Tuesday, September 9, 2014


When Republicans challenge the timing or merits of Immigration Reform, they are accused of "POLITICIZING" the issue.

When the President delays implementation until after the election in November so as to not hurt Democrats, it's "ALTRUISTIC."

Read the NY Times article below and tell me I'm wrong!!

Ben Ferro,  Publisher

Obama Delays Immigration Action, Yielding to Democratic Concerns

By Michael D. Shear, Sept. 6, 2014

WASHINGTON — President Obama will delay taking executive action on immigration until after the midterm elections, bowing to pressure from fellow Democrats who feared that acting now could doom his party’s chances this fall, White House officials said on Saturday.

The decision is a reversal of Mr. Obama’s vow to issue broad directives to overhaul the immigration system soon after summer’s end, and sparked swift anger from immigration advocates. The president made the promise on June 30, in the Rose Garden, where he angrily denounced Republican obstruction and said he would use the power of his office to protect immigrant families from the threat of deportation.

“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,” a White House official said. “Because he wants to do this in a way that’s sustainable, the president will take action on immigration before the end of the year.”

Cristina Jimenez, the managing director for United We Dream, an immigration advocacy group, accused Mr. Obama of “playing politics” with the lives of immigrant families and said, “The president’s latest broken promise is another slap to the face of the Latino and immigrant community.”

Administration officials insist that Mr. Obama is more determined than ever to take action — eventually. But the president and his top aides have concluded that an immigration announcement before November could anger conservatives across the country, possibly cripple Democratic efforts to retain control of the Senate and severely set back any hope for progress on a permanent immigration overhaul.

In particular, advisers to Mr. Obama believe that an announcement before the midterm elections in November would inject the controversial issue into a highly charged campaign environment that would encourage members of both parties to take more hard-line positions on the issue than they normally would.

That could drive away support for what the president’s advisers believe are common-sense changes to the immigration system, even among Democrats. One adviser said that if immigration was seen as costing Democrats control of the Senate — even if other issues were really to blame — immigration could become toxic for years in both parties, much like gun control did after the issue was blamed for Democratic losses in 1994.

The combustible nature of the immigration debate was demonstrated over the summer when the border crossings of unaccompanied children from Central America quickly became a highly charged partisan issue. Democrats on Capitol Hill warned the White House to deal with that issue before announcing broader immigration changes.

Mr. Obama acknowledged that the surge in unaccompanied children at the border undermined public support for a broader immigration overhaul. He said delaying any executive action would give the administration more time to get the policy right and explain it to the public.

“I’m going to act because it’s the right thing for the country,” Mr. Obama said in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” to be broadcast Sunday. “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.”

The president and his team believe that waiting until after the election season is over will allow him to unveil sweeping and sustainable changes to the immigration system that could potentially shield millions of illegal immigrants from deportation and provide work permits for many.

“The president is confident in his authority to act, and he will before the end of the year,” one official said, speaking anonymously to discuss White House strategy.

The president made calls to political allies and others to discuss the decision during Friday’s long flight on Air Force One as he returned from Europe after a NATO summit meeting.

On Saturday, Republicans quickly attacked Mr. Obama’s decision, calling it a cynical ploy to avoid letting voters express their opinions on his plan to use executive power on the issue.

“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,” Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio said.

Senator Lamar Alexander Tennessee, said, “The founders of our country did not want a king, and the American people do not want a president who acts like one.” He called Mr. Obama’s decision a “shameful presidential trick.”

The delay also is angering Hispanic activists who have been pressing Mr. Obama for months to sidestep Congress. Leaders of several immigration groups said their members would be furious with the president for raising — and then dashing — their hopes. They criticized Mr. Obama for the delay, saying it breaks a solemn pledge to immigrants.

Arturo Carmona, the executive director of Presente.org, called the decision “a betrayal” of the Latino community and “shameful.” He said the president “is once again demonstrating that for him, politics come before the lives of Latino and immigrant families.”

And Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union, said: “Today, we are deeply disheartened that the dreams of hard-working immigrant families who have long contributed to the fabric of the American life remain in jeopardy. The White House’s decision to delay executive action forces countless families to continue to wait in the shadows of fear.”

The president’s decision on Saturday underscores the difficulties of his broader pledge to use the powers of his office to govern in the face of a gridlocked Congress. Those efforts have already sparked a Republican lawsuit alleging that the president has abused his authority and is building an “imperial presidency.” And he has faced intense political pressure from his Democratic allies to delay such actions.

The timing of an announcement had developed into a serious political problem for the president. By saying he would act on his own, Mr. Obama heightened expectations among Hispanics that he would finally address the deportation fears of 11 million illegal immigrants, many of whom have been in the United States for decades and have been law-abiding members of their communities.

Since Mr. Obama took office, his administration has significantly increased the number of deportations, especially along the border with Mexico. Immigration advocates have complained that families are being torn apart when parents or children who are in the country illegally are arrested and sent home.

For years, Mr. Obama said the solution to the deportations was an overhaul of immigration laws. When that effort failed, he said he would act on his own. The anger over the delay is certain to intensify in the coming days. But Mr. Obama’s advisers appear to have convinced him that he will be able to win back the support of immigrant activists — and create a personal legacy on the issue — as long as he acts boldly after the midterm elections.

History suggests the president’s advisers may be right about the short-term memory.

For years, Mr. Obama promised increasingly impatient advocates for gay and lesbian rights that he would repeal the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on serving in the armed forces. When he finally pushed through an end to the policy in December 2010, gay Americans hailed the action.

In his first term, Mr. Obama earned the scorn of immigrants brought to the United States as children and were demanding an end to their deportations. But when he created a program to shield them from deportations in 2012, much was forgiven.

The president’s aides said he was certain to take action after the election, but they have declined to say specifically what actions he is considering or how many people they could affect. Mr. Obama said on Friday that he had begun reviewing options and recommendations from Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and Jeh Johnson, the secretary of Homeland Security.

Among the possibilities that officials have explored is the unilateral expansion of a program that would provide many illegal immigrants with work permits to allow them to legally live and work in the country indefinitely.

The president’s pledge in June had committed him to acting in the weeks before the midterm elections, when a half-dozen Democratic senators must face the voters. Sensing a potentially powerful issue, Republicans have repeatedly accused Mr. Obama of preparing to usurp power from Congress and of wildly overstepping the authority of his office.

As Election Day drew closer, nervous Democratic senators in a few states told White House officials that Mr. Obama’s actions could cost them victory. Those conversations culminated in the decision to delay immigration action.

Reprinted from the New York Times

Send your comments to me at benferro@insideins.com

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