President Obama had said that since Congress won’t pass immigration reform, he will push it through using executive action. Though he had said he would do so by the end of the summer, he has decided to wait until after the midterm elections in November. He and other Democrats are worried that if he grants some kind of amnesty to illegal immigrants, which he is apparently planning to do, the public outcry would be so great that it would hurt Democrats in the elections.
But if they think the American people are going to react that way, why are they still going to do it? And do they really think the public is so stupid that voters who would be up in arms over this issue would vote for Democrats, knowing their post-election plans? And if the President is doing this in the name of a noble principle, why doesn’t he just do it, instead of playing politics with the issue? Isn’t this an embarrassingly cynical political game? Interestingly, now even immigration activists feel betrayed.
President Obama will postpone action on his promise to remake federal immigration policies through executive authority until after the midterm elections in November, the White House announced Saturday, acquiescing to Democrats’ fears that such a move would damage their prospects for maintaining control of the U.S. Senate.
White House officials acknowledged the deep concerns inside the party and emphasized that the decision to delay was also driven by the calculation that a unilateral move in the heat of the electoral season could doom the chances of more sweeping immigration reform beyond Obama’s presidency — maybe for a decade or more.
In an interview set to air Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Obama defended his decision to wait.
“When I take executive action, I want to make sure that it’s sustainable,” Obama said in a clip released Saturday afternoon. “What I’m saying is that I’m going to act because it’s the right thing for the country. But it’s going to be more sustainable and more effective if the public understands what the facts are on immigration.”
In a statement, the White House vowed that Obama would act before the end of the year. He had previously pledged to act by summer’s end, and the delay was met with widespread denunciations from immigrant rights groups and Republican critics who described the delay as political gamesmanship.