HENDERSON, Nevada — President Barack Obama is dismissing criticism that he overstepped his authority by acting unilaterally to shield millions of immigrants from the threat of deportation.
Obama says in an interview broadcast nationally Sunday that presidents use “prosecutorial discretion” all the time.
He says it was important to prioritize the deportation of criminals and recent arrivals while sparing people who have lived here illegally for at least five years and may have children who are American citizens. He tells ABC’s “This Week” that his response to criticism from House Speaker John Boehner is, “pass a bill.”
House Republicans failed to act on a bipartisan immigration bill the Senate passed in June 2013, or advance legislation of their own.
Boehner charged last week that Obama is “damaging the presidency” with his actions.