President Obama's unilateral immigration action will backfire
According to news reports, President Obama will take executive action on immigration rather than sit down with Congress. The Washington Post reported on Friday that President Obama is ready to go:
"Obama aides have discussed a range of options that could provide legal protections and work permits to a significant portion of the nation’s more than 11 million undocumented residents, said Democratic lawmakers and immigrant advocates who have met recently with White House officials. Ideas under consideration could include temporary relief for law-abiding undocumented immigrants who are closely related to U.S. citizens or those who have lived in the country a certain number of years — a population that advocates say could reach as high as 5 million."
The conventional wisdom is that President Obama will energize Hispanics and maybe help some Democrats in close contests like Colorado.
Yes, some Hispanics will applaud, but the net balance will be negative for President and specially Democrats. I have spoken to many Hispanics about this issue. There is concern for the children but also about the chaos that we are watching nightly.
First, the immigration debate has changed since the "kids on the border" crisis. In fact, the recent crisis demonstrates that our border is not secured.
Second, many Democrats have warned the Obama White House that such executive action will hurt them in places like Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina and other red states.
Third, President Obama will also energize the GOP and centrists. In other words, there are lots of people like me who supported a modest immigration plan who will refuse anything until the border is secure and the rule of law is back.
My guess is that it's too late for President Obama to back down. He's deeply invested in the politics of fear and demonizing of the GOP. He's got nothing left but to energize his base.
In the meantime, this is not good for the country!