WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama shrugged off criticism of his executive action on immigration with a challenge to House of Representatives Republicans: if you don’t like it, do something.
Obama was asked in an interview broadcast on Sunday about House Speaker John Boehner‘s assertion that he was acting like an emperor in using executive powers to tackle the issue of the 11 million immigrants living in America without documents.
“Well, my response is pass a bill,” Obama said in the interview with ABC’s “This Week,” which was taped on Friday. “Congress has a responsibility to deal with these issues and there are some things that I can’t do on my own.”
Obama announced on Thursday he was easing the threat of deportation for millions of undocumented immigrants. His measures include allowing some 4.4 million people who are parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents and who have been in the country for five years to remain in the country temporarily, with the right to work.
In the ABC interview, Obama, who has long said he preferred legislation to unilateral action, cited a bipartisan immigration bill passed by the U.S. Senate last year and urged the House to take it up.