Yes, it's true. The promised executive order on immigration is not going to happen until after the November elections.
"And because of the Republicans' extreme politicization of this issue, the president believes it would be harmful to the policy itself and to the long-term prospects for comprehensive immigration reform to announce administrative action before the elections," the official said.
Obama will take action on immigration before the end of the year, the White House said.
Immigration reform advocates called the delay a betrayal of the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States and accused Obama of putting politics first.
"Today the president and the Senate Democrats have made it very clear that undocumented immigrants and Latinos are simply viewed as political pawns," said Eddie Carmona, campaign manager for the PICO immigration reform group.
I don't blame them for feeling that way. But the fact remains that we need more than an executive action to really deal with immigration, and the politics at the time of his promise are much different today.
Much like the Affordable Care Act in 2010, Republicans used the immigration crisis at the border to mobilize their hateful base. With full-throated fury, they took aim at kids coming to escape unspeakable circumstances and rained hate on them, stirred up the fearful base, and planned to use the President's executive order to keep them stirred up.
This will give them another opportunity to crow about how the President draws the red line and then forgets he drew it. But as a practical matter, we've got a problem with the Senate at the moment, and the November elections are pivotal to whether we get anything done.
After all, who wants an executive order that could be revoked in two years with Congressional inaction? If Republicans take the Senate, that's a distinct possibility.
Fernando Espuelas at Huffington Post:
McConnell, Rubio and Cruz are telling the Republican base what to expect from a GOP majority -- and I think it is wise to believe them. A reactionary and punitive future awaits America on Nov. 4 if enough conservatives turn out to support the Republican dystopian vision.
So while immigration advocates urge Obama to use his pen to fix the most egregious elements of the immigration system monstrosity, as I have previously as well, the only issue that remains is timing.
A premature move by the president could unravel several of the red state Democratic reelection campaigns by hyper-stimulating conservative voters and recreating the blowout from 2010. While anything can happen in the future, as of today, most quantitative predictions of Republican control of the Senate range from slightly favoring Republicans to showing an even race.
A poorly timed and sweeping executive action on immigration might upset this delicate balance and tilt the race firmly into a Republican sweep and subsequent control of both chambers of Congress. Some say that Obama's actions would stimulate the Democratic base. Yet with an "Obama solution" to immigration, many Latino voters who are now determined to send an electoral shock to Republicans may become passive again as they were in 2010 (with the exception of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's re-election in Nevada.) Spanish-language media, in general, will proclaim a victory for the immigrant community and the urgency to vote will likely dissipate.
Let me put it even more simply. If Obama does it, the right rises up and rides to victory on the shoulders of hate. If he doesn't do it, there are a lot of reasons to vote these conservative SOBs out of office and get it done. And what it really means is a 2-month delay.
Now, the day after the election I'm going to have some serious things to say to the cowards who keep running away from Democratic principles. I have little doubt that Obama would have signed an EO yesterday if they hadn't pressured him not to. How about if they start selling good policy instead of cowering before their conservative overlords?
Obama can't do it by himself. He's been trying, but it's like spitting into the wind. Between our corporate media, and the insane conservatives who run the Republican party, it's going to be an uphill battle, and the real one isn't an executive order. It's getting sane, decent policy in place through legislation.