If there were anything holding him back up to this point, it was either that he was facing re-election or he was somewhat hesitant to weaken Democratic chances in an election year that would determine the composition of Congress during his last two years in office.
But his name won’t be on the ballot in 2016 and he won’t have to deal with the Congress that gets elected that year, either. This means he has every reason to take more aggressive executive actions.
Having failed to pass comprehensive immigration legislation, the White House has said Obama plans to take executive action on the issue after the election. Though it’s not clear what exactly he has in mind, the politics are obvious.
Any Republican criticism of such action — especially among GOP presidential candidates seeking to appeal to conservative primary voters — will be portrayed as anti-Hispanic ahead of the 2016 election, when the Hispanic vote will play a much larger role than it has in this year’s midterms.