With his unconstitutional amnesty decree of June 15, Obama has played a losing hand. His cynical manipulation of the “Hispanic vote” only confirms voters’ view of Obama as an unprincipled ends-justifies-the-means politician.
Obama is going all-out for the Hispanic vote, and the rule of law be damned.
The great irony of his cynical political move is that it will make congressional enactment of the so-called Dream Act impossible. His temporary amnesty will be exactly that, temporary. It will end on the afternoon of Jan. 20, 2013, when his successor walks into the Oval Office. Any immigration reform enacted by the next Congress will not vaguely resemble the Obama plan.
Obama’s amnesty-by-fiat shows his campaign’s desperation. His campaign is in full panic as his poll numbers continue to slide.
Obama is gambling that this brazen pitch for the “Hispanic vote” will carry him over the top in key battleground states like Colorado and Florida. Evidently, no one in his White House command post has done the math: Obama can win 70 percent of the Hispanic vote nationwide and 80 percent in some states and still lose the election in a landslide.
That’s not mere speculation; we have new polling data to suggest exactly that outcome, and it is data from a pro-Obama organization. A poll by “Latino Decisions” released last week illustrates Obama’s electoral challenge. The poll surveyed 2,000 registered Hispanic voters (not likely voters, so the sample has a slight Democratic bias) in five battleground states – Florida, Virginia, Nevada, Colorado and Arizona. In Colorado, Obama has the support of 70 percent of Hispanic voters.
That 70 percent sounds impressive until you consider the historical context. Its real message is that Obama is in trouble in these key battleground states.
In 2008, Obama got 68 percent of the Hispanic vote in Colorado and carried the state by 9 points over McCain. Yet, today in Colorado he has 70 percent of Hispanics’ support but is tied with Romney among voters at large. What does that tell you? It tells us that Obama cannot possibly make up in Hispanic votes the support he is losing across the entire demographic spectrum.
Besides the clear constitutional issues involved in the Obama amnesty, the decree faces a mountain of legal and pragmatic difficulties. For example, as the Center for Immigration Studies revealed this past week, different offices within ICE and the Border Patrol are already giving differing interpretations as to who qualifies for the amnesty.
The so-called Dream Act was supposedly aimed at helping young people who were brought here as children and have been law-abiding residents for at least five years. But a Border Patrol station in Texas has already started releasing persons under 30 apprehended the day after the Obama decree on the grounds that they now qualify for amnesty. The rule of law? Under Obama, we don’t need no stinking laws. We’ve got “prosecutorial discretion.”
Yet, the political fallout for a broader immigration reform will be quite different from the calculations of the open-borders lobby and the Democrat-run Hispanic Congressional Caucus. The transparently partisan Obama decree has poisoned the well for bipartisan immigration reform in 2013.
There should be no doubt that in January of 2013, President Romney will cancel the Obama executive order and begin work on true immigration reform that starts with demonstrated border security. Pundits who think Republicans have been outmaneuvered by the Obama edict have it exactly backwards. Obama’s move shows the stupidity and futility of approaching immigration reform in a cynical and illegal manner.
Anyone who doubts the reality of the coming backlash need look no further than the immigration platform adopted this month in Karl Rove’s backyard by the Texas Republican Party. The liberal media have played up the call for an “efficient and effective guest worker program.” Well, who is against efficiency and effectiveness? What the media chose not to talk about were the other planks in that supposedly “moderate” platform: the priority of border security and a repeal of birthright citizenship. Now, that’s immigration reform.
The bottom line is this. Obama’s unconstitutional amnesty-by-fiat has exposed and confirmed for millions of voters the true character of the Obama administration: It is lawless.
Obama is also gambling that all Hispanic voters share his enthusiasm for Hugo Chavez’s dictatorial style of leadership. That may prove to be the other major miscalculation behind this cynical election-year ploy.
Tom Tancredo represented Colorado’s 6th Congressional District from 1999-2009 in the U.S. House of Representatives and finished second to John Hickenlooper in the 2010 Colorado gubernatorial race