Obama: Midterm elections will decide the fate of immigration reform
May 23rd, 2014
07:41 AM ET
3 months ago

Obama: Midterm elections will decide the fate of immigration reform

(CNN) – President Barack Obama said Thursday night before a hometown Chicago crowd that it was up to Congress to move on immigration reform. He predicted that if Democrats don't win big in the midterm elections, the overhaul won't get done.

Obama told supporters at a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee fund-raiser, "You have a President who is fighting for you in the White House."

"What you do not have right now is a Congress that can function."

Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Thursday it's up to Obama to pass immigration reform.

"The President has responsibility here as well," Boehner said.

Many conservatives in the GOP-led House of Representatives view any legislation that includes a pathway toward citizenship tantamount to "amnesty." When the Democratic-controlled Senate approved a bipartisan immigration bill last year that included an eventual path toward citizenship for most of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, the bill stalled in the House.

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Obama's assertion came on the heels of remarks Thursday by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, that the President will act on his own if Republicans don't pass immigration reform soon.

Speaking alongside Schumer, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, said Congress should pass immigration reform now and let it take effect in 2017.

"If Republicans don't trust President Obama, let's give them a chance to implement the bill under President Rand Paul or President Theodore Cruz," Reid said, referring to two possible GOP presidential contenders in 2016.

Schumer said Republicans had until the August recess to pass an immigration reform bill. "If they don't pass immigration reform then, the President will have no choice but to act on his own. We'd much rather pass legislation," he said.

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Speaking at his weekly press conference, Boehner said he has talked immigration reform since the day after the 2012 election and has said repeatedly it's an issue Congress needs to tackle.

"I made it clear we're not going to deal with the Senate bill, a 1,300-page bill that no one has read. And we're not going to do it," he said.

Schumer said Republicans will lose the presidency, the Senate and House if they don't move on immigration. And Obama on Thursday night said that it would take Democrats winning Congress to move on immigration.

"If we do not hang on to the Senate and make gains in the House," said Obama, speaking at a private residence, "we may not get immigration reform done, which means we could have another three, four years, in which we're being deprived of talent we're training here in the United States - they go back home and start businesses someplace else."

With no support in the House for a comprehensive immigration package, Boehner insisted Thursday upon a piecemeal approach to legislation.

"I think that moving in a piece-by-piece fashion on this in a common-sense way is the way to do this," he said.

Boehner attributed the failure to pass immigration legislation on the President losing the American people's trust because of Obamacare.

"When he continues to ignore Obamacare, his own law, 38 unilateral delays, he reduces the confidence of the American people in his willingness to implement an immigration law the way we would pass it," he said.


Filed under: 2014 • President Obama
soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    "ONE man could make Immigration Reform happen TOMORROW. His name is John Boehner. He is the ONLY man that can ALLOW A VOTE on the already Passed Senate Bill reach the House Floor where it will pass & become Law w/strong Bi-Partisans Support. This one ain't complicated folks."

    Yeah, but you see, the gerrymandering that allows the GOP/Teatrolls to control the House despite losing the popular vote has some serious drawbacks as well: it means that allot of those districts they made "safe" for themselves are also now far more ideologically conservative and racially white. While the GOP/Teatroll Senators are dealing with electorates made up of the entire state, many many many House GOP/Teatroll seats are now saddled with far more radicalized, extremist, dogmatic, "pure" conservative constituencies. Boehner can't hang those guys out to dry.

    May 23, 2014 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  2. Gurgyl

    -why not you talk of two wars plus Trickle down chuckle before you say of NATIONAL DEBT? Yes, premiums will ultimately drop down. I'd states deny exchange, they get defended by federal government. Clost your eyes, say something is better than nothing. Be optimistic unlike GOP.

    May 23, 2014 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  3. Gurgyl

    If state deny exchanges–they get de-funded.

    May 23, 2014 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  4. rs

    Gunderson

    Um, Sorry,
    It isn't the President's job, the Congress's job or the government to hold your hand. Believe it or not, the U.S. Constitution gives you the right, and duty to take care of yourself. Those places where welfare is needed, should be done by each state. The sooner you get that thru your thick head, the better off you will be.
    ______________________
    So, why are the rich, and the oil companies, and the corporate farms getting all THAT welfare Gundy? Why do they have the lowest income tax rates in history? Why do oil companies need billions of dollars in "incentives" while they sell record amounts of American oil abroad?
    You don't hate Socialism, you just hate it when it benefits the majority of Americans.

    May 23, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  5. Elvis

    Keep blaming each other for another 50 years... Someday there will b a change

    May 23, 2014 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  6. What's in that Tea Anyway?

    @Galactus

    NO AMNESTY – Deport all illegal aliens. President Obama is a traitor to the American people. We want our immigration laws enforced

    --

    What?....do you have Faux news runnin' on every "picture tube" in your house? Really what planet are you from? The current President has deported more illegals than all his predecessors combined and you geniuses can't figure out why he and the democrats carry the Hispanic vote. Most people with a brain realize this president is enforcing the laws but is committed to fixing a broken system. Get a brain and then re-post. In the meantime lay down and take a nap til the drugs wear off.

    May 23, 2014 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  7. Silence DoGood

    @Peace
    Pres. Obama is quite right. If republicans will take both Chambers in Nov. immigration will die its natural death. Those who really think immigration is important to them, must come all and vote in Nov. Once you give the President the gears he needs, he will for sure act immediately. Take a minute and think a little bit. You voted him in, in order to help you. You must also give him whatever he needs to fulfill your requirements. It is as simple as that!
    -------------–
    Yes! The President has been beset by terrorists both domestically and abroad, and fought the good fight. Since the Tea Party has pulled the GOP to the right, they see a real opportunity for their Theocratic take over. Either by stealth or by force. We need to get out the liberal vote and be the conscience of the country.

    May 23, 2014 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  8. What's in that Tea Anyway?

    @Dean

    First, implement more stringent border security. Then apprehend those illegals who have committed crimes and deport them. Watch the crime rate drop. Then deport the remaining illegals. Watch the crime rate drop further. Then start on the liberals...
    ---–

    Guess you are not the sharpest pin the box huh? Try the facts....This president has deported more illegals than all of his predecessors combined. Get a clue ...geesh. And to your last comment...deport liberals....LOL...In other words, continuing the dumbing down of amurkah as lead by the home-schooled Tea Potties ...right ...good idea. Here's your problem. Most of the electorate has a brain. Drag for you and your party

    May 23, 2014 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Lets not forget about how the Senate Republicans filibustered a $10 billion V.A. funding bill back in February.

    May 23, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  10. joe

    ONE man could make Immigration Reform happen TOMORROW. His name is John Boehner. He is the ONLY man that can ALLOW A VOTE on the already Passed Senate Bill reach the House Floor where it will pass & become Law w/strong Bi-Partisans Support. This one ain't complicated folks.

    May 23, 2014 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  11. joe

    ONE man could make Immigration Reform happen TOMORROW. His name is John Boehner. He is the ONLY man that can ALLOW A VOTE on the already Passed Senate Bill reach the House Floor where it will pass & become Law w/strong Bi-Partisans Support. This one ain't complicated folks. vot them out

    May 23, 2014 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  12. joe

    ONE man could make Immigration Reform happen TOMORROW. His name is John Boehner. He is the ONLY man that can ALLOW A VOTE on the already Passed Senate Bill reach the House Floor where it will pass & become Law w/strong Bi-Partisans Support. This one ain't complicated folks.deal with its

    May 23, 2014 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  13. Gunderson

    Um, Slipput,
    It may be time for you and all of your confused buddies to take vacation. I think Niagara Falls is thawed out now. Go for visit. Take barrel.

    May 23, 2014 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  14. joe

    ONE man could make Immigration Reform happen TOMORROW. His name is John Boehner. He is the ONLY man that can ALLOW A VOTE on the already Passed Senate Bill reach the House Floor where it will pass & become Law w/strong Bi-Partisans Support. This one ain't complicated folks.Pres. Obama is quite right...

    May 23, 2014 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  15. joe

    ONE man could make Immigration Reform happen TOMORROW. His name is John Boehner. He is the ONLY man that can ALLOW A VOTE on the already Passed Senate Bill reach the House Floor where it will pass & become Law w/strong Bi-Partisans Support. This one ain't complicated folks.Pres. Obama is quite right...tan man

    May 23, 2014 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  16. J Anthony

    @Gunderpson: am so tired of your harping about the debt, everything you think you know is a lie. Go educate yourself about the mechanics of our banking and monetary-systems and you'll understand money IS debt, there cannot be one without the other. Realize the problem goes beyond any one president. Stop being willfully ignorant..

    May 23, 2014 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  17. Tony D

    the ONLY thing "broken" about our current immigration system is a government that refuses to enforce the laws and secure our borders to stop these country invaders. Republicans have it right, first secure the borders, fix the visa overstayer problem ($100,000 bond requirment would do it), then deal with the illegals here.

    The feds arrest about a million a year now but let most of the go! Do your damn jobs and DEPORT THEM!! In ten years, no illegal problem.

    May 23, 2014 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  18. Donna

    J Anthony
    @Gunderpson: am so tired of your harping about the debt, everything you think you know is a lie. Go educate yourself about the mechanics of our banking and monetary-systems and you'll understand money IS debt, there cannot be one without the other. Realize the problem goes beyond any one president. Stop being willfully ignorant
    --

    "money IS debt" YIKES!! And you accuse OTHERS of being willfully ignorant??? You don't have a CLUE, just like most lefties.

    May 23, 2014 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    "@Sniffit- The point is both parties are failing to work together. The house puts up a bill and it stalls in the senate and vice versa. The bill I mentioned was just a recent example."

    And the point I was making is that your analysis is very shallow and superficial. Sometimes, but certainly not all the time, there are good reasons why the Senate does not rubber stamp whatever the House gives it and vice-versa. You have to look under the hood at the substance of the legislation and the reasons given before you assume that it's "just obstruction" or nothing more than partisanship. Sanders, Reid and others have said that the House bill you cite is a good idea, but there is no cogent argument why it is absolutely necessary it be passed as-is immediately without hearings or debate. There are actually good arguments as to why it should not just be rushed, and good arguments for why a measured approach involving the hearings Sanders is scheduling should be taken.

    The Senate's bipartisan immigration reform bill getting stalled in the House provides a good contrast: the House GOP/Teatrolls are doing NOTHING about immigration reform other than refusing to bring the Senate bill to a vote, have not enacted a separate comprehensive reform bill that could be conferenced with the Senate bill, have not enacted any of the "piecemeal" bills they keep saying are the right way to do it, have done nothing but ignore the facts of Obama's enforcement of immigration laws while claiming "he can't be trusted to enforce anything," and the entire issue is completely roadblocked by their inaction and demagoguery. Here, the Senate Dems are taking action on this VA issue and have said they intend to act on the House bill or their own version of it, just not right away or before hearings.

    May 23, 2014 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    "@Sniffit-The problems at the VA aren`t Obama`s fault but your no better than those people spewing that fodder when you imply its Bush`s fault. The problems at the VA are decades old."

    I have consistently stated that they are decades old, never once implied that they are all Bush's fault and even capitalized the entire word "EVERYONE" when saying whose failure this is. Did you miss that...the big capital letters?

    May 23, 2014 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  21. just asking

    so let's play what if... what if this scam democrat comprehensive immigration was passed.... would the lefties and democrats support the deportation of every single illegal caught in this country after reform was passed? (crickets)

    May 23, 2014 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    "The Obama adminstration has caught and released on the streets nearly 750,000 illegal aliens every year. "

    Our LAWS do not mandate that all illegal immigrants be incarcerated while going through deportation procedures. Our LAWS require that they be released on bond under certain circumstances. Our LAWS do not provide sufficient funding for incarcerating every single illegal immigrant being put through deportation proceedings. And BTW, your insinuation that they are just "caught and released," as if they are not still in the system for deportation and going through the procedures, is just plain old lying.

    "Their published deportation numbers have now been shown to be fraudulent."

    Not even remotely true. You only vomit the conclusion because you can't cite the facts and make any argument to support it.

    May 23, 2014 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    ""money IS debt" YIKES!! And you accuse OTHERS of being willfully ignorant??? You don't have a CLUE, just like most lefties."

    Please define the word "note" with respect to currency and our financial systems. If you don't understand that the paper in your wallet has no intrinsic, inherent value in and of itself other than it representing a debt backed by the full faith and credit of the US, then you are about as dumb as dumb gets. Go back to howling about Benghazi.

    May 23, 2014 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  24. James Olive

    Why will parents of United States citizens be sleeping with one eye open?.

    May 23, 2014 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
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