CHICAGO (CBS) — Some advocates for comprehensive immigration reform have expressed outrage that President Barack Obama won’t take executive action to impose reforms until after the fall elections, but U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said he won’t criticize the president’s decision.
WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports Durbin is a lead sponsor of the so-called DREAM Act, which would help some undocumented students get on the path to citizenship, but said he isn’t disappointed in Obama for putting off any executive action until after the midterm elections in November.
“I’m disappointed that we passed the DREAM Act in the Senate with a bipartisan vote, [68-32], and we sent it to the House of Representatives 16 months ago, and they never called it for consideration; not our bill or any part of it,” he said.
The senator said if the president needs more time to act, he supports that.
However, Durbin said he understands why some immigration activists are furious the goal posts keep getting pushed further away.
“I share their disappointment. Don’t forget where it starts. It starts with a Republican House of Representatives which refuses to call the bipartisan immigration reform bill. If they had accepted their responsibility, as they promised too over and over again, we wouldn’t be in this situation today,” Durbin said.
Durbin said immigration reform supporters in Congress are “trying to make the best of a bad situation” because of House Speaker John Boehner’s refusal to call for a vote on the DREAM Act or any similar legislation.
“The president is considering an executive effort, and I think he should. He’s asked for more time to do it. I support that,” he said.