President Barack Obama’s determination to act alone to change the immigration system promptly drove a wedge Wednesday into the post-election commitment from the president and Republican leaders to find common ground under the new political alignment.
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Obama defiantly stood by his pledge to act on his own to reduce deportations, grant work permits and improve border security by the end of the year despite resounding election victories by Republicans strongly opposed to his plans. The Senate’s likely majority leader next year, Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., declared that such a move would amount to “waving a red flag in front of a bull.”
On a day when both sides tried to herald a new era of potential compromise, immigration stood out not only as a single obstacle to bipartisanship but as a sign that the hard-fought election and the heavy Democratic losses had not pushed partisan sparring aside.