US & Canada

Obama delays immigration reform plan

Nubia Jimenez, eight, makes fists in the air during a rally in San Diego, 16 August Image copyright EPA

US President Barack Obama has abandoned a plan to force through immigration reform in the coming weeks.

In June, he promised to use executive orders that were expected to change visa rules, boost border security and give a path to citizenship for some 11 million US-based illegal immigrants.

But the White House says the plans have been shelved until after mid-term elections in November.

Each year tens of thousands try to get into the US from Mexico.

Many are unaccompanied children, and Mr Obama has called the situation a "humanitarian crisis".

Mr Obama has spent years promising immigration reform, but has been thwarted by Republicans in Congress.

White House officials said on Saturday that the Republicans' "extreme politicisation of this issue" meant it would be harmful to the long-term prospects for reform to take action before the election.

Officials said immigration reform would still be forced through before the end of the year.

Analysts say the move is likely to benefit some Democrats up for re-election in November in closely fought seats.

But immigration advocacy group United We Dream called the delay a "slap to the face of the Latino and immigrant community".

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