Days after President Barack Obama announced that he will wait until after November’s congressional elections to act on immigration reform, chief of staff Denis McDonough spoke with Latino lawmakers in a private meeting. According to Politico, McDonough promised that the president will issue an order of executive action on immigration reform before the end of the year.
The meeting was likely scheduled when Latino lawmakers expressed their disappointment over the president neglecting to take action before midterm elections. President Obama was originally expected to make an announcement on his plans for executive action at the end of the summer, but instead announced that he will wait.
The president reportedly decided against taking executive action before the elections to help Democrats who are running win so the party can retain control of the U.S. Senate.
According to Politico, Latino lawmakers felt the timeline they were given by McDonough wasn’t too different from the pledge that President Obama made when he announced his decision to delay executive action. However, members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus said they felt better about the future of immigration reform after the meeting with McDonough.
Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., said that lawmakers were able to express their frustrations with the issue during the meeting.
“As I told the chief, I said I for one need constant reassurance,” Grijalva told Politico. “I don’t want to go down this path come November and then, for some other reason, find that the immigrant community and the Latino community get thrown in the heap again.”
Politico reported that the specifics of President Obama’s plan were not discussed in the meeting, although McDonough did promise that the president will go as far as his authority will allow him to repair the nation’s broken immigration system. The president will also reportedly take action regardless of the results of the upcoming election.
“The president understands the depth of the broken immigration system that we have and he’s bound and determined to make sure that we fix it because it’s impacting our economy, it’s impacting our job growth, and it’s a humanitarian issue that’s impacting families across the country,” McDonough said in a statement to reporters.