Immigration reform advocates initially criticize President Obama for delaying action
Now Democrats are spreading the blame to Republicans for failing to legislate on issue
Democrats are likely trying to placate anger in immigrant communities
President Barack Obama postponed executive action on immigration, but Democrats want voters to know the delay isn’t his fault.
Blame Republicans instead, according to the latest Democratic latest talking points.
Obama had weighed action on immigration – including moves that could allow a path to legal status for millions of undocumented workers – after congressional action on the issue stalled.
The President took the brunt of criticism immediately after the White House announced Saturday he is delaying any unitary action on immigration until after November’s midterm elections.
He faced accusations of betrayal, bitter disappointment and frustration.
And those are from the President’s allies – Democrats and immigration reform proponents who lead communities that voted overwhelmingly for Obama in 2008 and 2012.
Since the weekend, Democrats began targeting House Republicans.
Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-California, said Monday on CNN’s “New Day” that she is frustrated with the President but added: “The real reality is that these House Republicans have refused to work with us, to move a bill that would solve this issue.”
Last year, the Senate passed a comprehensive bill that would provide a path to legal status for millions of long-term undocumented immigrants while also strengthening border security.
House Republicans refused to consider the Senate bill, which Obama and Democrats claim would pass if put to a vote.
Rep. Tony Cardenas, also a California Democrat, said the “first blame” should lie with Congress for not doing taking up immigration legislation.
“Now the President is forced to have to take a measure like executive actions,” Cardenas said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
The President’s delayed action could protect Democrats in competitive Senate races in conservative states like Louisiana, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky and North Carolina. By focusing blame on Republicans, Democrats likely are trying to placate anger in immigrant communities.
But the relationship between those communities and the administration is strained. Immigration advocates are pointing to the 60,000 family members that could be deported before the end of the year as an unfortunate outcome of the President’s political calculation.
“Republicans killed the best chance in a generation to enact landmark immigration reform legislation,” Frank Sharry, executive director of immigration reform group America’s Voice, told CNN in a statement.
“President Obama, however, has deported more than 2 million people and failed to deliver on promises of reform, including most recently when he publicly promised to take executive action by the end of the summer.”
There’s no question, Republicans are still blaming the President.