White House Sees Shift in Obama Legal View on Immigration

Josh Earnest tells ABC's Jon Karl 'some things have changed' to explain Obama shift.
2:48 | 11/18/14

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Transcript for White House Sees Shift in Obama Legal View on Immigration
Going back to the and brief. Second order coming. Does the president still stand by what he says last year says quote I am not the emperor of the United States my job excuse laws that are passed. That's still operative absolutely. I came here that threat. Because he was asked very specifically about the idea of expanding the deferred action executive order a for the dreamers to their parents and he saved September 17 last year. Telemundo very clearly. If we start broadening can essentially I would be ignoring the law in a way to make it very difficult event legally so that is not an option. Is that still office. When president say specifically. It expanding. The dock executive order is not an option because it would be ignoring laws he's still believe that. Was done I don't wanna get ahead of what any sort of announcements that the president remaining before the end of the year about executive actions if he may take to fix our broken immigration system. Since this. Interview aired. The president did direct the attorney general and the secretary of Homeland Security to conduct a review of the law to determine what if any authority he could use. To try to fix some of the problems that house Republicans. Have refused to address. So this is something that has been under consideration for some time by the attorney general the United States domestic terror common security. And you know it it just precursors. This is no longer operative because we had a review so when the president said that expanding. Talking to apply to the parents of the dreamers for instance. Would be brought me. Essentially ignoring the long awaited musical. Equally. It's not an option that statement is no longer opera's. Well what I'm saying is we'll have an opportunity to evaluate the actions that the president has chosen to take after he's announced an estimate the options are understood saying. Does the president still stand by what he said of that interview this time cluster. Well John there obviously there's some things would change office as well it's nine. What obviously there have some things that have changed right we have been a situation where the president has ordered a broader in depth review of the existing law. To determine what sort of executive authority does rests with the V. The presidency to determine what kinds of steps he could take on his. The other thing that we've seen is we've seen. House Republicans refuse to act even common sense legislation that would fix only the problems of our broken immigration system in a way that would strengthen border security reduce the deficit. And be good for the economy or he refused to act that this. Well I guess I guess it's fair to say they've been refusing to act for quite some time at that point it only been a few months that they've been refusing to act now it's been almost a year and half.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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