Obama just did something dramatically reckless. I’m sure you’ve stumbled upon the news. Here’s the headline from the Wall Street Journal: “U.S. to Stop Deporting Some Illegal Immigrants”
I could attack this from the anti-immigration camp, but I think it’s more effective to establish how this will hurt all immigrants Obama promises to help under this plan.
1. Limited Applicability.
To qualify for “deferred action” on immigration status, an unlawful immigrant must have arrived int he United States before the age of sixteen, be not more than 30 years old, and have lived in the country at least 5 years continuously before the Proclamation. That means a person must be born outside the USA after June 15 1982 and before June 15, 2007, AND have arrived in the USA before age 16 (and prove it).
2. Tricky gaps in coverage.
Any person who arrived in the USA after Obama was inaugurated is not eligible for this deferment. Neither is anybody born before Ronald Reagan became president.
The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (made law under Reagan) applies to anybody in the country after January 1, 1982. So, there’s a 5 1/2 month gap between the coverage of Obama’s Proclamation and that act. If you’re born outside the USA January 2, 1982, you’re screwed.
3. The Proclamation has no force of law.
When Romney becomes President in January, this deferment may vanish overnight. At that point, every single resident alien could be deported immediately, or perhaps face deportation as soon as the 2-year work permit expires. At that point, the US government will have a list of every immigrant and immigrant’s employer and there will be no hiding.
4. Obama’s only reliable constituency is black-skinned Americans.
That population fears Hispanic immigrants more than whites, and that group’s employment is most impacted by Hispanic immigration. When (not if) the Hispanic population is deported, the black-skinned American vote will count for more. Obama knows he will lose this election. He’s hoping to win the next Presidential election by blaming the inevitable deportations on a Republican president. This leaves the next Republican President one option: grant citizenship to those hispanic immigrants. Obama is betting he won’t.
5. The move is obviously political.
Obama could have made this immigration proclamation the day he arrived in office. He didn’t because he doesn’t give a fuck about Hispanics. The President wants to leave a stink-bomb for the next President. If Obama gets elected, he will be unable to extend this deferment, and will accelerate deportation of Hispanics, all the while claiming that Republicans are making him do it.