Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Obama Acts to Fix Border Security

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Obama Acts to Fix Border Security

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama said Monday that he would take executive action to revamp the U.S. immigration system and move additional resources to protect the border after hopes of passing a broad overhaul in Congress officially died.

House speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, last week informed Mr. Obama that his chamber would not vote on immigration this year, killing chances that a wide-ranging bill already passed by the Senate would become law.

The collapse of the legislative process delivers another in a series of blows to Mr. Obama's domestic policy agenda and comes as he struggles to deal with a flood of unaccompanied minors from Central America who have entered the United States. It also sets up a new battle with congressional Republicans, who accuse Mr. Obama of going beyond his legal authority to take executive action on issues such as gay rights and equal pay for women and men.

Mr. Obama chided Republicans for refusing to bring immigration reform to a vote and said only legislation could provide a permanent fix to the problem. "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 in the White House Rose Garden.

"America cannot wait forever for them to act," the president 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."

He directed Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and Attorney General Eric Holder to move enforcement resources from the U.S. interior to the border. A White House official said the administration would look at ways to ensure the deportation process was focused on national security priorities and that more investigative teams were available to prosecute smugglers bringing people across the border.

Mr. Obama asked his team to prepare recommendations on other actions he can take unilaterally by the end of the summer. …

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