End of the year? By Christmas? By Thanksgiving?
There seems to be some disagreement among the supporters of immigration rights as to when, exactly, President Barack Obama will step in with his promised unilateral action.
But overall, frustrated advocates seemed more optimistic Thursday after a clear-the-air session with White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough.
McDonough told reporters that the president would act on immigration “before the end of the year” as he left a meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
CHC Whip Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., said McDonough told them the president would act “by the holiday season.”
Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez, D-Ill. who attended the meeting, talked about a "Thanksgiving blessing" a day earlier in an interview on MSNBC, but on Thursday, he was referring to a "holiday season" deadline as well.
“We are moving forward. And this will be a season, the season, you know, I’ve said this: The holiday season must be a blessing for millions of undocumented families across America,” Gutiérrez said, “where they too can, you know, reap the rewards of their bountiful work for the year."
The talk of immigration action around the holidays mirrored a statement by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Thursday that there would be movement “by Thanksgiving or Christmas.”
The CHC members said they expressed their frustration with the president delaying action until after the November elections.
“There were a range of emotions expressed, including frustration and anger,” Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, said.
The members leaving the meeting would not talk in detail about how exactly McDonough said the president is willing to address the immigration system.
However, one member, who asked to speak on background to discuss the meeting, said it was clear “the president’s going to go as far as he can under the law."
Gutiérrez and other advocates have suggested the president has the authority to at least temporarily defer the deportation of up to as many as 5 million of the nation's estimated 11 million illegal immigrants.
CHC members will convene Tuesday to discuss their official caucus response to the immigration developments.