Obama adviser: Timing of immigration executive fiat was political

Newsmax — President Barack Obama’s decision to take executive action on immigration reform after the November midterm elections was a political move designed to not disrupt the elections, according to one of his advisers.

Dan Pfeiffer, a senior advisor to the president, told The Huffington Post the timing of the move was carefully constructed.

“I think that was the right decision. It was a tough decision,” Pfeiffer said during a wide-ranging video interview with two reporters from the website. “If we had done it in the middle of the election, it would have been like the middle of a firestorm. If we had had the same results, then forever more people would say, ‘We lost all these Senate seats because of immigration. Immigration is poison, we shall therefore never try to do immigration again.'”

Pfeiffer said the tight Senate and House races across the country, which eventually led to Republicans picking up nine seats to take control of the chamber, played a major role in the decision to delay immigration reform until after Nov. 4.

“Washington judges you in an election year by one thing: What are your results in the election? We had drawn a very, very tough hand with really, really hard states,” Pfeiffer said. “We were in this terrible dynamic, the worst dynamic you can be in in politics, where everything we say Republicans criticized us because that’s their job. But then you have a handful of Democrats who get a lot of press attention because they’re in races, who feel it’s in their political interest to criticize the president. So we’re constantly in a crossfire.

“And so everything we did until that dynamic was over was seen as messy and terrible. If we had done immigration or even the China climate deal before that had been possible, before the election, every story would have been, ‘How does this affect Mark Pryor, Mary Landrieu, Kay Hagen, Mark Udall?’ And not like, ‘Here’s the good thing it is for the country.'”

Obama’s immigration directive last month granted amnesty to as many as 5 million illegal immigrants currently living in the United States.