WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House denounced on Thursday an effort in the House of Representatives to block President Barack Obama from extending deportation relief to any more immigrants who are living in the country illegally.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the House is driving an approach to immigration focused on rounding up and deporting 11 million immigrants who are not legally in the United States and separating them from their families.
House Republicans have scheduled a vote to prevent Obama from undertaking further deportation relief in an effort to win conservative support for a bill addressing the immigration crisis on the border. That move comes as the House GOP is also moving forward with a lawsuit against the president, accusing him of exceeding his constitutional authority.
With Congress unlikely to move forward on fixing immigration laws, Obama has said he’s considering what steps he can take on his own to address the problem, raising GOP fears that Obama will expand the deferred deportations and work permits he granted in 2012 to immigrants who entered the country illegally as children before 2007.
Earnest said the president can’t do as much as Congress could, but that the White House is figuring out exactly how far Obama can go.
“We’re going to do as much as possible within the confines of the law to address a problem whose solution Republicans in Congress continue to actively block,” Earnest said.