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White House Debates Timing of Already Delayed Executive Action on Immigration

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Today’s Los Angeles Times reports on what it calls President Obama’s “time out” from his “year of action.” Of course, one of the issues subject to delay was immigration reform:

Immigration reform, once deemed a pressing back-to-school item, will wait at least until the winter holidays.

That delay has not sit well with advocates:

“It looks like the president and the Democrats are playing politics with people’s lives,” said Frank Sharry, founder and executive director of America’s Voice, an immigration reform group.

And, the LA Times reports there was a political motivation for the delay, noting “aides said they did not want the immigration policy overhaul to be blamed for Democratic losses in Congress”

Last week, The NY Times “First Read,” reported there’s an intra-White House debate over when to proceed.

After initially promising action before the end of the summer, President Obama last month delayed any announcement until after the elections on Nov. 4. The White House has said the president will take executive action “before the end of the year.” Significant changes are expected that could affect millions of immigrants living in the country illegally.

One camp inside the West Wing is arguing for a quick announcement right after the elections. That could help change the subject from what aides fear will be big losses in the House and Senate. They also worry that further delay will allow any immigration action to become mired in legislative negotiations over budget and other issues during a contentious lame-duck session in December.

Other aides want to wait until Senate control is firmly determined, even if that means postponing an announcement until January after possible runoffs in Georgia and Louisiana. They argue that early action could doom Democrats’ immigration hopes.

Further delays could dooms Democrats’ hopes with Latino voters.