Tags: | Barack Obama | Immigration | immigration | Obama | Henry Cuellar

Rep. Henry Cuellar: Democrats Lost 'Window' for Immigration Reform

By    |   Tuesday, 09 Sep 2014 11:36 AM

Democrats lost a "window" to address immigration reform when President Barack Obama first took office and they held the majority of seats in the House and Senate, Rep. Henry Cuellar told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

"I remember a meeting very vividly, April of 2009, where the Hispanic caucus, we went up there and asked the president, we have a window to address immigration at this time, immigration reform. And, what happened? The president said, 'Well, I'm a little tied up. I'll do it later.'

"Then, we lost the majority in the House, and then after that it became very difficult to address," the Texas Democrat said Tuesday.

That opportunity was again postponed as Obama announced Saturday that he would delay any decision about an executive order for changes to immigration policy until after the fall's midterm elections, angering lawmakers on the right and left.

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Cuellar said he was surprised by Obama's decision to again delay making any changes to immigration policy, since he said the president had indicated during his trip last week to attend the NATO summit that he was "going to work on this real quickly."

Cuellar said it was the next day when the president "basically says, 'I'm going to go ahead and punt this to after the election.'"

"We know windows close right before elections, so it was just very surprising he said the day before that he was going [to be] addressing this real soon," Cuellar said.

Immigration is a "tough" and "emotional" decision, Cuellar said, but one that has to be tackled.

"We have to do immigration reform. The time is never going to be perfect. We just go ahead and get a little fortitude and do the right thing and take that vote," he said.

The next chance to address changes to immigration policy could be after the fall elections, but before the 2016 presidential campaigns get in full swing, Cuellar said, at which time "that window closes again."

He said he did "blame the Republicans right now" for Obama's most recent decision, but did not explain why.


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Democrats lost a "window" to address immigration reform when President Barack Obama first took office and they held the majority in the House and Senate, Rep. Henry Cuellar told MSNBC.
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2014-36-09
Tuesday, 09 Sep 2014 11:36 AM
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