Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) echoed a warning Wednesday that President Obama would use executive action on immigration if Congress does not come up with a proposal by the August recess.
Diaz-Balart, a leading Republican advocate for immigration reform, said the window would close on negotiations for a comprehensive deal if that happened.
“I’m convinced that if we don’t get it done by the August break, the president, who is feeling a lot of pressure from having not done anything on immigration reform, will feel that he has to act through executive action,” he told The Washington Post.
If Congress does not act first, "It would give every excuse for the president to move forward on dealing with the undocumented while blaming Republicans for Congress's inaction," he said.
Diaz-Balart said he has a proposal ready that would offer legal status for many immigrants living in the country illegally, and House Republican leaders earlier this year produced a set of principles on immigration reform.
There has been little movement on the issue ahead of the midterm elections, however. Obama and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) released dueling statements blaming each other for inaction on the issue a year after the Senate passed a comprehensive deal.
Earlier this year, Diaz-Balart said Obama's threat of acting unilaterally on a number of issues had been one of the biggest impediments to a deal.
Last month, Obama directed the Department of Homeland Security to review the administration's enforce of deportation laws. Immigration advocates and some Democrats have been pressing the administration to use its power to slow the rate, similar to a move made in 2012 to de-prioritize deportation of children brought to the country illegally.