Thank you Republicans. You said it and then proceeded to do everything you could to make it true.
seriously you are still on the blame all bad things on republicans roll? really??
Benghazi: Even The Republican chairman (Not Issa) could find any wrong doing.
VA: Who voted against this?
Illegal Immigration: Who sued the President for “Misusing” Exec Order, then demanded he use Exec orders to resolve it on his own?
Taliban Trade: What was any different than has been done many times before?
Fast and Furious: Started under Bush Admin.
Debt, Lowest Deficit since CLINTON.
Keystone: The Koch Bros Money Machine.
Obamacare: Sorry that Republicans hate medical care for people, suck it up.
At least come up with SOMETHING new.
Eric Holder was a great Attorney General for our Nation— much better than Bush 43’s 3 AGs. #EricHolder #p2 #Obama #UniteBlue
After arguing that Obama is allowing “his ISIS buddies to behead and crucify Christians,” Wiles said he’s “starting to believe that Mr. Obama may be in fact the Islamic Mahdi, the eleventh [sic] imam who comes to fulfill the ministry of the prophet Mohammad. He is a very evil, wicked and dangerous man.”
Wiles also insisted that the U.S. government “tipped off” ISIS fighters about sites targeted by the U.S.-led coalition’s airstrikes in Syria and Iraq “before the American bombers got there.”
h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW
From "chintzy" paper clips to ordering a "fancy burger" with mustard, Obama’s coffee caper is only the latest in a long list of fake scandals that the right-wing media goes out of its way to regularly manufacture.
When you see these attacks all together, it’s incredibly revealing as to the level of absurdity we’re dealing with here…
Media personalities rushed to scandalize President Obama for saluting Marines while simultaneously holding a coffee cup, criticizing the move as disrespectful — forgetting former President George W. Bush’s habit of saluting service members while holding his dog.
President Obama Salutes Marines While Holding A Cup
Wash. Post: “Obama Salutes A Marine While Holding A Cup.”The Washington Post reported that President Obama saluted Marines flanking him as he exited Marine One in New York on Tuesday, with a cup in hand:
[Washington Post, 9/23/14]
Media Invent A Salute Scandal To Attack Obama
Fox Nation Suggests Obama’s Salute Was Disrespectful. FoxNews.com’s September 23 “Pic of the Day” featured President Obama’s salute and a caption that asked “Was Obama’s Salute Disrespectful?” [FoxNews.com, 9/23/14]
ABCNews: Obama’s “Unusual Gesture” Dubbed The “Latte Salute.” ABC News’ The Note blog reported on President Obama’s salute, calling it an “unusual gesture,” and nicknaming it the “latte salute.” [ABC News, 9/23/14]
Breitbart: “Obama’s Disrespectful ‘Latte Salute’ Shocks And Offends.” Breitbart criticized the president’s “sloppy salute,” claiming the gesture shocked and offended people. [Breitbart, 9/23/14]
Fox Contributor Allen West: "Latte Salute" Proves Obama’s Low Regard For Military. Fox contributor Allen West tweeted that President Obama’s salute “seals the deal,” as proof of the low regard Obama has for the American military:
Conservative Pundit Jim Hoft: “Most Degrading Salute Ever.” Conservative pundit Jim Hoft tweeted that President Obama reached “a new low,” calling his salute the “most degrading salute ever”:
Fox Radio Host Todd Starnes Calls The Salute “Disrespect.” Fox radio host Todd Starnes tweeted that the president’s salute meant “disrespect”:
President Bush RoutinelySaluted Service Members While Holding His Dog
President George W. Bush Saluted While Holding His Dog. During his tenure as president, George W. Bush was photographed saluting while holding his Scottish Terrier, Barney:
LA Times: President Bush Saluted While Holding Barney. On another occasion, the LA Times reported that President Bush saluted service-members holding his dog, Barney, while departing Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base:
im Hoft isn’t just the Dumbest Man on the Internet; he also has a very sick mind. And today he demonstrates this fact by publishing ISIS propaganda directed at President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry, because he obviously agrees with it. You can almost smell the glee in his grotesque post: ISIS Lashes Out at Kerry “The Uncircumcised Old Geezer” in Latest Audio Release | the Gateway Pundit.
When he isn’t doing his best to spread fear with phony stories about ISIS terrorists infiltrating from Mexico, or spreading racist hatred with his endless posts about “black on black crime,” he’s giving high fives to ISIS for insulting Obama and Kerry. This man is not well.
And you don’t even want to read what his incredibly vile commenters have to say about this.
Credit: think-progress's Facebook Page.
Chuck Woolery Loses It: "The Muslims Are ON THE MARCH!" [TW: Islamophobia, Obama Derangement Syndrome]
My fellow Americans – tonight, I want to speak to you about what the United States will do with our friends and allies to degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL.
As Commander-in-Chief, my highest priority is the security of the American people. Over the last several years, we have consistently taken the fight to terrorists who threaten our country. We took out Osama bin Laden and much of al Qaeda’s leadership in Afghanistan and Pakistan. We’ve targeted al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen, and recently eliminated the top commander of its affiliate in Somalia. We’ve done so while bringing more than 140,000 American troops home from Iraq, and drawing down our forces in Afghanistan, where our combat mission will end later this year. Thanks to our military and counterterrorism professionals, America is safer.
Still, we continue to face a terrorist threat. We cannot erase every trace of evil from the world, and small groups of killers have the capacity to do great harm. That was the case before 9/11, and that remains true today. That’s why we must remain vigilant as threats emerge. At this moment, the greatest threats come from the Middle East and North Africa, where radical groups exploit grievances for their own gain. And one of those groups is ISIL – which calls itself the “Islamic State.”
Now let’s make two things clear: ISIL is not “Islamic.” No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim. And ISIL is certainly not a state. It was formerly al Qaeda’s affiliate in Iraq, and has taken advantage of sectarian strife and Syria’s civil war to gain territory on both sides of the Iraq-Syrian border. It is recognized by no government, nor the people it subjugates. ISIL is a terrorist organization, pure and simple. And it has no vision other than the slaughter of all who stand in its way.
In a region that has known so much bloodshed, these terrorists are unique in their brutality. They execute captured prisoners. They kill children. They enslave, rape, and force women into marriage. They threatened a religious minority with genocide. In acts of barbarism, they took the lives of two American journalists – Jim Foley and Steven Sotloff.
So ISIL poses a threat to the people of Iraq and Syria, and the broader Middle East – including American citizens, personnel and facilities. If left unchecked, these terrorists could pose a growing threat beyond that region – including to the United States. While we have not yet detected specific plotting against our homeland, ISIL leaders have threatened America and our allies. Our intelligence community believes that thousands of foreigners – including Europeans and some Americans – have joined them in Syria and Iraq. Trained and battle-hardened, these fighters could try to return to their home countries and carry out deadly attacks.
I know many Americans are concerned about these threats. Tonight, I want you to know that the United States of America is meeting them with strength and resolve. Last month, I ordered our military to take targeted action against ISIL to stop its advances. Since then, we have conducted more than 150 successful airstrikes in Iraq. These strikes have protected American personnel and facilities, killed ISIL fighters, destroyed weapons, and given space for Iraqi and Kurdish forces to reclaim key territory. These strikes have helped save the lives of thousands of innocent men, women and children.
But this is not our fight alone. American power can make a decisive difference, but we cannot do for Iraqis what they must do for themselves, nor can we take the place of Arab partners in securing their region. That’s why I’ve insisted that additional U.S. action depended upon Iraqis forming an inclusive government, which they have now done in recent days. So tonight, with a new Iraqi government in place, and following consultations with allies abroad and Congress at home, I can announce that America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat.
Our objective is clear: we will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.
First, we will conduct a systematic campaign of airstrikes against these terrorists. Working with the Iraqi government, we will expand our efforts beyond protecting our own people and humanitarian missions, so that we’re hitting ISIL targets as Iraqi forces go on offense. Moreover, I have made it clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are. That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq. This is a core principle of my presidency: if you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.
Second, we will increase our support to forces fighting these terrorists on the ground. In June, I deployed several hundred American service members to Iraq to assess how we can best support Iraqi Security Forces. Now that those teams have completed their work – and Iraq has formed a government – we will send an additional 475 service members to Iraq. As I have said before, these American forces will not have a combat mission – we will not get dragged into another ground war in Iraq. But they are needed to support Iraqi and Kurdish forces with training, intelligence and equipment. We will also support Iraq’s efforts to stand up National Guard Units to help Sunni communities secure their own freedom from ISIL control.
Across the border, in Syria, we have ramped up our military assistance to the Syrian opposition. Tonight, I again call on Congress to give us additional authorities and resources to train and equip these fighters. In the fight against ISIL, we cannot rely on an Assad regime that terrorizes its people; a regime that will never regain the legitimacy it has lost. Instead, we must strengthen the opposition as the best counterweight to extremists like ISIL, while pursuing the political solution necessary to solve Syria’s crisis once and for all.
Third, we will continue to draw on our substantial counterterrorism capabilities to prevent ISIL attacks. Working with our partners, we will redouble our efforts to cut off its funding; improve our intelligence; strengthen our defenses; counter its warped ideology; and stem the flow of foreign fighters into – and out of – the Middle East. And in two weeks, I will chair a meeting of the UN Security Council to further mobilize the international community around this effort.
Fourth, we will continue providing humanitarian assistance to innocent civilians who have been displaced by this terrorist organization. This includes Sunni and Shia Muslims who are at grave risk, as well as tens of thousands of Christians and other religious minorities. We cannot allow these communities to be driven from their ancient homelands.
This is our strategy. And in each of these four parts of our strategy, America will be joined by a broad coalition of partners. Already, allies are flying planes with us over Iraq; sending arms and assistance to Iraqi Security Forces and the Syrian opposition; sharing intelligence; and providing billions of dollars in humanitarian aid. Secretary Kerry was in Iraq today meeting with the new government and supporting their efforts to promote unity, and in the coming days he will travel across the Middle East and Europe to enlist more partners in this fight, especially Arab nations who can help mobilize Sunni communities in Iraq and Syria to drive these terrorists from their lands. This is American leadership at its best: we stand with people who fight for their own freedom; and we rally other nations on behalf of our common security and common humanity.
My Administration has also secured bipartisan support for this approach here at home. I have the authority to address the threat from ISIL. But I believe we are strongest as a nation when the President and Congress work together. So I welcome congressional support for this effort in order to show the world that Americans are united in confronting this danger.
Now, it will take time to eradicate a cancer like ISIL. And any time we take military action, there are risks involved – especially to the servicemen and women who carry out these missions. But I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil. This counter-terrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist, using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground. This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years. And it is consistent with the approach I outlined earlier this year: to use force against anyone who threatens America’s core interests, but to mobilize partners wherever possible to address broader challenges to international order.
My fellow Americans, we live in a time of great change. Tomorrow marks 13 years since our country was attacked. Next week marks 6 years since our economy suffered its worst setback since the Great Depression. Yet despite these shocks; through the pain we have felt and the grueling work required to bounce back – America is better positioned today to seize the future than any other nation on Earth.
Our technology companies and universities are unmatched; our manufacturing and auto industries are thriving. Energy independence is closer than it’s been in decades. For all the work that remains, our businesses are in the longest uninterrupted stretch of job creation in our history. Despite all the divisions and discord within our democracy, I see the grit and determination and common goodness of the American people every single day – and that makes me more confident than ever about our country’s future.
Abroad, American leadership is the one constant in an uncertain world. It is America that has the capacity and the will to mobilize the world against terrorists. It is America that has rallied the world against Russian aggression, and in support of the Ukrainian peoples’ right to determine their own destiny. It is America – our scientists, our doctors, our know-how – that can help contain and cure the outbreak of Ebola. It is America that helped remove and destroy Syria’s declared chemical weapons so they cannot pose a threat to the Syrian people – or the world – again. And it is America that is helping Muslim communities around the world not just in the fight against terrorism, but in the fight for opportunity, tolerance, and a more hopeful future.
America, our endless blessings bestow an enduring burden. But as Americans, we welcome our responsibility to lead. From Europe to Asia – from the far reaches of Africa to war-torn capitals of the Middle East – we stand for freedom, for justice, for dignity. These are values that have guided our nation since its founding. Tonight, I ask for your support in carrying that leadership forward. I do so as a Commander-in-Chief who could not be prouder of our men and women in uniform – pilots who bravely fly in the face of danger above the Middle East, and service-members who support our partners on the ground.
When we helped prevent the massacre of civilians trapped on a distant mountain, here’s what one of them said. “We owe our American friends our lives. Our children will always remember that there was someone who felt our struggle and made a long journey to protect innocent people.”
That is the difference we make in the world. And our own safety – our own security – depends upon our willingness to do what it takes to defend this nation, and uphold the values that we stand for – timeless ideals that will endure long after those who offer only hate and destruction have been vanquished from the Earth.
May God bless our troops, and may God bless the United States of America.
"Let’s make two things clear; ISIL is not islamic. No religion condones the killing of innocents. And ISIL certainly is not a state. ISIL is a terrorist organization, pure and simple." —Barack Obama
Conservative talk show host Michael Savage said yesterday that Congress should impeach President Obama over his handling of unaccompanied minors crossing the southern border, saying that the president wants America to be “invaded by Third Worlders who are diseased.”
Savage said Obama is deliberately “dumping these children” in the U.S. so they can bring exotic diseases that will “wipe out” Americans.
As we have noted, there is absolutely no evidence of a connection between the Central American children and an outbreak of a respiratory illness in the Midwest.
Of course, Savage insists that he is “just asking the question” whether “Obama’s dumping of illegal aliens into America” led to an outbreak of disease.
“I can’t prove it,” he noted, before ranting against the “Stalinists” at the CDC who don’t believe his conspiracy theory.
h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW
Loesch: Obama slashed funding for gun safety program
For well over a decade, gun owner groups have promoted the use of trigger locks to protect children from weapons around the home. One long-standing effort is Project Child Safe, run by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the voice of gun makers, shooting ranges, and retailers.
Conservative radio host and commentator Dana Loesch went to Twitter to berate President Barack Obama for neglecting this approach.
"Obama admin gutted @ProjChildSafe budget to provide trigger locks and safety kits," Loesch tweeted Sept. 4, 2014.
We wanted to see whether the current administration drove down spending for this particular trigger lock program.
We emailed Loesch’s show for evidence to back up the statement, but we did not hear back.
The senior vice president and general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Lawrence Keane, explained that Project Child Safe is a nonprofit run by his group and is largely sustained by the foundation and private donations. But during the administration of President George W. Bush, it received a great deal of government support.
"There was grant funding from the Department of Justice," Keane said. "There were a number of different grants. They varied in size. Over time, they totaled $90 million over 8 years."
The foundation used the money to buy trigger locks and safety manuals. It partnered with over 15,000 state and local law enforcement agencies across all 50 states to distribute these safety kits for free to gun owners. Keane said since 2001, the program has provided over 36 million kits, with no government money going toward salaries or overhead.
There’s no question the federal money is a fraction of what it was. Whether that happened on Obama’s watch is another matter.
A more complicated picture
We went to USA Spending, a government website that gives anyone the chance to see how federal agencies spend the taxpayers’ money. 2002 was the high-water mark for federal grants to the National Shooting Sports Foundation. That year, the Justice Department awarded it nearly $50 million to cover the costs of trigger locks and other safety materials.
2003 was also a strong year. Washington provided another $25 million. But as this chart shows, after that, the flow of government dollars to the foundation plummeted.
In 2006, the Department of Justice gave the foundation $917,850. By 2008, the amount fell to $500,000. These declines took place under the Bush administration, three years before Obama took office.
The chart also shows a shift in the federal agency that supported the distribution of safety kits. In 2009, the Department of Veterans Affairs began granting the National Shooting Sports Foundation to provide the kits to veterans.
"The VA approached the National Shooting Sports Foundation because of concerns they had, and have, with returning vets having post-traumatic stress disorder," Keane said.
Under the Obama administration, the VA provided the foundation about $3 million through 2012 to deliver about 1.5 million Project Child Safe safety kits, according to Keane. On an annual basis, that is slightly more than the amount spent in the last year of the Bush administration. Keane said the work with the VA is ongoing with an estimated additional $2 million in the pipeline.
According to the Justice Department, the foundation had provided 32 million kits by 2005. In the seven years since, about 4 million kits have been delivered.
Loesch said that the Obama administration gutted the budget for Project Child Safe. In reality, the deepest cuts took place during the Bush years. Obama inherited a program funded at $500,000. In 2009, the funding agency changed from the Justice Department to Veterans Affairs. While the funding for Project Child Safe itself ended, the same kind of kits were distributed to peoples’ homes, although through different channels. Funding increased very slightly from the last year of the Bush administration. The work between the foundation and Veterans Affairs continues.
We rate the claim False.
Immigration advocates were working with community members on how the coming executive actions would affect them. Now, stunned activists are scrambling to figure out next steps in the coming weeks.
Stunned immigration activists lashed out Saturday at the Obama administration over the White House decision to delay executive actions on deportations until after the election. But beyond anger, the decision has left activists scrambling to figure out what to do next.
Activists BuzzFeed News spoke with said they will spend the weekend ironing out specifics on how they will escalate against an administration and vulnerable Democrats who they feel are taking the Latino and immigrant community for granted.
“We feel very intensely that that these decisions that are made affect people’s lives,” said Lorella Praeli, director of advocacy and policy at immigrant rights organization United We Dream (UWD), while at a UWD retreat to decide how the group will respond. “People were saying, ‘now I have to talk to my mom, now I have to tell my dad.’ That’s what drives our work. This is clearly a political move and politics over families again.”
“It makes me really upset — we had a forum with the moms and parents to prepare them for these actions,” DREAMer Erika Andiola said. “Now it’s not gonna happen and some of them have to go to court. It makes me so angry that he’s fully throwing Latinos under the bus.”
“The midterm elections were on the calendar back in June,” said Marielena Hincapié, the executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, noting that she thought the administration had made the political calculation that the benefits outweighed the costs.
Between now and November, “tens of thousands who could have been protected will be deported and more kids will end up in foster care because their parent was deported,” she said. “These politicians are not paying attention to the humanity.”
In the hours after the delay was announced, many immigration activists expressed similar feelings of anger and betrayal — but they wouldn’t say Obama and the Democrats are on their own.
Part of the tension for immigrant groups, Hincapié acknowledged, is that they want to punish Democrats and the administration for yet another disappointment but they know that Republican control of the Senate would be far worse for the vulnerable population they advocate for.
“We’re angry at the Democrats, but the Republicans are dead to us,” Frank Sharry, the executive director of America’s Voice, said. “The Republicans blocked the best chance at immigration reform in a generation.”
Hincapié doubled down on her belief that Democrats made a mess of the entire process.
“I can see the GOP being so happy, ‘Here go the Democrats screwing it up again.’ There’s a discipline on the GOP side in the way there isn’t on the Democratic side, where there is no backbone or a real clarity of focus,” she said.
“There’s no one answer because none of these Latino groups are going to act the same,” Angela Marie Kelley, Vice President for Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress, said when asked what immigration groups will do next. “I do think things will cool down enough so people can look at broader political issues again.”
The reality for Latino activists facing the November ballot is that Republicans aren’t an alternative, even after Obama’s betrayal, Kelley said. That means if they want to show they have political influence, they have to help the Senate Democrats who just successfully convinced the White House to delay the executive actions to win on Election Day.
“If you look at which parties are the obstructionists [to immigration reform]…the bad guys here are not the Democrats,” she said. “That said, I don’t know that there won’t be some constituencies that will be angry and won’t get beyond that. But I think most groups will come back to the table. You know, it’s not powerful to not vote.”
Top officials at SEIU, the union that has made the push for immigration changes a central part of its activism agenda, released a joint statement Saturday saying they were “deeply disheartened” by the White House delay. But they turned that disappointment in Obama into a rallying cry for votes for Democrats in the same statement.
“By far, this isn’t the end game. Immigration reform has and always will be our future. While the president will continue to hear from us, Congress will feel the pressure of a growing electorate,” the statement read. “We haven’t forgotten how we first got here. Republicans failed the American people by refusing to vote on meaningful immigration reform. Holding them accountable in November is a promise that we intend to keep.”
Still, the advocates also believe there will be greater unity of purpose after Saturday’s announcement.
In a last ditch effort Friday night, 183 organizations representing labor, faith, legal and advocacy organizations sent a letter to the president asking him not to delay his administrative actions.
Activists also point to the confirmation hearing for the next Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) director, which could happen before the election, as something that could see protests and signal the next battleground between Republicans and supporters of changed enforcement priorities.
The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA), a coalition of 39 of the top Latino organizations in the country, said that because 97% of those deported are Latino, separations due to deportation policy are hitting Latino families particularly hard.
Because of this, NHLA announced that it would endorse a national boycott of meetings with the President on immigration matters if they do not include representatives of undocumented immigrants, it said in a press release.
NHLA includes top Latino organizations like NCLR and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and their decision means the administration would likely consider inviting more undocumented immigrants to it’s meetings.
Janet Murguía, president of the National Council of La Raza, was deeply critical of the White House delay, saying it felt to her like Obama was taking Latino voters for granted. She said rallying those voters in November would be tougher post-delay.
“We have to see how this decision will translate in the next three or four weeks,” she said. “It will make our overall efforts challenging, but we are vested in politically empowering our community.”
For Praeli, fears by Democrats of losing the Senate have been around for months and undocumented immigrants are just being made into a scapegoat.
She said the president, who is so concerned with his legacy and being seen as the “champion-in-chief” of immigration reform and not the “deporter-in-chief,” will have to go further to get right with the community.
“I would say that the bar of success is higher for the administration now more than ever,” Praeli said.
“If and when he comes through on this promise they should know that they can not just help a couple million people. He has a lot to come back from and a lot to make up for.”
WASHINGTON (AP) — Abandoning his pledge to act by the end of summer, President Barack Obama has decided to delay any executive action on immigration until after the November congressional elections, White House officials said.
The move instantly infuriated immigration advocates while offering relief to some vulnerable Democrats in tough Senate re-election contests.
Two White House officials said Obama concluded that circumventing Congress through executive actions on immigration during the campaign would politicize the issue and hurt future efforts to pass a broad overhaul.
The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the president’s decision before it was announced, said Obama made his decision Friday as he returned to Washington from a NATO summit in Wales.
They said Obama called a few allies from Air Force One to inform them of his decision, and that the president made more calls from the White House on Saturday.
The officials said Obama had no specific timeline to act, but that he still would take his executive steps before the end of the year.
In a Rose Garden speech on June 30, Obama said he had directed Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Attorney General Eric Holder to give him recommendations for executive action by the end of summer. Obama also pledged to “adopt those recommendations without further delay.”
Obama faced competing pressures from immigration advocacy groups that wanted prompt action and from Democrats worried that acting now would energize Republican opposition against vulnerable Senate Democrats. Among those considered most at risk were Democratic Sens. Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Kay Hagan of North Carolina.
Obama advisers were not convinced that any presidential action would affect the elections. But the officials said the discussions around timing grew more pronounced within the past few weeks.
Ultimately, the advisers drew a lesson from 1994 when Democratic losses were blamed on votes for gun-control legislation, undermining any interest in passing future gun measures.
White House officials said aides realized that if Obama’s immigration action was deemed responsible for Democratic losses this year, it could hurt any attempt to pass a broad overhaul later on.
Immigration advocates blasted Obama and Senate Democrats over the decision, saying both have shown a lack of political will.
"We are bitterly disappointed in the president and we are bitterly disappointed in the Senate Democrats," said Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice. "We advocates didn’t make the reform promise; we just made the mistake of believing it. The president and Senate Democrats have chosen politics over people, the status quo over solving real problems."
Cristina Jimenez, managing director of United We Dream, said the decision was “another slap to the face of the Latino and immigrant community.”
"Where we have demanded leadership and courage from both Democrats and the president, we’ve received nothing but broken promises and a lack of political backbone," she said.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Obama’s move amounted to “Washington politics at its worst.”
"What’s so cynical about today’s immigration announcement is that the president isn’t saying he’ll follow the law, he’s just saying he’ll go around the law once it’s too late for Americans to hold his party accountable in the November elections," McConnell said. "This is clearly not decision-making designed around the best policy."
Partisan fighting erupted recently over how to address the increased flow of unaccompanied minors from Central America at the U.S. border with Mexico. The officials said the White House had not envisioned such a battle when Obama made his pledge June 30.
Obama asked for $3.7 billion to address the border crisis. The Republican-controlled House, however, passed a measure that only gave Obama a fraction of what he sought and made it easier to deport the young migrants arriving at the border, a provision opposed by Democrats and immigration advocates. In the end, Congress adjourned without a final bill.
The number of minors caught alone illegally crossing the Mexican border into the United States has been declining since June. That decrease and Congress’ absence from Washington during August has taken attention away from the border for now.
Still, the dispute over how to deal with the surge of Central American border crossers threatened to spill over into the larger debate over immigration and the fate of 11 million immigrants in the United States who either entered illegally or overstayed their visas and have been in the U.S. for some time.
The Democratic-led Senate last year passed a broad overhaul of immigration that boosted border security, increased visas for legal immigrants and a provided a path to citizenship for immigrants illegally in the country.
But the Republican-controlled House balked at acting on any broad measure and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, informed Obama earlier this year that the House would not act in 2014. That led Obama to declare he would act on his own.
During a news conference Friday in Wales, Obama reiterated his determination to act on his own even as he avoided making a commitment on timing. He also spelled out ambitious objectives for his executive actions.
Obama said that without legislation from Congress, he would take steps to increase border security, upgrade the processing of border crossers and encourage legal immigration. He also said he would offer immigrants who have been illegally in the United States for some time a way to become legal residents, pay taxes, pay a fine and learn English.
"I want to be very clear: My intention is, in the absence of … action by Congress, I’m going to do what I can do within the legal constraints of my office, because it’s the right thing to do for the country," he said.
The extent of Obama’s authority is a matter of debate among legal experts and in Congress. Some Democrats say it would be best for Obama to let Congress act.