Bipartisan support for immigration delay

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) agreed Sunday that President Obama is right to delay taking executive action on immigration reform.

Their comments came days after the White House refused to commit to a timeline on immigration action. Obama earlier in the year had said that he would do something by the end of the summer. Some of the actions reportedly under consideration at the White House include reducing or delaying deportations.

Both Cole and Richardson agreed that the delay was smart, though likely political.

“The president’s never going to get immigration legislation when he acts unilaterally,” Cole said on ABC’s “Face the Nation.” “He’s undercutting congressional authority, and he is breeding enormous distrust on the other side.”

Cole called the decision to pull back “wise,” though he speculated it was probably a tactical decision.

“If he wants a bill before the end of his presidency, he won’t act unilaterally, he’ll actually work with Congress,” he said.

Richardson said politics are probably behind the delay, since some vulnerable Democrats up for reelection, like Sens. Mark Begich (Alaska) and Kay Hagan (N.C.), are coming out against Obama’s actions.

But Richardson also said Obama should move forward at some point, since Congress likely won’t.

“Policy-wise, it makes sense, because the Congress has been unable to pass comprehensive immigration. Not just pass it, but not even consider it,” he said.