President Obama on Monday announced that he would use his executive authority to shift Department of Homeland Security resources from the interior to the border in a speech eviscerating House Republicans for failing to pass an immigration reform bill.
Obama said that while he waited for the House to bring up a comprehensive bill for a vote, he must deal with the influx of unaccompanied minors at the border through executive action.
Obama said that he waited, trying to give House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) “space” to get House Republicans on board with immigration reform, noting that a majority of Americans support comprehensive reform.
“Instead, they’ve proven again and again that they’re unwilling to stand up to the tea party in order to do what’s best for the country. And the worst part about it is a bunch of them know better,” Obama said about Republicans.
The President concluded by noting that he doesn’t “prefer taking administrative actions.”
“I would love nothing more than bipartisan legislation,” he said. “I take executive action only when we have a serious problem, a serious issue, and Congress chooses to do nothing. 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.”
He stressed that if Republicans have an issue with the amount of executive actions he takes, then they should step up and pass legislation, rather than suing him.
“Pass a bill. Solve a problem,” he said.
Obama addressed the surge of unaccompanied undocumented minors at the border and said it should provide incentive for Congress to agree on comprehensive reform.
“We now have an actual humanitarian crisis on the border that only underscores the need to drop the politics and fix our immigration system once and for all,” he said.
“Some in the House Republican Caucus are using the situation with unaccompanied children as their newest excuse to do nothing,” Obama continued. “Their argument seems to be that because the system is broken, we shouldn’t make an effort to fix it. It makes no sense.”
Obama said he has asked his administration to recommend additional executive actions he can take to patch the broken immigration system by the end of the summer.
“I intend to adopt those recommendations without further delay,” he said.
This post has been updated.