Pema Levy --- Newsweek
After the Republican wave swept away Democratic senators, House members and governors last night, one mistake looms large for President Obama: His decision this summer to delay the executive action he promised the Latino community to ease deportations of illegal immigrants.
First, Obama promised action over the summer. Then he delayed it until after the midterms. After last night’s GOP sweep, it’s easy now to see Obama backing out of this promise a second time—with likely disastrous consequences for Democrats.
As recently as Tuesday, the Obama administration promised it would move ahead with a new set of executive actions to cut back on deportations for millions of undocumented immigrants. But as Vox’s Matthew Yglesias writes, it’s not hard to see why Obama might delay again.
“Given the GOP takeover of the Senate, I just think it's likely that Democrats will survey the post-election landscape and have a change of heart,” Yglesias wrote Wednesday. “[Instead] of the kind of broad action advocates are hoping for, it's likely that we'll end up with something cosmetic like yet another reboot of the secure communities initiative or another effort to better explain and clarify its existing memos about priorities.”
The extent of the Republican victory has totally changed the political argument for executive action on immigration. This summer, Obama had the backing of a Democratic Senate which had passed a bipartisan immigration reform bill and an intransigent GOP-controlled House unwilling to take up reform. That gave the president the pretext to denounce Republican obstructionism and move forward on his own without them.