U.S.

Critics Say President's Immigration Reform Delay 'Political'

President Obama's decision to delay his push for immigration reform has drawn the ire of immigrants and activists who say it's all politics.

Critics Say President's Immigration Reform Delay 'Political'
Getty images / John Moore

Undocumented immigrants in the U.S. found out this week they will have to wait to see any sort of executive action on immigration reform — and many are blaming politics.

The news came Saturday that the president would be delaying his push until after the midterm elections in November, prompting this question from "Meet The Press"'s Chuck Todd. (Video via The White House)

TODD FOR "MEET THE PRESS": "What do you tell the person that's going to get deported before the election, that this decision was essentially made in your hopes of saving a democratic Senate?"

PRESIDENT OBAMA: "Well, that's not the reason. ... I want to make sure we get it right."

Still, the president didn't really keep politics out of it, later in the interview bringing up House Republicans' refusal to move on immigration as the real roadblock. But some think he's being disingenuous.

As The Washington Post reports, many activists point to Mr. Obama's campaign promise to act on immigration reform during the first year of his first term and his lack of action since has earned the distrust of some.

VICTORIA DEFRANCESCO SOTO VIA MSNBC: "I think it adds insult to injury. Be honest with us. Say: 'You know, we've got to hold on to the Senate. Let me be honest with you, and then we're going to work forward to try to get immigration reform done.'"

For his part, the president says the surge of undocumented children has cast a disproportionate amount of attention on the issue of illegal immigration, which he says has been improving. (Video via Fox News)

But many immigrants still feel left out in the cold, like one woman in Arizona who spoke with The Arizona Republic. "I feel like I am caught in a political game. ... It's like a game of volleyball. ... I have been counting the days. What's going to happen?"

That article also pointed to prominent undocumented activist Erika Andiola, who posted similar frustration on Twitter, writing, "Latino community officially thrown under the bus by Obama."

Another reason activists point to as a source of frustration is talk earlier in the summer that made it seem like the president was going to take executive action to further immigration reform. (Video via WJLA)

PRESIDENT OBAMA VIA THE WHITE HOUSE: "I've also directed Secretary Johnson and Attorney General Holder to identify additional actions my administration can take on our own, within my existing legal authorities to do what Congress refuses to do and fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own."

Although administration officials say reform has been delayed, it's not clear whether the administration will take executive action on immigration reform after the November elections.