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Immigrants’ rights leaders say executive action by the president would energize Latino and Asian voters, as happened before the 2012 election when Obama deferred deportations for young immigrants. However, it also could mobilize conservative voters.

Frustration has spilled over onto some of Obama’s allies in Congress. Protesters from California were arrested last week after swarming the offices of Democratic Reps. Loretta Sanchez and Xavier Becerra to push toward stronger action.

“We’re doing everything that we can,” Sanchez later complained. “So when they come and they pressure us it’s almost like, ‘Guys, we understand where you’re coming from, but what we need to do is we need to get a vote out of” House Speaker John Boehner. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said activists were giving “a gift to the Republicans” by targeting Obama instead of the GOP.

Obama expressed a similar complaint at a meeting with immigration rights groups last month, asking officials present to give him 90 more days and meantime keep the focus on the GOP. Participants portrayed a president getting drawn reluctantly into contemplating executive action and focused, at least initially, on smaller steps that he told them would likely not satisfy them.

That meeting, and Obama’s announcement of a review by Johnson, came shortly after Janet Murguia, head of the National Council of La Raza, labeled Obama “deporter in chief.”

Now activists are waiting for Obama’s next step.

“The pressure for sure is working, and I think the question is how bold are they ready to go,” said Marielena Hincapie, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center. “The hard part is this is not a bold administration, and especially on immigration where the focus has been on legislation.”