President Barack Obama will delay taking executive action on immigration until after the midterm elections in November, White House officials said on September 6.
The president bows to pressure from fellow Democrats who feared that acting now could doom his party’s chances this fall.
In June 2014, Barack Obama promised to use executive orders that were expected to change visa rules, boost border security and give a path to citizenship for some 11 million US-based illegal immigrants.
Each year tens of thousands try to get into the US from Mexico.
Many are unaccompanied children, and Barack Obama has called the situation a “humanitarian crisis”.
Barack Obama has spent years promising immigration reform, but has been thwarted by Republicans in Congress.
White House officials said that the Republicans’ “extreme politicization of this issue” meant it would be harmful to the long-term prospects for reform to take action before the election.
Officials said immigration reform would still be forced through before the end of the year.
Analysts say the move is likely to benefit some Democrats up for re-election in November in closely fought seats.
Immigration advocacy group United We Dream called the delay a “slap to the face of the Latino and immigrant community”.
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