The President Plans Executive Action to Bolster Border Security

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from The Wall Street Journal,

President Still Will Push Congress to Enact Long-Term Reform.

President Barack Obama, responding to congressional inaction on immigration legislation, said Monday that he will take executive action to bolster border security and will consider other changes later this summer.

Speaking from the Rose Garden, Mr. Obama said that last week, House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) informed him that the House won’t vote on an immigration overhaul this year, confirming what has become obvious.

“America cannot wait forever for them to act,” Mr. Obama said. “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.”

In a statement, Mr. Boehner blamed the president for the House’s inaction.

“In our conversation last week, 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. “President Obama won’t work with us, but is instead intent on going it alone with executive orders that can’t and won’t fix these problems.”

Immigration is yet another arena in which Mr. Obama is seizing his own executive authority in the absence of congressional action. As with issues including energy and the minimum wage, Republicans charge that the president has already exceeded his authority on immigration. Further steps are likely to provoke more GOP ire.

Mr. Obama risks angering supporters on the left if he fails to make sweeping changes that would protect from deportation many people in the U.S. illegally, but it is uncertain how far he is willing to go with executive actions.

Initially, the president said that he will move available enforcement resources from the interior of the U.S. to the border. The White House said the administration will continue to deport illegal immigrants who have committed serious crimes, but the shift in resources may mean everyday undocumented residents will be less likely to face removal.

Beyond that, it is unclear what Mr. Obama will do. He said he has directed his staff to look for “additional actions” and send him recommendations by the end of the summer on steps he can take using existing authority.

“If Congress won’t do its job, then at least we can do ours,” he said

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