Schumer angers Latino group with suggestion to delay immigration changes until 2017

McClatchy InteractiveFebruary 9, 2014 

US NEWS CVN-DEMOCRATS 65 MCT

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

HARRY E. WALKER — MCT

Senate Democratic Policy Committee Chairman Charles Schumer has angered some Latino groups after suggesting Sunday that Congress could delay implementation of any passed immigration legislation. He made the suggestion on NBC’s "Meet the Press" in response to Republican House leaders' statements that President Barack Obama can't be trusted to enforce new immigration laws.

Schumer is one of the architect’s of the Senate immigration bill that would provide many of the 11 million illegal immigrants a path to citizenship. For him, the suggestion to delay implementation until Obama was out of office was a way to keep the immigration debate alive after House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Republicans don’t want to work with Obama.

But some Latino groups see it as a cop out by Democrats and charged Schumer with lacking a backbone.

The group, Latino Rebels, published a critical commentary following the appearance warning Democrats that the U.S. Latino vote is not a lock and that its time to stand up to Republicans.

“A note to the Democrats: stop leading with fear of Republicans and stop playing the U.S. Latino community,” wrote the authors. “Don’t assume that we will side with you because the other team doesn’t get it. Democrats need to lead and be bold right now. Call the GOP’s bluff, because that is what it is, a bluff.”

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