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President Obama vows executive action on immigration reform

U.S. President Barack Obama walks into the Rose Garden before delivering remarks about the faltering immigration reform agenda to the news media at the White House June 30, 2014 in Washington, DC.
U.S. President Barack Obama walks into the Rose Garden before delivering remarks about the faltering immigration reform agenda to the news media at the White House June 30, 2014 in Washington, DC.Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Barack Obama announced Monday that he will use executive orders to reform the U.S. immigration system as Republicans in Congress refuse to take up the issue.

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about immigration reform in the Rose Garden of the White House, June 30, 2014 in Washington, DC as V.P. Joseph Biden listens in standing to the left of the president
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about immigration reform in the Rose Garden of the White House, June 30, 2014 in Washington, DC as V.P. Joseph Biden listens in standing to the left of the president Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

"I take executive action only when we have a serious problem, a serious issue, and Congress chooses to do nothing," he told a press conference in the White House Rose Garden. "And in this situation, the failure of House Republicans to pass a darn bill is bad for our security, it's bad for our economy and it's bad for our future."

Last week GOP House Speaker John Boehner told Obama that Republicans in the lower chamber would not hold a vote on immigration reform this year and also announced that he plans to file a lawsuit against President Obama's abuse of power.

A full year after an immigration reform bill was passed by the Senate, Obama regretted that the House of Representatives has failed to act.

"While I will continue to push Republicans to drop excuses and act," he said, "Americans cannot wait forever for them to act."

"They're unwilling to stand up to the Tea Party and do what's right for the country. And what's worse - a bunch of them know better," the president said of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

In a letter sent to the congressional leader earlier Monday, Obama sought cooperation in preparing "an aggressive deterrence strategy" to deal with a massive boost in the number of unaccompanied child migrants illegally entering the United States across the southern border.

Obama explained in the letter the measures taken by his administration and asked lawmakers for new resources to address what officials call an urgent humanitarian situation.