Earlier this summer, President Obama said he planned to enact immigration executive actions "before the end of the summer," after receiving recommendations from Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. Well, it's the last weekend of summer and, as The Los Angeles Times explains, Johnson hasn't presented his recommendations and Obama is considering waiting until after the midterm elections in November to follow through with the more controversial orders.
According to the Times, one plan under consideration would consist of two phases: the pre-midterms phase, which would strengthen border security, and the post-midterms phase, which would spare millions of undocumented immigrants from immediate deportation. The president is considering expanding a 2012 program that defers deportations for people who were brought into the country illegally as children to more individuals — a plan that has already been criticized by the right and the left for going too far and not far enough.
During Thursday's press conference, however, the president also mentioned that the wave of child migrants this year, and the attention the crisis received, “changed the perception of the American people about what's happening at the borders" and that these things "affect timelines." The president didn't repeat his summer deadline, but people definitely remember it — that same day 145 immigration activists were arrested while protesting outside of the White House. The protest was timed to the president's end of summer deadline.
But this delay, according to the Times, is about easing the concerns of endangered red state Democrats who worry that any attempt to grant some certainty to the country's undocumented immigrants will fire up the G.O.P. base and cost them the Senate.
As Greg Sargent at The Washington Post writes, the conversation among Democrats goes like this: In red states, Democrats need to get single women to the polls by focusing on women's economic issues and, at the same time, not fire up the G.O.P. base. If Republican argue that Democrats are giving women's jobs to undocumented immigrants — which isn't true, but that's not the point — that would end badly for Democrats. On the flip side, Sargent argues, the more Obama issues executive actions, the more Republicans kind of want to impeach him and/or shut down the government.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.