Monday, June 30 2014, 06:09 PM EDT
President Obama: I'll Act on My Own on Immigration
President Barack Obama says he's done waiting for House Republicans to act on immigration. He says he now plans to act on his own.
Obama announced his intention Monday to take executive action.
Obama says there are enough Republicans and Democrats in the House to pass an immigration bill today, and says he would sign it.
But Obama says he's waited for more than a year to give House Speaker John Boehner space to act. He says Boehner informed him last week that the House won't vote on immigration this year.
Obama says the thousands of unaccompanied children showing up on the border underscore the need to drop the politics and act on immigration.
According to a White House official who spoke to ABC News, "first, the President will direct the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General to move available and appropriate enforcement resources from our interior to the border. Protecting public safety is and will remain a top priority, and we will continue to focus on removing those who have committed serious crimes from our interior, but we will redirect other resources to make sure we keep doing what it takes to keep our border secure.
"Second, the President has directed his team to identify additional actions and send recommendations to him by the end of the summer on steps he can take without Congress, but within his existing authorities, to fix as much of our broken immigration system as we can.
"The President will continue to make clear that regardless of the steps he takes through administrative action, nothing replaces Congress’s ability to pass commonsense immigration reform, and will continue to make the case for a comprehensive bill."
Secretary of State John Kerry Kerry and Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson will travel to Central America in July to talk to leaders there about the border crisis.
The White House official added: "The failure of Congressional Republicans to act has stopped commonsense reform – which would provide more resources to strengthen border security, help the economy, make all businesses play by the rules, modernize our legal immigration system, and bring 11 million people out of the shadows."