President Barack Obama announced Monday that he will use executive orders to reform the U.S. immigration system as Republicans in Congress refuse to take up the issue.
“I take executive action only when we have a serious problem, a serious issue, and Congress chooses to do nothing,” he told a press conference in the White House Rose Garden. “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.”
Last week GOP House Speaker John Boehner told Obama that Republicans in the lower chamber would not hold a vote on immigration reform this year.
A year after a bipartisan reform bill was passed by the Senate, Obama regretted that the House of Repressentatives has failed to act.
“While I will continue to push Republicans to drop excuses and act,” he said, “Americans cannot wait forever for them to act.”
“They’re unwilling to stand up to the Tea Party and do what’s right for the country. And what’s worse - a bunch of them know better,” the president said of House Republicans.
In a letter sent to the congressional leader earlier Monday, Obama sought cooperation in preparing “an aggressive deterrence strategy” to deal with a massive boost in the number of unaccompanied child migrants illegally entering the United States across the southern border.
Obama explained in the letter the measures taken by his administration and asked lawmakers for “new tools and resources” to address what officials call an “urgent humanitarian situation.”
The president said he will send a more detailed proposal to lawmakers next week, when Congress returns from the Fourth of July recess.
The missive was sent two days after media accounts that Obama wants to ask Congress for $2 billion to confront the flood of Central American children who are arriving unaccompanied at the border.