President Obama to act on immigration without Congress

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 - 8:58am

President Obama said Monday he'll use executive action to move forward on immigration reform without Congress.

The move comes in the midst of an escalating crisis on the U.S. border involving unaccompanied children.

President Obama says he's not waiting for congress any longer, when it comes to immigration reform.

“Today I'm beginning an effort to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own.”

The move comes after house speaker John Boehner told the President last week that his chamber would not take a vote on immigration reform this midterm election year.

The issue has had a renewed urgency in the midst of an escalating crisis at the border with Mexico -- a surge of unaccompanied children crossing into the U.S., most from Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.

The president says he'll redirect federal resources to the border, and call on his Homeland Security Secretary and Attorney General for recommendations on actions that can be taken within his executive power.

He'll also continue to push congress to act.

“There are enough Republicans and Democrats in the House to pass an immigration bill today. I would sign it into law today. And Washington would solve a problem in a bipartisan way. The only thing I can't do is stand by and do nothing while waiting for them to get their act together.”

In a statement in response to the president's remarks, Speaker Boehner said:

"In our conversation last week, I told the president what I have been telling him for months: the American people and their elected officials don't trust him to enforce the law as written. Until that changes, it is going to be difficult to make progress on this issue."

Boehner also said additional executive actions will only make illegal crossings worse.

The President says he is seeking actions he can take as early as this summer. 

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