Obama blames immigration woes on Republicans
Updated: 2015-02-26 10:39
US President Barack Obama (R) participates in the taping of an MSNBC/Telemundo town hall discussion on immigration with host Jose Diaz-Balart (L) at Florida International University in Miami, February 25, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]
MIAMI - US President Barack Obama on Wednesday told Latinos that Republicans were to blame for holding up changes to US immigration laws, urging them to hold Republicans accountable for the problems in the 2016 presidential election.
Speaking on the home turf of Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor who is considering a run for the Republican presidential nomination, Obama told young members of Miami's Latino community concerned about deportations that they need to turn up the political heat.
Bush has criticized Obama for setting back the cause of immigration reform by taking executive actions in November to offer work permits and lift the threat of deportation for as many as 4.7 million undocumented immigrants.
Obama's plans were supposed to take effect last week, but were thwarted by a Texas judge who halted the actions. The Justice Department has asked for an emergency stay on that action, and is also appealing the decision.
Obama said Bush's criticisms were an "excuse" and noted that in the last Congress, Republicans in the House of Representatives blocked an immigration bill passed by the Senate from moving forward.
"I appreciate Mr. Bush being concerned about immigration reform. I would suggest though that what he do is talk to the speaker of the House and the members of his party," Obama said.