President Barack Obama is abandoning his pledge to take executive action on immigration reform by the end of summer, the Associated Press and other outlets reported Saturday morning.
After reform legislation failed in to advance in Congress, Obama had vowed in June that he would soon be using the powers of his office to try and improve the U.S. immigration system on his own. Obama, who’s already facing Republican allegations of executive overreach, was sure to encounter stiff resistance and the move could have potentially defined the second term of his presidency.
But Obama reversed course and decided the executive action risked undermining Democrats in the 2014 elections, anonymous White House officials told the New York Times. They also said there was a danger of political backlash that blocks broader immigration reform legislation from ultimately emerging.
The Times reported that administration aides started calling elected officials and immigration advocates on Saturday to inform them of the decision.
The delay is a sharp departure from the president’s earlier rhetoric.
“If Congress will not do their job, at least we can do ours. I expect their recommendations before the end of summer and I intend to adopt those recommendations without further delay,” Obama said in June.
At the time, Obama had also dismissed those who would let “politics” affect policymaking on the issue.
“Their argument seems to be that because the system is broken, we shouldn’t make an effort to fix it. It makes no sense,” he said. “It’s just politics, plain and simple.”
Updated (10:33 a.m.): With additional Obama remarks from June.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.