Concern that unilateral action might undermine the prospects for a bipartisan agreement on a broad immigration overhaul for years to come ultimately prompted the president to break his promise to act on his own before summer’s end, says The New York Times.
The wave of unaccompanied minors from Central America who began arriving at the border over the spring and summer — crowding detention centers and rocketing immigration into the headlines — changed the politics and made Obama's self-imposed deadline too big a political risk, says the Los Angeles Times.
"The politics did shift midsummer because of that problem," Obama said in a taped interview on NBC's "Meet the Press," adding: "I also want to make sure that the public understands why we're doing this, why it's the right thing for the American people, why it's the right thing for the American economy."
Democratic senators who were being hit with attack ads had let the White House know that if Obama took executive action, it could cost them their seats — and their party its control of the Senate.
Obama's switch is drawing fire from Republicans who still oppose any later executive action as a power grab; Democrats who see the delay as putting Democratic votes at risk; and immigration advocates who express bitter disappointment and speak of being misled by the administration after months of working together, says the LA Times.