The conventional wisdom among conservatives is that if President Obama wins a second term, things on the immigration policy front will become worse. But it’s difficult to see how the situation could become much worse when the state of immigration in the US today is in chaos and disarray, with no foreseeable political will to fix it.
Republicans are much more divided on immigration than Democrats. Many pro-business GOPers support lax immigration enforcement and full or partial amnesty for illegal aliens already in the country. Rank-and-file Republicans and Tea Party supporters tend to take a harder line on immigration, favoring more aggressive enforcement of existing laws. They want illegals deported.
And decades of liberal immigration policies have taken their toll on border-state politicians. Even GOP governors have felt the need to run to the left on immigration issues at election time.
A case in point is the leading Republican contender for the presidency, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, whose stance on immigration isn’t much different than Obama’s.
Some of Perry’s policy positions as a governor are almost the mirror image of Obama’s. In 2001 Perry implemented a Lone Star State version of national Democrats’ proposed DREAM Act in Texas. It gave students with three years residency in Texas in-state tuition rates.
In one important respect it is an apples-and-oranges comparison. Obama favors giving illegal aliens a so-called path to citizenship. Perry doesn’t — and couldn’t — because immigration and naturalization are federal matters.
Nonetheless Perry’s similarity to Obama on this hot-button issue is already making some segments of the Tea Party movement uncomfortable with the otherwise appealing candidate.
Perry has assured conservatives that his support for the Texas-style DREAM Act was a one-shot deal and that he won’t enact similar legislation at the federal level.
But the point is arguably moot.
Obama’s recently unveiled federal DREAM Act-by-fiat provides relief from deportation using criteria that largely mirror the proposed federal DREAM Act. Like all amnesties it rewards lawbreaking and serves as a flashing green light to would-be illegal immigrants, inviting them to jump the queue. Amnesties beget amnesties. Each one increases the likelihood that another immigration amnesty will follow in the future – and so on and so on and so on.
Despite this slippery political maneuver President Obama is deporting record numbers of illegals. He’s sent close to 400,000 undocumented migrants packing in each of the last two years. The 400,000 figure is almost 10 percent more than President Bush deported in 2008 and 25 percent more than Bush sent home in 2007.
Obama’s uncharacteristic interest in enforcing the nation’s laws by booting illegals out of the country has earned him the scorn of pro-open borders left-wingers like Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL). The radical congressman deliberately got himself arrested while protesting Obama’s policy on deportations outside the White House in July before the president’s targeted amnesty was announced.
But critics like Gutierrez are delighted with other aspects of Obama’s approach to immigration. Under Obama, the federal government has taken the bizarre step of joining a foreign government, Mexico, in suing Arizona to overturn that state’s immigration law.
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