House Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday said the White House is "playing politics" with immigration by delaying a review of deportation policies.
"Enforcing the law as written isn't a 'concession' — it is the president's solemn responsibility," Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said, The Hill reports
. "Now isn't the time to be playing politics with immigration enforcement or our national security."
The Obama administration made no secret that the delay announced Tuesday was ordered with political considerations in mind, namely getting Congress to pass a series of sweeping reforms of immigration regulations.
"While the review is ongoing, the president believes there is an opportunity for congressional action this summer, and has asked Secretary [Jeh] Johnson to hold on releasing any results from his review while this window for congressional action remains open," an official with the Department of Homeland Security official said.
President Barack Obama has warned he may make unilateral changes through administrative action if House Republican's don't act.
"They have about a six-week window, from June 10 after the last Republican primary until the August recess. If they don't pass immigration reform then, the president will have no choice but to act on his own," Sen. Charles Schumer
, a New York Democrat, said last week.
Schumer is author of the Democrat-controlled Senate's version of immigration reform, which passed last year.
"There's nobody more interested in fixing this problem than I am," Boehner told Univision
News Anchor Jorge Ramos, who asked the Ohio Republican, "Why are you blocking immigration reform?"
Boehner's "playing politics" reaction to the deportation review delay was not unexpected.
The New York Times
"Senior White House officials said the president was worried that any action would be viewed by House Republicans as an abuse of executive power and would fuel the already intense opposition to a more long-lasting solution to the country's immigration problems."
"There are a number of folks suggesting that anything that the administration does could become an excuse for inaction in the House," Cecilia Muñoz, the president's top immigration adviser, told the Times.
Boehner, The Hill reports, says the fiasco that the GOP considers Obamacare to be has eroded trust that Obama can properly manage implementation of sweeping reform.
"When he continues to ignore Obamacare, his own law, 38 unilateral delays, he reduces the confidence of the American people in his willingness to implement an immigration law the way we would pass it," Boehner said.
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