John Boehner: Immigration Reform Hinges on Border Security

Image: John Boehner: Immigration Reform Hinges on Border Security (Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Landov)

Wednesday, 03 Sep 2014 12:48 PM

By John Blosser

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Immigration reform could happen next year, but only if President Barack Obama takes steps to secure the U.S. border, House Speaker John Boehner said.

The Ohio Republican, interviewed on the "Hugh Hewitt Show," said that "adhering to the law" would be the "minimum requirement" for Obama if he expects the House to take action on immigration reform.

Pausing in the middle of a 35-day motor coach trip to 15 states, Boehner also blasted the Senate for lack of action on House-originated jobs and economic bills, and criticized  Obama for "sowing the seeds" of the Russian incursion into the Ukraine.

Obama had threatened to take unilateral executive action on immigration reform by the end of summer but, fearing a negative voter reaction, recently backed off, indicating that he may delay any such action until after the November midterm elections.

"I’ve outlined to the president in July that the House, the Congress, ought to be dealing with immigration reform. It wasn’t likely to happen this year because of the flood on the border, and the president’s own pounding his chest about using his phone and his pen," Boehner told Hewitt in a telephone interview Tuesday.

"I would hope that the president would continue to follow the law, and begin to take steps that would better secure our border. It would create an environment where you could do immigration reform in a responsible way next year."

Noting that jobs bills passed by the House are "sitting in [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid’s Senate," Boehner said, "When the president wants to talk about the do-nothing Congress, he ought to be pointing his finger at the do-nothing United States Senate."

Boehner predicted that Congress would pass a continuing resolution to fund the government from Sept. 30 until early December.

Slamming Obama for a lack of strategy to deal with the threat of the Islamic State  atrocities, Boehner told Hewitt, "It’s the president’s responsibility to outline to the American people how we’re going to deal with this problem. It is not going to go away. Their intent is to kill Americans at home and abroad, and we either deal with this head-on and eliminate this threat, or continue to put Americans at risk.

"Clearly, there’s no strategy that’s developed there."

Boehner saved his harshest critique of Obama for the Russian incursion into the Ukraine, saying, "The seeds of what we’re seeing today were sown by the president five years ago when he did his apology tour, when he went to Europe, and he went to the Middle East and apologized for America being strong and America leading. The world wants us to lead.

"When he sent this signal, he sent the message out to all the goofballs around the world that if they wanted to go poach, it was fine with him. Now does anybody think that Vladimir Putin would have gone into Crimea had George W. Bush been president?"

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