On June 28, President Obama met with immigrant advocates at the White House and told them he was going to take executive action to halt mass deportations. A few minutes later, he stepped into the Rose Garden and publically vowed to take action on immigration by the end of summer.
Last Friday, the president’s White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters that while the president will take “the kinds of steps that are available to him,” he would not act within a specific time frame. This statement is very worrying. The president’s promise of deliberate action by the end of summer seems to be going by the wayside.
According to press reports, the White House is being pressured by Senators who fear that executive action before the November elections will jeopardize their reelections. This has been compounded by the uptick in arrivals of unaccompanied children at the border, which has been seized by anti-immigrant members of the House as a political issue.
What we are hearing from Washington is that the situation is in flux. The president may announce a small program for a limited number of undocumented people in the next few weeks and then announce a broader program after the election, or he may delay the whole thing to after the election. Of course, after the election, any leverage the immigrant rights community has will be dissipated.
It is extremely important that the president act now. Please call the White House today at 202-456-1111 and tell the president that you want him to take executive action now to protect immigrants.