President Barack Obama challenged Republicans on immigration reform on Wednesday, after Democrats suffered heavy political losses in the midterm elections.
Obama signaled that he still planned an executive action on immigration reform, explaining that House Speaker John Boehner would never be able to pass it in the House.
Obama added that he “did everything I could” to give Boehner “space and room to get something done” but that there would always be Republicans blocking any progress in the issue.
“I have no doubt that there will be some Republicans who are angered or frustrated by any executive action that I may take,” he said. “Those are folks, I just have to say, who are also deeply opposed to immigration reform. In any form.”
Obama suggested that perhaps he wouldn’t use his executive authority for immigration reform, if Republicans could pass something that he could sign.
“If, in fact, there is a great eagerness on the part of Republicans to tackle a broken immigration system, then they have every opportunity to do it,” he said.
But Obama demanded action from Congress on the issue, or face his own proposals to fix the immigration system by his executive authority.
“I’m eager to see what they have to offer,” Obama said. “What I’m not going to do is just wait. I think it is fair to say that I have shown a lot of patience and have tried to work on a bipartisan basis as much as possible.”