Leah Barkoukis

Hmm. Didn’t Obama just say that he won’t act unilaterally on immigration reform? Why, then, didn’t White House spokesman Josh Earnest rule out the possibility of using executive actions?

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Earnest said: “I don’t want to speculate about what sort of actions the president might or might not take."

The Hill provides the context:

Obama has come under pressure from immigration activists, who have challenged the president to act unilaterally now that a comprehensive immigration bill appears stalled in the House. The president was heckled twice during events in San Francisco on Monday while discussing immigration reform, with protesters each time demanding an end to deportations via executive order.

In 2012, the Obama administration announced it would stop deporting some illegal immigrants who entered the United States as children, assuming they met certain criteria. […]

But while the White House has ruled out a sweeping halt to deportations, it is unclear whether Obama could use his executive authority, which includes the ability to grant temporary work permits, to help some of those here illegally.

Earnest did go on to say, however, that fixing a broken immigration system is something that can only be done with Congress, echoing what Obama told one of the hecklers who interrupted his speech on Monday. Looks like we'll have to wait and see what the president actually does, not just says.


Leah Barkoukis

Leah Barkoukis is the Managing Editor at Townhall Magazine.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography