President Barack Obama promised action on immigration reform during a speech on Oct. 2. According to Reuters, the president vowed he will take executive action at the end of 2014 that will reduce the number of deportations of undocumented immigrants.
Many Hispanic voters were upset with President Obama when he said that he will delay taking executive action on immigration reform until after November midterm elections. Some of those in the Hispanic community said they felt as though they weren’t as important as getting votes.
Hispanic voters played a major role in helping President Obama win the White House in 2008 and 2012, and in order to maintain his legacy as a president of action, he said that he will do what he can to gain support from the U.S. public on immigration reform. The source stated that keeping Latinos on the side of Democrats is also essential for helping the party retain control of the White House in 2016.
The president spoke at an annual gala that is hosted by Hispanic lawmakers. According to the source, that is where he talked about frustration regarding immigration reform in the U.S. and said that Hispanic support is necessary in order to help reform last after his presidency ends.
“I know there’s deep frustration in many communities around the country right now, and I understand that frustration because I share it,” President Obama said in his speech at the gala. “But if anybody wants to know where my heart is or whether I want to have this fight, let me put those questions to rest right now: I am not going to give up this fight until it gets done.”
In 2013, the Senate introduced a bipartisan immigration reform bill that was blocked by Republicans in the House of Representatives. Following the shoot down of the legislation, the president promised to ease the deportations of more than 11 million undocumented immigrants who are living in the U.S.
Initially, the president said that he would take action by the end of the summer. However, when summer ended he instead announced that he was going to delay executive action because he didn’t want to hurt Democrats in upcoming elections.
The source reported that much of the crowd at the gala embraced the president’s stance on the issue and Representative Luis Guiterrez, D-IL, said that he hoped the president’s remarks would be a positive sign of things to come.