With many Americans skeptical of his decision to bypass Congress and impose an immigration overhaul unilaterally, Obama attempted to rally support for his move in a speech at a Las Vegas high school, saying illegal immigrants need a chance to come out of the shadows.
He engaged in a cross-country debate with Boehner, the top U.S. Republican, who accused Obama in Washington of sabotaging chances for bipartisan legislation and vowed to lead a fight to block his executive actions.
In the summer of 2013, the Democratic-run Senate passed compromise immigration legislation but the bill died in the Republican-controlled House. Obama said he waited to see if the House would ever pass the legislation, but Boehner would not let it come to a vote.
“I told John Boehner, ‘I’ll wash your car, walk your dog, whatever you need to do, just call the bill,” Obama said. “And he didn’t do it.”
To those lawmakers who feel he overstepped his constitutional authority, Obama said his message to them is: “Pass the bill.”