Obama fires back at critics of immigration reform

President Obama challenges Republicans to pass an immigration reform bill if they're not happy with his executive action.

Obama fires back at critics of immigration reform

World Bulletin/News Desk

President Barack Obama on Friday fired back at criticisms against him for taking executive action on immigration reform.

"I hear some people say, well, we’re in favor of immigration reform but we don’t think that it should be done without Congress,” Obama said during an address at a high school in Las Vegas. “Well, Congress, go ahead and do it.”

The president asserted that he did not deny Congress any of its rights by taking action. 

“They can still pass a bill. I don’t have a vote in Congress. Pass a bill," he said. "The actions I’ve taken are only a temporary first step. I don’t have the authority to do some really important reforms." 

When the president announced Thursday night that he would take executive actions on U.S. immigration policy, it left congressional Republicans furious for not being involved.

"The president has taken actions that he himself has said are those of a king or an emperor, not an American president," House Speaker John Boehner said at a press conference.

But Obama rejected the accusation saying Republican Party leadership in the House of Representatives would not let the an immigration bill come forward.

"I cajoled and I called and I met; I told John Boehner, I’ll wash your car,  I’ll walk your dog. Whatever you need to do, just call the bill," he said. 

While acknowledging that the U.S. immigration system is broken, Boehner said, “fixing it starts with a commitment to working through the democratic process and enforcing the laws that the president is sworn faithfully to execute,” but he added that the Republican-controlled House is looking at options that are available to act.

Under the president’s plan, those who entered the country without proper documentation but have lived in the U.S. for at least five years, and whose children are either U.S. citizens or lawful residents, can apply to stay in the U.S. "without fear of deportation." The plan requires applicants to register, pass a background check, and pay taxes.

"President Obama has turned a deaf ear to the people that he was elected and we were elected to serve," said Boehner. "In the days ahead, the people’s House will rise to this challenge."

The Republican challenge to the president’s latest action is another dispute in a series of seemingly endless fights between the two parties.

A day after Obama announced his intention to move unilaterally on immigration reform, House Republicans filed a lawsuit against two Cabinet members over the health care law claiming the president abused his executive authority.

The lawsuit accuses the heads of the Health and Human Services and Treasury departments of unlawfully postponing a requirement in that law for companies with more than 50 employees to offer health coverage to its full-time employees or pay penalties.

Obama warned that Washington should not let the disagreement over one issue be a deal-breaker on every issue. 

There have been some Republicans who had claimed that they would bring about a gridlock at the end of the year and shut down the government as a move against Obama's unilateral actions. 

"Congress certainly should not shut down the government again over this, because Americans are tired of gridlock," Obama warned. 

 

Last Mod: 22 Kasım 2014, 11:12
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