President Obama will use his authority to bolster border security and consider taking other steps on his own to change the nation’s immigration policy, after angrily declaring that Republicans had finally killed off any chances for immigration legislation this year, the Wall Street Journal reports. The announcement marked a significant setback for Obama’s second-term agenda and for the business organizations, Hispanic-Americans and religious groups that had pressed for a sweeping immigration overhaul.
“America cannot wait forever for them to act,” Obama said of Republican lawmakers. “That’s why today I’m beginning a new effort to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress.” It appears the administration will adjust deportation policy this summer to shield some illegal immigrants from deportation. The president faces pressure from immigration activists to grant work permits to millions of undocumented immigrants, using executive authority he has suggested he doesn’t have. The collapse of Obama’s top legislative priority is a win for conservatives who argued that giving legal status to people in the U.S. illegally would be an inappropriate form of amnesty.