Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Will Obama get in the way of immigration reform?

President Obama will follow yesterday's unveiling of a strong bipartisan immigration reform plan with some thoughts of his own today in Las Vegas. He's expected to applaud the reform principles discussed by a group of eight senators yesterday, and he's going to add some improvements he thinks should be a part of any reform legislation. Conservatives are already bristling. Immigration advocates are already fretting. Will the president kill immigration reform by butting in? 

Probably not. Obama will make sure today to praise the general principles laid out Monday, most notably the call for a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants without criminal records. That proposed path has scuttled previous attempts to overhaul immigration, and it's still a thorny point with Republicans. Obama should and likely will acknowledge progress.
But according to reports, Obama will call for even more. He wants undocumented workers and students to have an even quicker route to a green card. And like us, he's wary about a proposal that a commission of governors and other Southwest state leaders would get to declare the border secure before the path to citizenship can begin for illegal immigrants. It's not hard to imagine Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer taking a very long time to give that kind of nod.

So expect Obama to call for more thorough overhaul - a quicker and easier path for many illegal immigrants to citizenship, and perhaps a less open-ended definition of what makes a border secure. We wish he'd made this pitch in his first four years instead of cowing to politics and opening the door for states to pass their own, harsh immigration laws, but as a second-termer, he's unburdened. 
So expect a full-throated pitch effort to take the bipartisan plan even further. By doing so, Obama accomplishes a few things.  He reminds Latinos - and Latino voters - which party has been on their side all along. And by asking for more than the group of Senators, he helps make their proposals more centrist and palatable to conservatives. 
Yes, you'll hear the requisite Republican barking today about Obama's proposals, but ultimately it won't be enough to do any real damage to reform. Because although Democrats have long wanted immigration reform, Republicans need it more now than anyone.  
Peter St. Onge


Europeanexpat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Europeanexpat said...

Knowing Obama, he will demand immediate citizenship for 11 million undocumented Democrats because in his mind it is a human right. And of course then he'll institute cuts to border security that might stop or slow down the influx of new voters. At that point "fundamental transformation" of America will be complete

Unknown said...

This is already a joke. You have folk who have become citizens the right way, which takes years and now the govt does this back door move to allow illegals who brokes laws to become citizens.

I'm not even going to gripe about it becuase my opinion wont mean much in the end but I just hope that my increased taxes dont go to fund anything for those who are not citizens or who don't pay their own share.

Tandemfusion said...

I disagree.

It certainly appears that he dislikes bipartisan approaches to virtually any issue. I see no reason to believe that has changed or is changing, and this issue more than most is of little real consequence to him ideologically. The result is, I suspect, that he will once again maneuver to make the Republican party appear to be a force that must be marginalized or eliminated.

Virtually every modern president has forged strategic alliances with select members of the opposition party in order to obtain bipartisan support for his policies. Obama is alone in not having done so. Instead he has publicly insulted and demeaned Republican leaders in a very personal fashion -action which is virtually guaranteed to prevent the alliances that make real bipartisan action possible. When bipartisan action has appeared within reach he has taken direct action to scuttle it -insisting at the 11th hour on provisions that he KNOWS won't be acceptable, after Democrats and Republicans have already reached compromise agreement There is almost no trust left between the President and Republican members of Congress as a result.

To call for change to what they've reached after having engaged NEITHER SIDE on the issue previously is precisely what he has done in the past in order to sink bipartisan deals. There is little reason to believe that he's not doing so again.

In that environment
I don't believe that he
I wish I were wrong, but I suspect I am not.

WashuOtaku said...

I am all for a path to citizenship for people, but do not believe people that entered the country illegally should be able to leap frog people that have been doing it the right way. I know this personally because it took my mother five years to get her U.S. Citizenship even though she was already living in the country for thirty years. Why did it take so long, dunno, but maybe they should do something to improve upon the system instead of it taking years to produce.

I believe the goal should be something that will last for years and not something we have to visit again in thirty years for another generation. Hopefully the President will not do something to scuttle this at the get-go.

Matt M said...

It will bankrupt Social Security and Medicaid. So, don't be surprised when SSN goes into the red in 5 years and all recipients are forced to take the already mandated 25% reduction in benefits.

Michael Snyder said...

I believe that illegal aliens should not be given the opportunity to become citizens until they have completed their civic duty and paid all back income taxes from the time they started working. Until then they cannot work and cannot become citizens.

Ghoul said...

I know a good portion of the illegal immigrants are felons. Its a felony for a male US resident (not citizen, but anyone living here not on a foreign Visa) ages 18-36 to register for the draft. Maybe with the Sec of Defense's position on women in combat, that will be made into men and women, but that's another debate.

I could not get into a state school without showing my selective service card, so how are there Dream Actors getting by without showing theirs?

Skippy said...

ANd if anyone one of you think that President Fast and Furious will push to secure the border, then you might be a liberal.

par said...

Obama gets in the way of everything.

CommonSense said...

Is it really a surprise to anyone that Obama is now acting even more pompous and divisive??? As usual, Obama is cherry picking to whom our laws apply. Last time I checked, that's called discrimination. Oh, but he's Obama and therefore, according to the media, that's ok….my bad.

CommonSense said...

Is it really a surprise to anyone that Obama is now acting even more pompous and divisive??? As usual, Obama is cherry picking to whom our laws apply. Last time I checked, that's called discrimination. Oh, but he's Obama and therefore, according to the media, that's ok….my bad.

Wiley Coyote said...

Obama has gotten in the way of everything else, why should immigration be any different?