Democratic lawmaker Tony Cardenas revealed that President Barack Obama promised the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Wednesday he will “act shortly” to bypass Congress and grant some form of amnesty to many illegal immigrants.
Cardenas spoke with MSNBC’s Jose Diaz-Balart on Thursday about a meeting the Hispanic Caucus had with the president on Wednesday concerning the growing border crisis and comprehensive immigration reform.
The California congressman claimed that Obama committed to broad executive action on immigration reform — including granting legal status to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants without congressional approval — and that such action will come “shortly.”
“It’s important to understand that the president made it very clear to the Hispanic Caucus yesterday that Congress is not acting,” Cardenas explained. “He let Speaker Boehner know many, many months ago to please go ahead and do something. He has not done it. And now’s the time for the president to act, and the president’s going to act shortly.”
“Do you know what actions the president will be taking?” a surprised Diaz-Balart asked. “I mean, the president has said to me in the past, he has said — and I’m quoting the president in the three last interviews we had — he said, ‘I’m not a king, I’m a president. There are only a few things I can do unilaterally.'”
Cardenas said the president agreed to use his “legal authority and latitude” to “give people some kind of status to the 11 million who are waiting to get some relief.”
“Not all of them,” the Democratic lawmaker explained. “The power of the president cannot relieve all 11 million. But there are categories of 500,000 or a million that he can give some kind of temporary status to.”
Cardenas added that the president promised to also expedite the hearings of the tens of thousands of illegal immigrant children stranded on the southern border, and would work to eventually provide them “some temporary or permanent status here in the United States.”
“So those are the two main things that the president committed to,” the lawmaker concluded.