President Obama said last Saturday that he will delay taking executive action on immigration reform until after the midterm elections in November.
Three months ago, the President promised to take unilateral measures by the end of this summer if Congress fails to act on immigration reform. During a speech in June, he said, "If Congress won't do their job, at least we can do ours. "The immigration reforms that the President was considering include granting work authorization and temporary relief from deportation to approximately 5 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. The President now explained that the surge of undocumented children from Central America who flooded the U.S. border this summer changed the politics of the immigration issue.
"The truth of the matter is that the politics did shift midsummer because of that problem," the President said in an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press. "I want to spend some time, even as we're getting all our ducks in a row for the executive action, I also want to make sure that the public understands why we're doing this, why it's the right thing for the American people, why it's the right thing for the American economy."
Saturday’s announcement outraged immigration advocates. Many have criticized that the delay is the President’s move to protect Democrats in tight races in Arkansas, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Kentucky, and Alaska, who fear that the executive action before the midterm election would hurt their campaigns. Immigration activists called out the President for putting politics before family unity. Moreover, Kentucky Republican Senator Mitch McConnell called the President’s decision cynical. "He's just saying he'll go around the law once it's too late for Americans to hold his party accountable in the November elections," the Kentucky senator said in a statement.
The Democrats responded the criticism by blaming the House Republicans for failing to take action on Senate’s comprehensive immigration reform bill.
The President now says that he will act on the immigration reform by the end of this year. We are yet to see whether the President will make good on his new promise.