WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama plans to take executive action on immigration reform after House Speaker John Boehner told him last week the House won’t vote on a comprehensive bill this year, a White House official said Monday.
Obama said “I would greatly prefer Congress actually do something,” but added he is willing to take executive action.
He said Monday he was starting “a new effort to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress,” adding that he directed his team to recommend steps he can take this summer and that he would then act on those steps “without delay.”
Obama said that House Speaker John Boehner informed him last week that Republicans will continue to block a House vote on immigration reform for the rest of this year.
[Original story moved at 2:48 p.m. ET]
President Barack Obama plans to take executive action on immigration reform after House Speaker John Boehner told him last week the House won’t vote on a comprehensive bill this year, a White House official said.
Obama will make a statement on immigration at the White House later Monday to announce some steps, including a request for emergency funds as the United States grapples with a surge of undocumented children and adults crossing the border from Mexico.
According to the official, Obama will order a shift in security resources to border regions and call for additional action he can take “without Congress but within his existing authorities to fix as much of our broken immigration system as we can.”
The President also sent Congress a letter asking that legislators work with him on providing additional money and leeway to deal with the situation on the southern border.
On Sunday, an administration official told CNN the money will go to securing appropriate space for the detention of children but also stemming the tide of immigrants.
The government hopes to increase its ability to investigate and dismantle smuggling organizations as well as quickly return children and adults to their home countries if they do not qualify for asylum, according to that official.
So far, the federal government has struggled to process and accommodate the influx of illegal human traffic but specifically the spike in children.
U.S. authorities estimate that between 60,000 to 80,000 children without parents will cross the border this year in what the White House is calling an “immediate humanitarian crisis.”
Earlier in June, the White House announced a plan to spend millions in a government-wide response by sending aide to governments in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to help with crime and violence prevention.
In mid-June, Vice President Joe Biden also spoke with leaders in the three countries as well as Mexico about working together to promote security.
Biden’s objective was to emphasize that adults arriving with their children in the United States don’t meet the requirements for a policy that defers deportation for children brought to the United States before June 15, 2012.
Obama also spoke with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto about the issue and has warned families who see the dangerous trip as the best option for their children.