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Obama Explains Delaying Action on Immigration Until After Elections

FILE - President Barack Obama speaks in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington.

U.S. President Barack Obama says his delaying executive action on immigration until after November elections is not a political move.

Obama said it was not about keeping Democrats in control of the U.S. Senate, but about making sure any action he took on immigration is done correctly and that it was sustainable.

Speaking on NBC television's Meet the Press program, the president said the delay was partially because, contrary to public opinion, immigration was not a crisis. He said far fewer people were being apprehended coming across the southern border than were a decade ago.

The president said many Americans have become convinced the situation was a crisis because they were not being given all the facts.

Obama said in terms of unaccompanied children, the United States has systematically worked through the problem. He said the surge dropped in June, in July and dropped further in August. The president added the number of unaccompanied minors crossing the southern border in the United States was now below where it was a year ago.