President Obama admitted that the unaccompanied children coming to the border en masse are motivated by confusion about the country’s immigration laws, but he blamed Republicans for that ambiguity as he announced that he is shifting immigration law-enforcement resources from the interior to the border.
“The problem is is that our system is so broken, so unclear, that folks don’t know what the rules are,” Obama said, faulting House Republicans for failing to pass the Senate’s immigration bill.
“The failure of the House Republicans to pass a darn bill is bad for our security, it’s bad for our economy, and it’s bad for or future,” the president said.
Obama announced that he has ordered Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson “to move available and appropriate resources from our interior to the border.”
“Protecting public safety and deporting dangerous criminals has been and will remain the top priority, but we are going to refocus our efforts where we can to make sure we do what it takes to keep our border secure,” the president said, adding that he has asked Holder and Johnson to propose additional executive actions pertaining to immigration.
“I’m beginning a new effort to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress,” Obama said.
The Los Angeles Times reported that interior immigration enforcement has already plummeted under Obama. “Expulsions of people who are settled and working in the United States have fallen steadily since [Obama’s] first year in office, and are down more than 40% since 2009,” Brian Bennet wrote in April. “On the other side of the ledger, the number of people deported at or near the border has gone up — primarily as a result of changing who gets counted in the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency’s deportation statistics.”