(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Updated 12:49 p.m. | President Barack Obama brushed off a question Friday at the end of the NATO summit about delaying his immigration executive actions until after the November elections — saying he expects to make an announcement “soon.”
Obama didn’t define “soon.” Nor did he directly address the politics around the issue, with some vulnerable Senate Democrats worried an action before the elections could hurt them at the polls.
Obama said he’s started to received some information from Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on steps he can take on his own, and said that he is determined to act. He said he suspects he will have some reading to do on his flight back to Washington, D.C.
“What I’m unequivocal about is that we need immigration reform, that my overriding preference is to see Congress act,” Obama said. “We had bipartisan action in the Senate. The House Republicans have sat on it for over a year. That has damaged the economy. It has held America back. It is a mistake. And in the absence of congressional action, I intend to take action to make sure that we’re putting more resources on the border, that we’re upgrading how we process these cases, and that we find a way to encourage legal immigration and give people some path, so that they can start paying taxes, and then pay a fine and learn English and be able to not look over their shoulder but be legal, since they’ve been living here for quite some time.”
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