President Barack Obama speaks about immigration reform Monday, June 30, 2014, in the Rose Garden at the White House. The president said he's done waiting for House Republicans to act on immigration. He said he now plans to act on his own.

Charles Dharapak | AP

WASHINGTON — Conceding defeat on a top domestic priority, President Barack Obama blamed a Republican “year of obstruction” for the demise of sweeping immigration legislation on Monday and said he would take new steps without Congress to fix as much of the system as he can on his own.

“The only thing I can’t do is stand by and do nothing,” the president said. But he gave few hints about what steps he might take by executive action.

Even as he blamed House Republicans for frustrating him on immigration, Obama asked Congress for more money and additional authority to deal with the unexpected crisis of a surge of unaccompanied Central American youths arriving by the thousands at the Southern border. Obama wants flexibility to speed the youths’ deportations and $2 billion in new money to hire more immigration judges and open more detention facilities, requests that got a cool reception from congressional Republicans and angered advocates.

The twin announcements came as the administration confronted the tricky politics of immigration in a midterm election year with Democratic control of the Senate in jeopardy. The fast-developing humanitarian disaster on the border provoked calls for a border crackdown at the same moment that immigration advocates are demanding Obama loosen deportation rules in the face of congressional inaction.

Obama’s announcement came almost a year to the day after the Senate passed a historic immigration bill that would have spent billions to secure the border and offered a path to citizenship for many of the 11.5 million people now here illegally. Despite the efforts of an extraordinary coalition of businesses, unions, religious leaders, law enforcement officials and others, the GOP-led House never acted.

“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 in the Rose Garden. “They’d be following the will of the majority of the American people, who support reform. And 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.”

Obama said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, informed him last week the House would not be taking up immigration legislation this year.

A growing number of advocates and congressional Democrats already declared immigration dead, the victim, in part, of internal GOP politics, with the most conservative lawmakers resisting the calls of party leaders to back action and revive the GOP’s standing with Latino voters. The Central American migrant surge, along with the surprise defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor at the hands of an upstart candidate from the right who accused him of backing “amnesty,” helped kill whatever chances remain.

Boehner blamed Obama for the outcome.

“I told the president what I have been telling him for months: the American people and their elected officials don’t trust him to enforce the law as written. Until that changes, it is going to be difficult to make progress on this issue,” he said. Boehner called Obama’s plan to go it alone “sad and disappointing.”

Obama directed Homeland Security Department Secretary Jeh Johnson and Attorney General Eric Holder to present him by the end of the summer with steps he can take without congressional approval.

(2) comments


Ceasar Obamas stikes again! ENOUGH already Congress....IMPEACH HIM!!!!!


@ Obama vows to work alone to fix immigration system

If he can do a better job then when he and his associates opened the flood gates with an invitation, to all the thousands of people, the noted 'kids' and all the adults that came in with them.----
I hope his 'New' plans include sending them back across the border.

If his plans include ,setting the max of them out into American society with a 'ticket' issued to them to show up in court anywhere up to 5 + years from now, Bad idea as so many 'ideas' have been already.

When the American people pay tax, They are under the conception that they are to go to take care of other Americans, including our own 'kids' if needed.
They may not give them so freely If they know they are to be spent and wasted on foreign Nationals of which they can't even pronounce some of their names.
Americans and American kids come 1st, If that sounds selfish to others, that's the way it will have to sound, Since remember ,

Americans already have a bad reputation with the rest of the world, This reputation given to us by members inside our government of how cruel we have been to the world in the past,
We might as well continue to live up to that reputation .

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