President Barack Obama’s recent decision to abandon his commitment and delay the executive action on the immigration policy reforms has hit the hornet’s nest in the political and social corridors of the US.
President Obama had earlier pledged to deliver the reforms in US immigration law by the end of summer.
In June 30, the US President made announcements at the White House Rose Garden that he had directed top administration officials including Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Attorney General Eric Holder to provide him with recommendations for executive action on immigration policy by the end of summer. Notably, Obama vowed, “He would, adopt those recommendations without further delay.”
But now he has delayed any such action to November after the congressional elections.
While announcing the move, the US President concluded that use of executive action to evade Congress during the campaign season would rather heat up the political dimensions over the issue, as a result of which the future efforts to pass comprehensive immigration reform policy would be hurt.
But in an interview with the NBC, President Obama admitted that his decision was politically influenced, saying a partisan fight this summer had created the impression of crisis.
“The truth of the matter is — is that the politics did shift midsummer because of that problem. 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,” Obama said at the “Meet The Press”, set to air on Sunday.
The executive unilateral decision by this summer would have posed serious threat to Democratic Sens. Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana in the election season.
The move by beleaguered Obama administration has been heavily criticized by the opposition Republicans, political analysts and immigration reform advocates.
Obama’s decision is a welcome move for Democratic senators who are leaving no stone unturned to claim victory in the re-election in conservative states0 and back their party to discourage a strong GOP effort to take upper chamber’s control. Democrats were concerned that acting now over the controversial issue would energize Republican opposition against the vulnerable Senate Democrats.
The delay has left the immigration reform advocates, including Big Business and liberals, heartbroken. They have been pressing for prompt action over the reform policy issue.
“The President’s latest broken promise is another slap to the face of the Latino and immigrant community,” Cristina Jimenez, managing director for immigration advocacy group United We Dream, said in a statement.
“It’s just really, really ridiculous to see that they’re basically once again throwing the Latino community under the bus when it comes to politics. “They’ve already done things for the LGBT community. They did executive actions for labor. Well, what about the Latino community? Why are we being thrown under the bus just to keep the Senate, when they can’t even prove that it’s going to hurt the Senate?,” said Erika Andiola, co-director of the Dream Action Coalition.
Meanwhile, for Republicans it is a gleeful moment as they have got another chance to take on the government and play blame game.
“The decision to simply delay this deeply-controversial and possibly unconstitutional unilateral action until after the election – instead of abandoning the idea altogether – smacks of raw politics,” House Speaker John Boehner (R) of Ohio said in a statement.
Last but not the least the analysts feel the political timing of Obama was dead wrong as it may invite fresh troubles for the Democrats in the election season.