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Obama to use executive actions to advance immigration reform

By Jeff Mason and Steve Holland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will announce on Monday his intention to take executive action to address the "broken" U.S. immigration system after hopes of passing a broad reform bill in Congress officially died.

Republican John Boehner, speaker of the House of Representatives, informed Obama last week that the House would not vote on immigration reform this year, a White House official said, killing chances that a wide-ranging bill passed by the Senate would become law.

Obama is scheduled to speak at 2:50 p.m. EDT.

"The president will address the Republican leadership’s unwillingness to bring immigration reform up for an up-or-down vote and the president will announce a new effort to fix as much of our broken immigration system as he can through executive action," the official said in a statement.

Obama will direct Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and Attorney General Eric Holder to "move available and appropriate enforcement resources from our interior to the border" to promote public safety, the official said.

Administration officials in the meantime will make recommendations on what the president can do unilaterally without congressional approval to address problems with the immigration system.

"The president looks forward to the recommendations from his team by the end of the summer," the official said.

Obama has pushed for years for reform that would create a path to citizenship for the roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants within the United States. The U.S. Senate bill had such provisions, but Republicans in the House largely opposed them on the argument that they amounted to amnesty for people who had entered the country illegally.

Obama is also under pressure from Republicans over a flood of unaccompanied minors from Central America who have crossed the border into the United States, creating what the White House has called a humanitarian crisis.

The president sent a letter to Congress on Monday asking for additional resources to deal with the problem.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason and Steve Holland; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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