President Obama said Sunday that he plans to proceed with an executive order to ease immigration laws before the end of the year, despite dire warnings from Republican leaders that it will damage his relationship with the new GOP-run Congress.
Mr. Obama said that he’s waited a year for the Republican-run House to act on the bipartisan immigration bill passed by the Democrat-run Senate, and he can’t wait any longer to address the country’s immigration problems.
“I’d prefer and still prefer to see it done through Congress. But every day that I wait, we’re misallocating resources, we’re deporting people that shouldn’t be deported, we’re not deporting folks that are dangerous and need to be deported,” Mr. Obama said in an interview aired Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
Mr. Obama has been warned against his plan to unilaterally grant legal status to undocumented residents by House Speaker John Boehner, Ohio Repubican, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican likely to become majority leader when the GOP takes over the upper chamber next year.
“It would be like the president pulling the pin out of a hand grenade and throwing it in as we are try to actually work together. I am hoping that cooler heads at the White House can prevail,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.”
“What I’m saying to them [is] actually there time hasn’t run out,” he said. “I’m going to do what I can do through executive action. It’s not going to be everything that needs to get done and it will take time to put it in place.”
“In the interim, the minute they pass a bill that address the problems with immigration reform, I will sign it and it supersedes whatever actions I’ve taken. I’m encouraging them to do so,” Mr. Obama said. “They have the ability, the authority, the control to supersede anything I do through my executive authority by simply carrying out their functions over there. And if in fact it’s true that they want to pass a bill — they’ve got good ideas — nobody’s stopping them and the minute they do it and the minute I sign that bill then what I’ve done goes away.”