Mon | Sep 24, 2018

Obama to delay immigration action

Published:Sunday | September 7, 2014 | 12:00 AM


United States President Barack Obama has decided to delay any executive action on immigration until after the November congressional elections, abandoning his pledge to act on the issue by the end of summer, White House officials said.

The move instantly infuriated immigration advocates while offering relief to some vulnerable Democrats in tough Senate re-election contests.

Two White House officials said Obama concluded that circumventing Congress through executive actions on immigration during the campaign would politicise the issue and hurt future efforts to pass a broad overhaul.

no specific timeline

The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the president's decision before it was announced, said Obama made his decision last Friday as he returned to Washington from a NATO summit in Wales.

They said Obama called a few allies from Air Force One and informed them of his decision, and that the president made more calls from the White House yesterday.

The officials said Obama had no specific timeline to act, but that he still would take his executive steps before the end of the year.

Obama faced competing pressures from immigration advocacy groups that wanted prompt action and from Democrats worried that acting now would energise Republican opposition against vulnerable Senate Democrats.