The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) is giving President Obama some wiggle room on his executive action on immigration, saying it can wait even until after a potential December runoff that could decide control of the Senate.
After President Obama announced he would wait until after the November midterms to move forward with executive action to grant legal status to millions of illegal immigrants, the CHC initially said it still the White House to act by Thanksgiving. But a new resolution passed by the Democratic caucus is now giving him until late December to act.
White House chief of staff Denis McDonough reportedly told told the caucus in recent meetings that it was unlikely the president would choose to act by the end of November and wants to wait until after Louisiana’s competitive Senate race, which will probably go to an early December runoff. McDonough reportedly asked the Latino caucus to postpone its demand.
In Louisiana, if no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote in November, the leading two candidates will move to a runoff, and it seems unlikely that either incumbent Democrat Mary Landrieu or leading Republican Bill Cassidy will get a majority. Hispanic Democrats are keen on getting executive action on the books to legalize some undocumented immigrants, but Landrieu and other vulnerable red-state Democrats would likely be hurt by the president’s unilateral action. (The Louisiana senator voted in favor of allowing an amendment to a recent Senate spending bill that would have blocked President Obama’s ability to act unilaterally; the motion failed.)
In a resolution passed last Thursday, the CHC said it was “deeply disappointed” with the president’s decision to delay his executive action but still wants him to act “before the end of the holiday season.” The resolution also references President Obama’s original May 27 promise to act before the end of the summer, as well as his announcement earlier this month to delay the action until later after the midterms.