On Monday, June 30, 2014, President Obama acknowledged that Congress will not pass comprehensive immigration reform this year,and further indicated that, as a result of Congressional inaction, he will “redirect immigration enforcement at the border.” After being told last week by House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), that there would not be an immigration vote in the House on the bipartisan Senate immigration reform bill passed in 2013, Obama vowed to take action. “Our country and our economy would be stronger today if House Republicans had allowed a simple yes-or-no vote on this bill or, for that matter, any bill,” Obama said, raising his voice.
Speaking from the White House Rose Garden, Obama said he will pursue executive actions by the end of summer to “fix as much of our immigration system as we can. If Congress will not do their job, at least we can do ours.”
Intended to stem a recent influx of minors crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, such executive action could also work to slow or postpone the removal of hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who have lived in the country for years.
Although the president did not provide specifics with regard to what steps he will take, he has told advocates of immigration reform that he would expand upon the the 2012 changes he ordered to defer the removal of young people who were brought to the United States illegally as children in a program now known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or “DACA”. As Democrats and activists have are calling upon the president to significantly expand that program, Obama has ordered aides to review his legal options.