Friday, November 21, 2014

Good substance, bad precedent

If I understand it correctly, in order to qualify for Obama’s offer not to deport illegal immigrants (for two years while he is still in office) they would have to voluntarily turn themselves in to Immigration and Customs and apply for status.  Why would they do that?  What one president can grant by executive mandate another can certainly take away, and in the process of taking it away that next  president would have all the info needed to deport all of those who signed up for Obama’s deal.

Sounds like a very big risk to me.  The only way illegals would rationally become visible should be to get a change in legal status, i.e. a path to citizenship, which this Obama offer does not present, if I understand correctly.  That requires Congress to pass a law which does that, and apparently Obama’s very public executive action has guaranteed that Congress will not be able to negotiate a deal out of fierce Republican reaction to what they see as an abuse of Presidential authority.  Of course, the chances of the Republicans every successfully negotiating a deal on immigration has always been pretty close to zero, so…

So, Obama’s big immigration move, designed to be compassionate to immigrants, could actually put them at much greater risk than they already are in.  Of course, it would be a very big incentive for the Hispanic community to vote Democratic in the next presidential election, to keep a Ted Cruz type anti-immigrant Republican from rounding up all those who exposed themselves, but does this mean that Obama’s compassion is really little more than a way to use these people to elect the next president? 

Speaking of political motives, is Obama putting out bait to draw the Obama-haters into a stupid attempt to impeach him in hopes that it would so damage the Republican brand that the Democrats will ascend in 2016? 

Not sure I would recommend anyone signing up and exposing themselves for a two year exemption from deportation that could be overturned by the next president - then, adios amigo.

By the way, if Obama can do this on what he considers to be a very important thing, which he cannot get Congress to act on, doesn’t that open the door for a Republican president doing the same thing on abortion, or on access to abortion clinics, or open carry gun laws, or school prayer, or privatization of public schools, or whatever? 

I think the chances of a Republican president in 2016 are very low (it take more than white men to elect a president), but I’m still not sure I like this action by this president. 

I agree with the substance of what he is doing but I think it needs to be the Congress that makes immigration law.  This looks like a bad precedent to me.