Tags: | Barack Obama | Immigration | immigration | executive order | Democrats | midterms

Obama's Immigration Delay Puts Democrats in 'Damage Control' Mode

Image: Obama's Immigration Delay Puts Democrats in 'Damage Control' Mode
(Dennis Brack/DPA/Landov)

By    |   Tuesday, 09 Sep 2014 10:21 AM

Even as President Barack Obama has put executive action on immigration on hold until after the November midterms, the fallout continues for Democrats who are now forced to do damage control among constituents angry over their inaction.

At stake are coveted votes from Hispanics — votes seen as crucial for both sides in tight elections certain to reshape the balance in Congress, The Hill reported.

"The Latino community is frustrated with the president but pissed off with Republicans," Rep. Tony Cárdenas, a California Democrat and a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, told CNN of the dilemma.

One House aide told The Hill that the strategy now shifts to Democrats telling Hispanic voters that action, despite Obama's delay, is still coming and by choosing more Democrats in elections, it will be helpful to implementing reforms once the president does step up to act. Whether that tactic will work is unclear as the president's aggressive record on deportations angers many Hispanics.

The aide said Democrats will try to get them focused on the idea that the executive action is coming, "and you have to elect more Democrats to make whatever he does more sustainable. They should get that."

Others are uncertain that will be enough.

"The people who knock on doors, who stand in grocery store parking lots registering voters, who make phone calls, their life just got a lot more difficult," said America's Voice leader Frank Sharry.

"Obama had an opportunity to define and distinguish the two parties for a generation with the fastest-growing groups of voters in the country," Sharry told The Hill. "Yes, we understood there was risk. But when you don't take advantage of that opportunity, especially after you've promised it, it's not so easy to just make it up later."

While the president took to the airwaves last weekend to defend his shifting decision to delay immigration reform action, some of his allies in the Hispanic community were angry, Bloomberg.com reported.

"The president’s latest broken promise is another slap to the face of the Latino and immigrant community," said Cristina Jimenez, managing director for immigrant youth advocacy group, United We Dream.

Even members of the business community decried the president's pullback.

Bruce Mehlman, executive director of the Technology CEO Council in Washington, said his members support Obama’s decision to use executive authority to revise immigration policies.

"Inaction is not a strategy, neither for Congress nor the executive branch," Mehlman told Bloomberg. "While this remains unresolved, the U.S. continues to educate and then kick out highly skilled workers who want to contribute to our economy."

Obama's approval rating with Hispanics has dipped considerably over the past year, falling to 44 percent in July from 67 percent in 2013, Politico reported.


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Even as President Barack Obama has put executive action on immigration on hold until after the November midterms, the fallout continues for Democrats who are now forced to do damage control among constituents angry over their inaction.
immigration, executive order, Democrats, midterms
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2014-21-09
Tuesday, 09 Sep 2014 10:21 AM
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