Senate Democrats vulnerable to losing a re-election in conservative or moderate leaning states are cautious about President Barack Obama using presidential executive powers to circumvent Congress. They are afraid that he will act on his own on the immigration reforms.
Democrats fear that President Obama will elaborate on his 2012 executive action that had the effect of deferring the deportation of illegal immigrants who cannot be considered adults due to their young age. The extension may cover approximately five million illegal immigrants in United States.
According to Kay Hagan, a Senator from North Carolina, immigration is an issue which must be solved legislatively and not via an executive order. He is one of the many vulnerable Democrats in the Republicans’ bid to wrest control of Senate.
President Obama returned from his family vacation during this week to engage in high level talks in the White House. Administration officials have declined to discuss the subject of presidential deliberations, but have confirmed that he has no intention of taking any action on the present immigration crisis-influx of Central American children crossing the US border. The president will do it only after the 2015 summer.
Mark Pryor, a Democrat Senator from Arkansas – and particularly vulnerable – expressed his opinion in his statement and said that he too is frustrated with Washington’s partisanship, but holds the opinion that this does not give the president the authority to circumvent Congress in case the president does not get what he wants.
Push by immigration advocates
These kind of statements are unwelcome to the ears of immigration advocates. Congressional Democrats had received a letter written by a coalition comprising immigration advocacy groups. It stated that there should be no cause for immigrant families to be forced to wait until elections to get relief. These organizations have said that any attempts made by Democrats to dilute or delay the administrative changes can be perceived as betrayal of immigrant and Latino communities with lasting and serious consequences.
The concerned letter was made public due to advocates’ concerns of important Senate Democrats altering their stated positions because of political considerations. President Obama, however, appears determined to progress on his own, despite political risks which can be faced by Democrats. The crisis concerning unaccompanied minors appearing at southern US border did not appear to faze him.