WASHINGTON — With a self-imposed deadline looming, President Barack Obama said Thursday he still intends to act on his own to change immigration policies but stopped short of reiterating his past vows to act by end of summer.
Obama raised the slim hope that Congress could take action on a broad immigration overhaul after the midterm elections in November. He said that if lawmakers did not pass an overhaul, "I'm going to do what I can to make sure the system works better."
But for the first time since pledging to act by summer's end, he signaled that such a target date could slip. He said the administration had been working to reduce the flow of unaccompanied minors attempting to cross the border.
"Some of these things do affect timelines and we're just going to be working through as systematically as possible in order to get this done," he said in a news conference.
Obama said Thursday that addressing the inflow of unaccompanied minors has not stopped the process of looking into "how do we get a smart immigration system in place while we're waiting for Congress to act.
"And it continues to be my belief that, if I can't see the congressional action, that I need to do at least what I can in order to make the system work better."