President Barack Obama's decision to delay executive action on immigration until after the November elections has angered many immigrant advocacy groups, including the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR).
Back in June, Obama promised to single-handedly move forward with immigration reform after long-standing inaction by House Republicans on the issue. His executive actions were expected to come by the end of the summer. Now, the president has vowed to act before the end of the year.
Some Democrats publicly expressed concerns that executive action on immigration reform just before the midterms could hurt their chances at keeping the Senate under their control.
During a Sunday interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Obama pushed back on the assertion that he is playing politics by waiting until after the November elections to take action. The president said his executive actions would be "more sustainable" after the fall midterms.
“When I take executive action, I want to make sure that it’s sustainable,” Obama said in the interview. “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, what we've done on unaccompanied children, and why it's necessary."
ICIRR, meanwhile, called Obama's delay "unacceptable."
"ICIRR is deeply disappointed that the President is delaying administrative action that could protect hundreds of thousands of Illinois immigrants and families," a statement from the group reads. "Immigrant communities placed great hope in President Obama when he first ran, only to see those hopes dashed again and again. All the while, millions of immigrant families have been torn apart and will continue to face separation as the White House stalls.
ICIRR’s CEO Lawrence Benito added that activists "will continue to organize to ensure that Latino and immigrant voices are heard and respected, and our families are kept together.
“Neither Republicans or Democrats should take the growing immigrant power for granted, and we will hold both parties accountable through the November elections and beyond," he stressed.
ICIRR, U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL,4) and others are set to hold a news conference this morning about the latest delay on immigration reform. Check back with Progress Illinois for full coverage of the event.