He isn't saying what he'll do or when he'll do it, but President Obama is still vowing to take executive action on immigration reform in the near future. Earlier this summer, the President had pledged to take action by the end of the summer, expressing frustration with the inability of Congress to pass a so-called "comprehensive" immigration bill. At a White House news conference Thursday, Obama acknowledged that the crisis of dealing with thousands of unaccompanied minors crossing the southern U.S. border may have changed the timeline, but he still plans to act. "Have no doubt, in the absence of Congressional action I'm going to do what I can to make sure the system works better," he told reporters.
What action the President takes remains to be seen. White House lawyers are reportedly working now to craft executive actions that can withstand legal and Constitutional scrutiny. In the meantime, immigration reform advocates are pressing the President for bold action. "I think people are looking for something that's more inclusive of a large number of people, rather than just a thousand here or a few hundred there,” says Houston immigration attorney Gordon Quan. Quan tells KTRH he wouldn’t be surprised to see the President take some kind of bold action. “I think he’s going to have to look at how much impact can he have without getting to the point where Republicans are going to be seeking impeachment against him.”
Short of impeachment, Republicans in the House are already suing the President for unilaterally changing the healthcare law, and have threatened further legal action if he takes executive action that changes U.S. immigration laws. Furthermore, the GOP-led House passed an immigration bill just before leaving for August recess, placing criticisms of Congressional inaction on the Democrat-led Senate. Regardless of what the President does, members of both parties have said it’s highly unlikely Congress will take up any “comprehensive” immigration legislation this year.