Why is the White House delaying immigration reform?

As immigrants continue to have trouble obtaining American citizenship, the issue of immigration reform sizzles as a hot-button issue. So it came as a surprise to many that President Barack Obama has made it clear that he will stall an executive decision on immigration reform until after the midterm elections.

On Sept. 8, White House press secretary Josh Earnest made a statement during a press conference revealing that President Obama will not take executive action on immigration reform until the end of the year. He was scheduled to make a decision in August, and the delay has caused a stir among both political parties and the public in general.

Obama has chosen to put off taking executive action in order to save the important issue from becoming a casualty of the midterm elections, which have proven to be highly partisan. Earnest referred to the election’s climate as a “sharply political polarized environment” that has been turning immigration reform into an issue of individual races rather than a larger social concern.

With this announcement, the White House expects that the president will be faced with criticism, but Obama maintains that making a smart and thought-out decision without the influence of the election is essential to the success of the reform plan. As such, the president is ready to be faced with upset from the public.

“The president is willing to take a little political heat from the pundits, from advocates in the Hispanic community in particular, in order to ensure that the policy that he puts forward is one that can be sustained,” Earnest said during the press conference. “There should be no disputing the fact that injecting this issue into the current political environment would be really bad for the issue.”