possible.
The Office of Inspector General determined that "the federal marketplace was generally incapable of resolving most inconsistencies."
Obamacare will cost U.S. taxpayers $2.6 trillion over the next ten years."

obama/failed

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