At a naturalization ceremony on the Fourth of July, President Barack Obama vowed to do “everything I can” to pass amnesty legislation that would give a pathway to citizenship to all of the country’s illegal immigrants.
At a ceremony that naturalized 25 service members and their spouses at the White House, Obama vowed to “fix our immigration system, which is broken, and pass commonsense immigration reform,” according to pool reports. He said he would “keep doing everything I can do to keep making our immigration system smarter and more efficient.”
That would include executive actions.
After House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) told Obama that there would not be a vote on an immigration bill in the House this year, Obama said he would enact as many executive actions as he could to change the country’s immigration laws and ease deportations unilaterally. His critics have said such vows have only lured more illegal immigrant children from Central America to make the trip to U.S. border states such as Texas.
On Thursday, Obama visited the D.C. tech startup 1776 to push for amnesty legislation, and the White House said Obama would not visit the border next week in Texas to see the illegal immigrant children who are flooding across it. Instead, Obama will attend three fundraisers for Democrats during his two-day trip to Texas.
His refusal to visit the border has made Obama’s approval ratings plummet, in addition to destroying the chances for a comprehensive amnesty bill. According to a Gallup poll, two in three Americans do not approve of Obama on immigration.
The ceremony also honored Chef José Andrés, who has advocated for a pathway to citizenship for all of the country’s illegal immigrants. He “was presented with a certificate honoring him as the Outstanding American by Choice” for his “commitment to the country and to the common civic values that unite the nation.” Andrés, a legal immigrant, became a U.S. citizen in 2013, and he works with groups like D.C. Central Kitchen (DCCK) in addition to owning famous restaurants.