WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives was supposed to begin its August recess Friday, however, many lawmakers are still working to pass a border security bill that provides funding to deal with the recent surge of undocumented immigrants in the country.
The Senate, adjourned for the month of August, failed to pass a similar measure Thursday night, leaving the field wide open when it comes to the future of immigration in the U.S.
The biggest challenge for Congress – overcoming a deep divide between House Republicans and Senate Democrats when it comes to the influx of undocumented Central Americans – 57,000 of them.
“All we can do in the House is to do what we think is best here,” said Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI).
Even though it’s up to the House and Senate to draft legislation, Miller, who chairs a committee on homeland border security, says President Obama needs to step up – without spending billions of dollars.
“The president has, I believe, all the tools in his arsenal right now that he needs to be able to secure our borders and stop this tsunami of the humanitarian crisis that we find at the southern border,” Miller said.
The administration says President Obama could make an executive decision on whether or not to deport undocumented immigrants in the coming months. It could even come as early as this month, while Congress is out of session.
“The president is going to do what the president is going to do. It tends to be fairly ineffective, unfortunately,” said Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA).
But Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) says an Obama executive order might be the solution to the country’s immigration troubles.
“This president’s done significantly fewer executive orders than President Reagan or President Bush did, he gets criticized for it, that’s fine, that’s the job,” Brown said.
Because Congress didn’t come to a compromise and send any legislation to the president’s desk – this recess might just give President Obama the chance to deliver on his State of the Union address – that with or without the support of Congress, he is willing to take action on his own.