While there seems to be an apoplectic reaction to Obama’s executive order on immigration, it would behoove conservatives to keep a cool head. First, virtually every legal scholar on the Left and the Right agree his actions are absolutely legal. That being said, because one has the power is not a grant to indiscriminately use that power. No one begrudges any president using their executive authority in times of emergency, but no such “emergency” requiring immediate presidential action was required here. That should be the message going forward. Threats of impeachment or legal action should be held in check.
Instead, the Republican Party and conservatives need to make the case that this action was a major power grab by the Executive and continue highlighting the hypocrisy of the Obama administration here and in other contexts. Some have characterized this as essentially delivering a potential 4-5 million votes to the Democratic Party in future elections. First, the illegal immigrants granted this amnesty are not citizens and thus not eligible to vote or register just because they may have a social security number. Let’s assume a worst case scenario where a majority do gain citizenship status. Nothing guarantees that they will all vote Democratic. The GOP needs to continue their outreach to the Hispanic community- legal and otherwise- that their policies benefit all. That includes tax reform, job creation, education, national security, etc. Secondly, the illegal population is not uniformly spread throughout the United States but largely concentrated in the Southwest and metropolitan areas elsewhere. Even in the Southwest, they cluster in areas that voted Democratic before their arrival. We are also making an erroneous assumption they would be Democratic automatons. Ask Wendy Davis how well that worked out in Texas.
Third, there was mention of increased border security efforts. That’s great news- now hold Obama’s feet to the fire. If this action encourages a new wave of illegal immigrants, they should be immediately returned to their home countries with no questions asked.
Finally, it is best to keep in mind that this executive order can easily be rescinded by the next president after being sworn in in 2017. While we are railing about 4-5 million people being granted amnesty, my guess is that the number will fall short of that total. This could very well be a temporary thing that any illegal immigrant will not want to take advantage of. If I were an illegal immigrant, I would think long and hard before taking advantage. Once out of the shadows, there is a spotlight on you and that spotlight could get a whole brighter in 2017. It is like a bunch of illegal immigrants protesting in Los Angeles and the government flying in with helicopters and huge nets.
It should also be noted that Obama has provided the Republican Party with a huge issue in 2016. Its doubtful that any immigration reform law will be passed by the 114th Congress. If this amnesty was achieved through bipartisan legislation, the Democratic Party would have been in a better position come 2016- if the Republicans message this correctly.
This is not the end of the world. What Obama did can just as easily be undone with the stroke of a pen in 2017. Incidentally, it could have been done sooner and more effectively through legislation passed by Congress. In short, Obama has made his bed and now has to lie in it. With only 38% of the population agreeing with this action according to most polls, it is not going away as an issue. About the only thing [mc_name name=’Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000146′ ] accomplished was getting Obama nominees confirmed and that took a rule change. If there is but an iota of controversy surrounding any nominee, good luck getting them confirmed by a Republican Senate. And that should be the first and smallest bullet in the GOP’s arsenal.
- Keep a cool head;
- No talk about impeachment;
- If someone other than the national GOP wants to challenge this legally, let them;
- Stress not the lawlessness of this action, but the fact it was unnecessary;
- Continue outreach to the Hispanic community stressing Republican ideals and recruit Hispanic candidates;
- Hold Obama’s feet to the fire on border security;
- Make sure the illegal community is aware this is a temporary situation that could be rescinded in 2017 in order to effectively discourage participation in the program;
- Use the next two years to formulate a workable immigration reform package that has a realistic chance of passage that addresses all issues;
- Use this to maximum political advantage in 2016;
- Use your Advise and Consent powers in the Senate to thwart the Obama agenda as well as the power of the purse in this area and others.