Photo: Barack Obama
During an interview with Spanish-language television network Telemundo, Obama said that the task of the Executive Branch is to ensure the laws are obeyed and that, apart from suspending the deportation of certain undocumented students, broadening that measure to the rest of the foreigners in the country illegally would be indefensible.
Such a step, he said, “would be ignoring the law in a way that would be very difficult to defend legally.”
“So that’s not an option,” Obama added. “And I do get a little worried that, you know, advocates of immigration reform start losing heart and immediately thinking, ‘Well, yeah, somehow there’s an out here, if Congress doesn’t act, we’ll just have the president sign something, and that’ll take care of it, and we won’t have to worry about it.”
In August 2012, Obama initiated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which suspended for two years the deportation of certain undocumented students who meet a series of requirements.
Many Republicans and conservative groups criticized that program as an undeserved “amnesty” for those who violate the country’s immigration laws.
Obama has always insisted that immigration reform is the task of Congress and on Wednesday he once again urged the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to approve the reform that emerged from the Senate on June 27.
“We’ve got a majority of members of Congress, Democrats and some Republicans, in the House of Representatives, who would vote for it right now if it hits,” the president said.
The only thing preventing a vote on the measure in the full House is that Speaker John Boehner has not scheduled it, Obama said.