Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office this afternoon, President Obama indicated strong opposition to the decision in Texas blocking his executive actions on immigration reform.
“With respect to the ruling, I disagree with it,” Obama said, “I think the law is on our side and history is on our side and we are going to appeal it.”
Obama pointed out that in the past lower courts have attempted to block lawful actions, but ultimately won in a court of appeals.
“I’m confident that it is well within my authority and the tradition of the executive branch’s prosecutorial discretion to execute this policy which will help us make our borders safer, will help us go after criminals and those we don’t want in this country.”
Obama admitted that he wouldn’t move forward on implementing his legislation until the legal appeal was finished.
“Keep in mind we’re not going to disregard this federal court ruling,” he said. “The law is the law in this country, and we take things a step at a time.”
Obama defended his executive action, repeating his talking points from the past that his actions would actually improve the economy of the United States, bring illegal immigrants out of the shadows, and keep families together.
“The American people overwhelmingly recognize that to pretend like we are going to ship them off is unrealistic and not who we are,” he said.
Obama challenged Republicans to fully fund the Department of Homeland Security and pass immigration reform.
“We should not be tearing some mom away from her child when the child has been born here and that mom has been living here for the last ten years minding her own business and being an important part of the community,” Obama said.
Cecilia Muñoz, the Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, asserted that the Texas ruling was not a “constitutional decision” and that the administration was “very confident” that Obama’s actions were in fact legal.
“Well, this decision was not a constitutional decision, it was a decision by made by a district court,” she explained in a conference call with reporters this afternoon. “This wouldn’t be the first time that a district court has made a decision like this which gets overturned at a later process.”
She indicated that the programs on immigration reform would be ready to implement once the legal process was completed.
“We expect to prevail legally and we’ll be ready to implement these programs when that happens,” she said.
Obama also signaled that he was confident that an appeal would favor his administration, urging illegal immigrants to contact the Department of Homeland Security with further questions.
“We want to make sure as soon as these legal issues get resolved, which I anticipate they will in our favor that we are ready to go,” he said.