Obama defends decision to delay immigration action

President Barack Obama is defending his decision to delay taking executive action on immigration until after November’s congressional elections.

In an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Obama denies that his decision was political. He blamed the altered timetable on the immigration crisis this summer in which tens of thousands of unaccompanied Central American children crossed into the U.S. through Mexico.

Obama had earlier pledged to take action by the end of the summer. But he has been under pressure from Democrats nervous about how any action taken before November would affect their campaigns.

In the interview airing Sunday, Obama says he still intends to act if Congress does not.

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He says delay will allow him to explain to the public why executive action is right for the country.

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