Thursday, November 20, 2014

Will anybody be pleased with presidential action on immigration?

President Barack Obama will be in Las Vegas Thursday, where he is to make public his proposal to implement at least partial immigration reform despite the hostile objections of ideologue-inclined Republicans.

As one who has an interest in the issue of our nation’s immigration policies, I’ll be waiting to see what the president has to say tonight.

BUT WHILE MANY political pundits and observers are getting all worked up over what they’re claiming will be a grotesque abuse of political power on behalf of people they’d sooner see removed from the nation, I’m wondering if the result of what we get is going to be something so weak and miniscule that “lame” would be the most accurate way to describe it.

Of course, doing anything at all will offend the ideologues. So to be honest, I don’t care what they have to say later Thursday and in coming days and weeks. They’ve been upset ever since the day Obama first considered running for president. There’s no pleasing them.

Thus far, Obama has refused during his presidency to push for serious immigration reform. Republicans in Congress have made their opposition known, and Obama has been willing to defer to them.

That is why the growing Latino population in this country is becoming less and less supportive of the president. Although to be honest, it should be said that the strong shares of the Latino electorate that Obama took in 2008 and 2012 election cycles were more about showing contempt for the Republican challengers than any real support for Obama.

I WON’T BE surprised if any GOP response to what Obama does Thursday night will wind up offending Latino voters to the extent that they will back whomever Democrats nominate for president over any Republican candidate!

But what will the president do? I honestly believe he’s still going to try to cater to the opposition’s hostility by crafting a proposal that will be miniscule and impact as few individuals as possible.

Thus far, Obama used his “executive order” powers to protect from the threat of deportation young people who were born elsewhere, but have lived the bulk of their lives in the United States. I have heard one theory that he could extend such protection to their parents.

Which is nice; it’s cute. But it’s still far short of fixing the bureaucratic mess that is our immigration policy. There will still be many millions of people being impacted negatively. All because some people want federal law to reinforce their own personal ethnic and racial hang-ups, rather than serve the nation’s needs.

THE COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION reform measure that has been discussed in Congress for years is the way to go because it would resolve the mess in one shot – rather than piecemeal. Having congressional action and presidential approval would be best for a permanent solution.

The flaw of an executive order is that any future president can repeal it at his or her whim. And you just know there will be an ideologically-inclined future occupant of the White House who will make it Priority One to do so.

Which would put a few million people in an even more precarious position than they are already in! That would be the ‘negative’ that the Latino electorate would be inclined to hold against the Obama administration’s legacy.

Admittedly, it is better to see Obama take some sort of action on Thursday rather than do nothing – which is the advice way too many conservative-oriented political observers want him to follow because it means their interests prevail.

BUT DEPENDING ON how wide-ranging his latest action will be will determine whether or not the president is doing the right thing.

Because the last thing anybody in our society needs is some sort of presidential action meant to create a political talking point that allows Obama to say he did something on immigration reform – without actually creating a policy that benefitted anybody.


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