Democrats to White House: Immigration's your call

“The timing of it is entirely up to him,” Durbin spokesman Ben Marter said of the president.

Democrats are trying to shift focus back to the Republican controlled House, where Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has already told Obama he has no plans to act on immigration this year.

“If House Republicans would just do their job and pass an immigration reform bill that fixes a broken system, then we wouldn’t even be having this conversation,” said Reid spokesman Adam Jentleson, who declined to comment further.

(Also on POLITICO: The ‘amnesty’ card: GOP launches 2014 border war)

Added a Schumer spokesman: “The president would not be forced to even contemplate taking independent action to cope with our broken system had House Republicans not spent more than a year blocking the Senate’s already-passed bipartisan immigration reform legislation.” The spokesman also declined to weigh in further.