With the threat of executive action on immigration looming ominously over the country, Democrats are coming out and asking Obama to wait on unilateral action. The Hill writes, “Senate Democratic leaders sent Obama a letter Monday urging him to issue an order easing deportations but it omitted a deadline for action.”
But the President is in a quagmire of sorts.
If he puts off his amnesty plan again, he looks weak. Obama already postponed executive action once because the Democrats running for re-election knew it would hurt their races. Now, those special interest groups to whom the President promised action, are getting impatient.
“You have growing anxiety amongst the immigrant community that’s losing faith that the president is going to do as he said he would do,” said Brent Wilkes, national executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens. “I really think he’ll lose support from the Latino community if he continues to wait.”
Democrats say they want the opportunity to work out the immigration issue in the Congress.
But Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, which has jurisdiction of the immigration enforcement agencies that would be affected, said Obama should wait until next year.
“If I were the president, what I’d say to the Congress — House, Senate, Democrat or Republican — I’m going to give you a little bit of time and in the new Congress expect you to do something,” he said.
Carper said Obama should set a deadline for congressional action on immigration reform early next year and issue an executive order easing deportations if lawmakers fail to meet it.
However executive action would complicate the budget and spending process for next year. The Senate Democrats are focused on passing an omnibus bill to fund the government through next year.
A presidential order freezing deportations, however, threatens to derail the omnibus, the aide said, and would make it tougher to pass other bills and confirm dozens of backlogged nominees.
“It really has a negative effect on everything,” said the aide. “Here you have a newly elected Republican majority in the Senate and expanded majority in the House that want to work in the center to do something big for the country and it seems Obama is rejecting the idea of finding common ground.”
House members are now talking about passing a Continuing Resolution to fund the government for a few months so that a longer term bill could deny funding for whatever amnesty program Obama tries to enact. “The president is going to do an executive action on deportations, so Republicans shouldn’t pass an omnibus unless it includes language blocking an executive amnesty,” said a conservative Republican aide. “That’s why Republicans are increasingly of the mind that a short-term CR is the way to go.”
Obama indicated this weekend he will not be deterred by GOP threats to block funding his amnesty plan. “I take Mitch McConnell at his word when he says that the government is not going to shut down.”