Immigrant rights groups are angry at reports that President Obama may delay his 'pen and a phone' executive orders on immigration reform until after the mid term elections, Newsradio 1200 WOAI reports.
The President stressed in early August that, because Congress has failed to act, he plans to use his executive authority to make several changes in the way immigration laws are enforced. He is expected to extend the 'Delayed Action' program which was announced two years ago, to allow young people who came here with their illegal immigrant parents to remain legally in the U.S. He is also expected to vastly increase the number of 'green cards' which can be distributed to people in the U.S. illegally.
The Obama has gotten unexpectedly strong pushback, and not just from conservatives and Republicans who have long been suspicious of the President going it alone on immigration.
African American groups have expressed their concern about the proposal, which all studies say will take jobs now held by African American U.S. citizens. Progressive groups have also raised concerns, saying the proposals the President is suggesting appear designed by business groups specifically to depress wages in the U.S.
But Jaime Martinez of the Cesar Chavez Legacy Foundation in San Antonio says any attempt to delay executive actions would be considered disrespectful by Latino voters.
"The President in September is going to do some executive orders," Martinez said. "If he reneges on that promise, it will be a slap in the face to the Latino community."
Martinez says Hispanic voters who have overwhelmingly supported President Obama in two elections have gotten nothing but record levels of deportations for their loyalty.
"President Obama pledged in the first 100 days that he was going to reform immigration," he said. "That didn't happen. Since then, we have been following that carrot...almost there...almost there..."
Immigration rights activists have also expressed concerns that the Department of Homeland Security is aggressively deporting many of the Central American immigrants who arrived in Texas this past summer.