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After immigration punt, Obama to make his case to Hispanic Caucus

President Obama will headline the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s (CHCI) annual awards dinner next week as he looks to repair relations with the community following the decision to punt executive action on immigration reform to after the midterm elections.

The speech a week from Thursday will be the fifth time in the last seven years Obama has appeared at the event, where this year journalist José Díaz-Balart and labor activist Eliseo Medina will receive awards.

{mosads}”CHCI is proud to once again welcome President Obama to our 37th Annual Awards Gala on October 2nd,” said Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (D-Texas) said in a statement. “His attendance reflects his ongoing commitment to the Latino community and to the future Latino and Latina leaders that CHCI works so hard to develop each year.”

The event will be an opportunity for Obama to explain his decision to delay executive action on immigration until after November, despite initially pledging to do so by the end of summer.

White House officials have said Obama was concerned that moving before the midterm elections would make reform a partisan issue and polarize support against it, although Senate Democrats locked in tough reelection battles had also begged Obama to hold off.

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.), a CHC member, accused Obama of “walking away from our values and our principles” with the delay in an interview with ABC News.

“I’ve called the president, called the White House — I expect that we will be meeting this week so that we can continue,” Gutiérrez said. “So I’m going to go back to the drawing board. And I’m going to continue to work with this administration. I’m not going to give up, because we have good public policy.”

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll of Latino registered voters released earlier this month showed a stark drop in support for Obama.

Forty-seven percent of Hispanic voters approve of the president’s performance, down 15 percentage points from April 2013. Fewer than three in 10 Latino voters described themselves as feeling “very positive” about Obama.

In a Pew Research poll also released this month, a majority of Hispanic Democrats, 52 percent, said their party wasn’t doing a good job on immigration issues.

This post was updated at 7:30 p.m. 

Tags CHC Congressional Hispanic Caucus Immigration reform Luis Gutierrez Ruben Hinojosa
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