Updated 11:41 AM EST, Fri, Jan 15, 2021

Obama Skips Border Visit While in Texas, Days after Fourth of July Ceremony for New Citizens

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Days after blaming House Republicans for delays in an immigration overhaul, President Barack Obama spent the majority of a Fourth of July naturalization ceremony expanding on the importance of undocumented individuals.

"Somehow, either because your parents brought you here as children or because you made the choice yourselves as adults, you ended up here in America," Obama said.

"Then many of you did something extraordinary. You signed up to serve in the United States military; you answered the call. To fight and potentially to give your life for a country you didn't fully belong to yet," he said.

The president added that a system restructure is necessary for the U.S. to remain the greatest country on earth.

The speech comes days before a planned trip to Texas, one that doesn't include stopping at what is quickly becoming a humanitarian crisis.

Tens of thousands of immigrants -- many unaccompanied children -- have overburdened detention centers and forced Border Patrol authorities to relocate detainees, though some never reached their California destination.

Protestors on both sides have forced buses and flights to reroute to Houston.

Obama's prerogative while in Texas is to fundraise for Democratic congressional candidates; a risky move given that it could alienate pro-immigration activists who have seen the situation escalate firsthand.

Governor Rick Perry, among many Republicans, are chiding President Obama to take a look at situation along the U.S.-Mexico border. "If he doesn't come to the border, I think it's a real reflection of his lack of concern of what's really going on here," Perry said last week.

Regardless of pressure from his GOP counterparts, Obama said he will pursue non-legislative ways of working around Capitol Hill's inactivity. "I'm going to do everything I can to make our immigration system smarter and more effective," Obama said.

A comprehensive measure the Senate passed last year was blocked by House leaders who have are stagnant pushing legislation forward. It includes a pathway to citizenship for those who already reside in the U.S. For their part, House Republicans said last week they won't be taking up immigration legislation this year.

Without GOP assistance, Obama's choices are limited. Most options include minor changes to deportation procedures that would give people temporary authorization to work her legally.

"America is and always has been a nation of immigrants. Throughout our history immigrants have come to our shores in wave after wave from every corner of the globe," Obama said.

"Even though we always haven't looked the same or spoken the same language, as Americans we've always done big things together.

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