In a meeting September 11 with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough (shown) promised the congressmen that President Obama will act on immigration “reform” before the end of 2014.
The end-of-year timetable coincides with a White House statement issued September 6, saying that President Obama “believes it would be harmful” to his immigration policy to announce any administrative action on immigration before this November’s elections.
That statement represented a retreat, of sorts, from the administration’s pledge, made last June, to implement Obama’s “immigration reform” program by “executive authority” before the end of summer.
“We’re not just going to sit around and wait interminably for Congress,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, stated. “We’ve been waiting a year already. The president has tasked his Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson with reviewing what options are available to the president, what is at his disposal using his executive authority to try to address some of the problems that have been created by our broken immigration system.”
The presidential decision to act unilaterally stemmed from Obama’s growing impatience with the House of Representatives’ refusal to vote on the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” immigration bill passed by the Senate on June 27, 2013. Conservative Republicans objected to the Senate bill’s granting of “a path to citizenship” (amnesty) to illegal immigrants.