Obama to Fix Immigration System: 'On My Own, Without Congress'

June 30, 2014 - 3:05 PM

Obama Immigration

President Barack Obama (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama used a White House Rose Garden press conference Monday to announce plans to use executive action to direct “available and appropriate” resources to the U.S. border to address the “humanitarian crisis” caused by a surge in illegals – especially unaccompanied children at the border.

“America cannot wait forever for them to act, and that’s why today, I’m beginning a new effort to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress. As a first step, I’m directing the secretary of Homeland Security and the attorney general to move available and appropriate resources from our interior to the border,” Obama said.

“Protecting public safety and deporting dangerous criminals has been and will remain the top priority, but we are going to refocus our efforts where we can to make sure we do what it takes to keep our border secure,” said Obama.

Therefore, he has directed Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Attorney General Eric Holder to identify “additional actions” the administration can take on its own within Obama’s “existing legal authorities to do what Congress refuses to do and fix as much of our immigration system as we can.”

“If Congress will not do their job, at least we can do ours. I expect their recommendations before the end of the summer, and I intend to adopt those recommendations without further delay,” he added.

“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 said.

Obama’s announcement comes after recent reports of a surge of unaccompanied illegal minors that have arrived at the border.

As CNSNews.com previously reported, the U.S. has seen a dramatic increase in the number of unaccompanied illegal minors along the southwest border – a 99 percent increase from fiscal year 2013 to 2014, according to Customs and Border Protection.

“In recent weeks, we’ve seen a surge of unaccompanied children arrive at the border, brought here and to other countries by smugglers and traffickers. The journey is unbelievably dangerous for these kids. The children who are fortunate enough to survive it will be taken care of while they go through the legal process, but in most cases, that process will lead to them being sent back home,” Obama said.

“I’ve sent a clear message to parents in these countries not to put their kids through this,” he added.

Obama acknowledged that even with these “aggressive steps,” administrative action alone “will not adequately address the problem.”

“The reforms that will do the most to strengthen our businesses, our workers, and our entire economy will still require an act of Congress,” he said.