WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama is returning Tuesday to the city where he says he first forged his ties to the Latino community to pitch his new executive actions on immigration.
Obama was headed to his adopted hometown of Chicago, trying to seize the advantage in the heated dispute over the contentious issue of immigration while Congress is on a holiday recess and Republicans scramble to coalesce behind a unified opposition strategy. Obama’s announced last week he would break Washington’s immigration stalemate by protecting nearly 5 million immigrants from deportation by offering them work permits.
The president was scheduled to speak to Chicago community leaders, part of an ongoing effort to defend and promote his decision to bypass Congress.
Obama’s unilateral move has incensed Republicans, who must strike a delicate balance in their response: an overheated reaction could alienate the rapidly growing Latino block of voters ahead of the 2016 presidential election, but a lukewarm one could leave their conservative base feeling left out in the cold. Republicans, emboldened by sweeping victories in this month’s congressional elections, have vowed to rein Obama in, but have not fallen behind any specific plan.