WASHINGTON - The U.S. Congress has begun a five-week recess without addressing the arrival of tens of thousands of undocumented Central American youths along America’s border with Mexico. Attention is now focused on executive actions President Barack Obama may take on his own.
The border crisis continues but lawmakers left town with no immigration legislation for a frustrated President Obama to sign.
“Without additional resources and help from Congress, we are just not going to have the resources we need to fully solve the problem. That means while they are out on vacation, I'm going to have to make some tough choices to meet the challenge -- with or without Congress,” said Obama.
Friday, the House of Representatives approved a bill to tighten border security and speed deportations. The bill is unacceptable to Senate Democrats and President Obama.
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Separately, House Republicans voted to sue the president over past executive actions. Speaker John Boehner warned Obama against further unilateral orders on immigration.
“The crisis on the border is one of the president’s own making. But he still has not learned his lesson. Now he has threatened to rewrite law and take more unilateral action on immigration in the coming months. Let me be clear: such action would create an ever greater incentive for more illegal crossings and make the crisis on our border even worse,” said Boehner.
Obama has asked Attorney General Eric Holder and others for recommendations. Nothing has been decided yet, according to White House advisor Dan Pfeiffer.
“We need to address the situation on the border, and broadly, the immigration system. So [President Obama] is going to do what he can, but under the confines of the law,” said Pfeiffer, speaking on ABC’s This Week program.
Bold congressional action on immigration or other divisive issues is seen as unlikely when lawmakers return in September - just two months before midterm elections.