In another affirmation of the truism, “You can’t fool all of the people all of the time,” President Obama’s base has noticed that his promise to push through an amnesty bill looks pretty hollow. “Thirty-seven words,” writes Ruben Navarrette Jr for CNN, “In this week’s State of the Union address — which was more than 7,000 words long and lasted longer than an hour — all President Obama devoted to the issue of immigration reform was 37 measly words.”
Ruben is right. Something is afoot.
The White House commitment to amnesty is anemic.
Loss of appetite for amnesty does not end with Obama. The President expects the Congress to lead. Speaker Pelosi has already said the House won’t take up the bill unless the Senate passes it. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY has so little confidence in his bill that he would not bring it to the floor before Christmas out fear members would be savaged over the proposed legislation during the holiday break. The best guess is that they will throw something on the floor this spring, watch it die a quick death, and then claim: they tried.
Apparently, not everyone on the left thinks that is a good idea. Topping the list is Markos Moulitsas of the Daily Kos. He wrote a commentary for The Hill arguing the best way for the progressive cause to regain momentum is to push through a massive amnesty bill. He is dead wrong.
There are three reasons amnesty is not likely to happen—reasons that explain why Obama should rightly have a limited appetite for anything related to immigration reform.
1. The bill is a really bad idea. An amnesty bill won’t solve the problem of illegal immigration. It will just make it worse. We know that for a fact. That is exactly what happened in 1986.
2. The notion that this is a winnable issue for the Congress is, pardon me, laughable. Pelosi can get any bill she wants passed in the House. All she needs is 218 votes. The Democrats control 256. She won’t move on immigration because she knows members will get hammered by the American people for endorsing amnesty.
3. It is wrong to frame immigration reform as a left-right issue and assert that liberals want to solve the problem and conservatives do not. The Heritage Foundation, for example, has been a strong proponent of honest and sensible reforms.
No, Obama will walk away from amnesty because politically it’s a loser for him.
Sadly, the issue will only get solved when the White House quits playing politics with immigration and adopts the security, enforcement, citizenship, and workplace reforms needed to get employers the workers they need; protect US sovereignty and security; respect the rule of law; and address the issue of those unlawfully here in a rationale and compassionate manner.
Massive amnesty is not practical, rationale, compassionate, or fair. It’s a bad place to start.