The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) will meet with White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough Thursday to discuss next steps after Obama's delay on immigration executive action, three sources close to the CHC told BuzzFeed News.
After bitter disappointment from activists and some Democrats, the CHC will go further too, asking for a public promise with a specific date on timing of the administrative actions and specifics on what they will entail, according to a source who was briefed on the plans by a CHC member.
"They will seek assurances on how and when the president will keep his promise," the source said.
The source, who characterized the CHC members as angry over the president's delay, said they believe Department of Homeland Security Chief Jeh Johnson was on their side in wanting the president's actions and enforcement priorities announced before the election, but obviously the administration was not on the same page.
There is no external indication the administration will placate the Latino lawmakers by boxing themselves in to specific dates and details of the coming executive actions.
CHC members either did not know about the president's delay beforehand or were given very short notice.
"We should be getting it done now instead of after the election. Yes, of course we're disappointed with the president as the entire immigrant communities, all communities, are disappointed with the House of Representatives for refusing to bring this up," Rep. Loretta Sanchez said on CNN Monday.
A source close to a prominent CHC member said he only found out in a phone call from Obama on Friday night, hours before the Saturday morning announcement.
On Wednesday, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, an outspoken CHC member took to the House floor laying out his disagreement with the president's decision but also the situation in front of Republicans.
"I have made it clear that from a political standpoint in the short-run and the long-run, I think the president should have taken action before Election Day," he said, adding, "I know the president has heard all of these arguments and I don't think I will convince him to change his mind — again — and move forward with key improvements to our deportation policies before Nov. 4."
But he said big, sweeping actions to slow deportations should prod the GOP to act.
"This time, I see the president acting first. Laying out a broad array of executive actions to mitigate the damage that is being done to the country by congressional inaction on immigration reform."
"If the Republicans are so inclined, they can take legislative action. It is what we have been begging you to do for two decades on this issue," he said.
Obama knew he would take heat for delaying administrative actions because of the political climate around immigration ahead of the November midterm elections, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said this week.
Still, the response has been pointed, with a narrative emerging that it is never politically convenient for the administration to help Latinos, by exasperated activists who feel the president has not lived up to his promises over and over again.
One such activist, DREAMer Erika Andiola, said she doesn't want the Latino lawmakers to let the president off the hook with lowered demands after the election. If anything, she said the urgency is the same with more than 1,000 deportations per day hitting the undocumented immigrant community.
"I'm worried they're going to lower demands — the demands are still the same — relief for millions of people," she said.
Adrian Carrasquillo is the White House correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.
Contact Adrian Carrasquillo at email@example.com.
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