Rep. Grijalva On Immigration: Obama Should ‘Take that Authority Of His’ and ‘Do Something Bold’

Eric Scheiner | July 22, 2014 | 1:06pm EDT
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In this July 12, 2014 photo, Central American migrants ride a freight train during their journey toward the U.S.-Mexico border in Ixtepec, Mexico. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

( - Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.)  says President Obama can “prod” Congress to take action on immigration reform by taking "bold" executive actions.

“I think the president right now, the thing that he can use to prod Congress to begin to do something, is to take that authority of his that he used with the DREAMers under DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals),” Grijalva told C-SPAN’s Newsmakers last Friday.

“Do something bold and in that instance extend a protection and a process for two years and I hope that that is the prod that moves Congress as the whole forward.”

When asked if the thousands of unaccompanied minors at the border make it more difficult for the president to address immigration issues, Grijalva responded, “I think it will make everybody more defensive about how bold and how brave you can be, politically speaking, with an executive order."

“You can sense already, even among my Democratic colleagues, a kind of - this issue is a little too complicated, too risky, let’s go small. I hope that’s not the thinking.”

“The children at the border and his executive orders are going to get tied together,” he said.

In 2012, President Obama took executive action on immigration with DACA, which halted deportations for up to one million illegal aliens.

The action focused on illegals who were under the age of 16 when they entered the U.S. and were currently in school, or had graduated from high school, earned a GED, or served in the military. Immigrants who meet these criteria are commonly referred to as “DREAMers” because they comprise most of the requirements of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act.

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