Obama blames immigration woes on Republicans

Updated: 2015-02-26 10:39


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Obama blames immigration woes on Republicans

US President Barack Obama (R) participates in the taping of an MSNBC/Telemundo town hall discussion on immigration with host Jose Diaz-Balart (L) at Florida International University in Miami, February 25, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

Obama took questions about his stalled immigration actions at a town hall event televised on Spanish-language network Telemundo and MSNBC.

He blamed Republican governors for challenging his unilateral action in court.

Obama said that he is confident his administration ultimately will win a legal battle to proceed with his executive actions on immigration, but said it "will take a couple of months" to file and argue the case.

In the meantime, Obama promised Latinos that his border and immigration officials would focus on deporting criminals and recent border crossers, rather than people who have been living in the country for many years.

"You are going to see a substantial change even as the case makes its way through the courts," he said.

But he told the audience that the law still needs to change, otherwise his actions could be reversed by a future president.

"There are only so many short cuts. Ultimately, we have to change the law," he said, chiding young Americans for poor turnout in the 2014 midterm elections.

"They'll ignore you if they don't think you're voting."

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