President Obama and Vice-President Biden appeared in the Rose Garden Monday afternoon to make a statement about immigration. The President took to the podium and spoke to reporters, while Biden stood by with a grim expression.
In Obama’s opening statement, he said, “As we speak, there are enough Republicans and Democrats in the House to pass an immigration bill today, I would sign it into law today, and Washington would solve a problem in a bipartisan way.” Obama blamed the House of Representatives for not allowing an up-or-down vote on the Senate “common-sense” immigration bill to fix our broken immigration system.
Obama insisted that “our economy would be stronger today if House Republicans had allowed a simple yes-or-no vote on this bill.”
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He went on to talk about conditions at the southern border by acknowledging that “we now have an actual humanitarian crisis” with “a surge of unaccompanied children [arriving] at the border, brought here and to other countries by smugglers and traffickers.”
The Democratic President thanked Republicans in both the House and Senate who have been trying to pass immigration reform; however, he said “there are others in the Republican caucus in the House who are arguing that they can’t act because they’re mad at me about using my executive authority too broadly.”
Obama defended his use of executive authority because “America cannot wait forever for [Congress] to act.” He continued by announcing that “Today, I’m beginning a new effort to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress.” He stated that he will direct DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson and Attorney General Eric Holder to re-allocate appropriate resources to the border from interior locations. “If Congress will not do their job, at least we can do ours.”
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