Having interviewed President Barack Obama when the president believed he could not go around Congress to deal with immigration, MSNBC host Jose Diaz-Balart said that even though “things change,” according to White House spokesman Josh Earnest, Obama was “always adamant” he could not change immigration law via an executive order.
Appearing on “Morning Joe” Thursday morning, the Telemundo host remarked that Obama told him multiple times over the past few years that he doesn’t have authority to deal unilaterally with immigration in place of legislation from Congress
“The president and I have been talking about this for years now. It just wasn’t the one time. It was two times last year. Probably two times the year before that,” said Diaz-Balart. “And I’ve always asked him what about, for example, expanding DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) to the parents of deferred action kids? What about expanding DACA for kids that are older, etc?”
“He always pushed back saying ‘listen, right now, it has to be the house that is dealing with this. this is not the responsibility of the president,'” said Diaz-Balart. “This is the responsibility of the House to get something done after the Senate passed their proposal a year and a half ago.”
“So he was always adamant that he could not do more. But, as Josh Earnest said, things change.”
The president’s executive action, which will be announced tonight during an 8 p.m. address, will reportedly allow nearly five million illegal immigrants to remain in America without the threat of deportation.
Since the talk of executive action on immigration has heated up, Diaz-Balart’s interview with the president from September 2013 has been widely shown, in which Obama says he would be “ignoring the law” if he went about reform via executive action, adding “it’s not an option.”