President Obama is “making the right decision” to hold off on executive action on immigration until after November’s midterm elections, Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerPanic begins to creep into Democratic talks on Biden agenda Democrats surprised, caught off guard by 'framework' deal Schumer announces Senate-House deal on tax 'framework' for .5T package MORE (D-Va.) said on Monday.
“A big issue like immigration, the best way to get a comprehensive solution is to take this through the legislative process,” Warner told reporters on Monday after appearing at a campaign forum in Reston, Va.
A delay until later this year gives lawmakers space “to try to build the legislative support," he added.
Over the weekend, the White House announced that Obama will hold off on the action due to political pressure on vulnerable Senate Democrats in Louisiana, Arkansas and other states. The news was met with a chorus of criticism from immigration activists who had pressed Obama to move forward quickly, as well as from congressional Republicans who said the move was an obvious political play.
Warner was a supporter of the Senate’s comprehensive immigration bill last year, but he said he was “troubled” by executive action on its own.
The White House’s delay could give Congress more time to consolidate the voices in support of reform, he indicated.
“I’m not sure you can be as comprehensive as we need to be without legislation,” he said.
Warner is running ahead in his race for reelection against former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie (R).