Free Markets, Free People

Immigration May Detract From Other Issues

President Obama, has decided that in addition to the health care, energy and education debates, he’ll also crank up the immigration debate:

He said then that comprehensive immigration legislation, including a plan to make legal status possible for an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants, would be a priority in his first year in office. Latino voters turned out strongly for Mr. Obama in the election.

“He intends to start the debate this year,” Ms. Muñoz said.

12 million is the low-side estimate. Others estimate the total to be as high as 20 million.

Here is the argument he can plan on seeing prominently pushed from the other side as it concerns legal status for illegal immigrants:

“It just doesn’t seem rational that any political leader would say, let’s give millions of foreign workers permanent access to U.S. jobs when we have millions of Americans looking for jobs,” said Roy Beck, executive director of NumbersUSA, a group that favors reduced immigration. Mr. Beck predicted that Mr. Obama would face “an explosion” if he proceeded this year.

“It’s going to be, ‘You’re letting them keep that job, when I could have that job,’ ” he said.

The argument that the jobs immigrants hold are jobs Americans won’t do rings even more hollow in a recession.

Additionally, starting this emotional issue up now, while he’s trying to push the other issues I mentioned is going to diffuse focus and may cost him critical support on health care, energy or education.

This is not a smart political move. But it is one I welcome.


15 Responses to Immigration May Detract From Other Issues

  • Must… not… get… overconfident… because… it’s… a long time…. still… but………..

    Man, 2010 is looking like a watershed election if things keep going this way. Obama still has a fair measure of personal popularity, but he seems intent on pushing measures that are going to stress it to the breaking point. And every time I don’t think Congress’ ratings can get any lower, they do.

    Obama probably feels he’s “spending political capital” and expects a tradeoff of achieving all his left/liberal wet dream programs. At this point it looks like a race to get those in before the various Democratic representatives realize they might be bringing a 1994 down on themselves. If they attend a tea party or two, they may very well start to get some serious reservations about new programs.

  • “This is not a smart political move. But it is one I welcome.”

    Clinton use to overwhelm his detractors with scandal after scandal.  Keep it going rolling into a new scandal before any energy goes into actually addressing the old one.

    This is possibly the same approach. 

    Right now the only opposition to pushing through an issue is if the public does a coherent e-mail/write in to congressmen that scares them.  This is how the last amnesty was stopped. 

    But by overwhelming the public with multiple issues, no one issue will collect coherent opposition. 

    He is running his strategy like a 4 year President.  I think he’s accepted that there’s a good chance he won’t make a second term.  But in accepting that, he can get much much more done in those 4 years than normally is accomplished in 4.  Perhaps more than what is  accomplished in 8 if he moves fast enough. 

  • Shamnesty will be a big part of this, no matter which way it goes. I gather from back channel chatter that the votes in Congress aren’t there for it.  I’ll bring the popcorn.

  • E-mailed to The Won and my congressional delegation:  The 1986 amnesty also promised to close the border so that illegal immigration would be controlled and the Democratic congress wouldn’t, so now we have 12 million plus illegals. Why should I trust the government again? Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

  • I think they’re doing the maximum damage possible in the shortest amount of time on the premise that some of it will survive no matter WHO takes control in 2 years, and in 4 years.

    And there is something to be said for providing so many hot button issues to conservatives to dilute their focus, that’s a factor too.  You can’t be strong everywhere.

  • I repeat, and repeat, and repeat: The Clown™ is doing things that will slowly make him as popular as Bush was in the last two years of his term. And as The Clown™ fuggs up foreign policy (wait until Iran has a nuke, or Israel has to hit them to stop them from getting one), bows to the Saudi king, continues to make the economy suffer for his social engineering, pushes his radical pro-abortion and anti-gun agenda, and names more loons and flakes to his maladministration, his numbers will continue to go down (do not listen to the latest NYT poll, which talked to 1,000 people who all sound like people in The Clown’s™ cabinet – instead, look at Rasmussen’s numbers).

    And, as I have said before, these things are accumulating. In 2010, if the GOP plays it well, they will win back control of the House. And, in 2012, if they can find a sensical candidate, The Clown™ will be sent backing back to his cave in Chicago that he shares with Tony Rezko.

    • In 2010, if the GOP plays it well, they will win back control of the House. And, in 2012, if they can find a sensical candidate…

      If, brother, if.  The GOP has been so underwhelming in the past several years that I doubt that they could beat Jimmuh if this was 1979 all over again.  Combine:

      — Steele’s tone-deaf public statements and lack of management;

      — The apparently mindless obstructionism of Boehner and McConnell with RINO’s like Specter, Snowe and Collins;

      — Republicans who voted “aye” on the AIG lynching;

      — A GOP budget proposal that has deficits, just not as huge as those proposed by TAO, and;

      — The spending record of the GOP over the past few years and what have you got?

      A party with no organization, no ideas, and no credibility. 

      It’s a sorry state of affairs when you’ve got to hope that the president is a total f***ing disaster so your party can have a shot at regaining some control in Washington.

      After Bush and Yosemite Sam so conspicuously backed Shamesty a couple of years ago, how can the GOP plausibly oppose it now without looking like total political opportunists?

  • I think you all are going to be disappointed once again.  Most Americans know that immigration reform is necessary, and given demographic changes, this also will create difficulties for Republicans not wanting to look anti-Hispanic.  Also, both parties are more likely to debate and make reform in a non-election year.  There will be no time in the next eight years that Obama will not have his plate full — so deep are the problems he has to deal with.  Like with Ronald Reagan, beware of underestimating Obama.  (My blog today was about immigration and how now is the time for real reform — it’s necessary).

    • “so deep are the problems he has to deal with”

      “So deep are the problems he’s creating”  There, fixed that for you, free of charge.

    • now is the time for real reform

      Any bets on whether Erb actually mentions a necessary reform rather than decree that anyone who disagrees with his viewpoint is racist? Anyone?

    • I think you all are going to be disappointed once again, and I just can’t wait for events to play themselves out because I’m about to pee my pants over the opportunity to crow about it. So let me crow for a while, even though it might be premature.

      Most Americans know that immigration reform is necessary. Here in the faculty lounge, for example, it’s pretty much unanimous. Our society needs more noble savage brown people to offset the white rednecks that vote Republican. Also, both parties are more likely to debate and make reform in a non-election year, since by election time there will be so many disasters that common folks have lost track of them, and besides, our comrades, er, I mean colleages in the media will by then have blamed everything that went wrong on vicious Republicans.

      There will be no time in the next eight years that Obama will not have his plate full. Yep, I’m already certain that he’s going to be re-elected, so suck on it, righties. Like with Ronald Reagan, beware of underestimating Obama. See how I try to look like I’m bipartisan by working Reagan into the comment? And the fact that I’ve trashed Reagan in dozens of past comments is completely beside the point, so why are you bringing that up? I just need to burnish my facade of objectivity here. Because I have to fight back against those charges that I just come here to yank your chains and validate my own narcissistic self-worth. Those charges are definitely not true! I don’t either have psychological problems that force me to come here even though you all think I’m a complete fool! I decree it.

      (My blog today was about immigration and how now is the time for real reform — it’s necessary. And it’s not either just a set of leftist talking points that were first created during the last immigration debate, so stop saying that and come on over and read them. But I’m not pimping my blog here because I desperately need attention, so don’t even think that.)

    • Milton Friedman pointed out that you cannot have a welfare state and open borders.    Back in the late 60’s, the WSJ was advocating open borders, but they have dropped that.   Amnesty essentially promotes open borders by rewarding bad behavior.   For demographic reason alone, the US would benefit from legal immigration.     Amnesty is a problem because why would anyone bother to go through the legal immigration process when the illegal route seems to be so easy and eventually leads to the next amnesty proposal.


      • The argument about ‘rewarding illegal behavior’ is a bit misleading.  The illegal immigrants were lured over here by good money, with no real enforcement.  They contributed mightily to the mini-boom in the 90s, and we benefited from their input.  It was a complicate partnership between Americans and illegal Mexican immigrants.  Now that this has become a problem, people want to blame them completely.  Ultimately, I think open borders is a worthwhile goal, though at this point I suppose a sane immigration policy is best.  Rather than amnesty, recognize that we were complicate — they were lured over by the promise of money and the wink and nod given by companies and often law enforcement.  Create a structure to work for legality.  After all, it’s impractical to deport them all, and the alternative to having a path to citizenship is to just have a permanent illegal population.   That might suit some politicians, but wouldn’t be good for the country.

    • “Like with Ronald Reagan, beware of underestimating Obama.”

      Uh, excuse me, but it was YOUR SIDE that “underestimated” Reagan. Remember? You called him a “dumb cowboy,” a “moron,” and “a doofus.” How hilarious to see those same nitwits who used every name they could dredge up against Reagan now say what a great President he was. Heck, even The Clown™ made a similar statement during one debate last year and he was decked by Hillary Shmillary for it.

      We do not “underestimate” The Clown™ – we estimate him just fine. We know he makes a great speech (except for when he is sans TelePrompTer), and that he is “charismatic” and “likable.” His personal job approval ratings show that people like him. But when it comes to his policies, his numbers drop off. And so they will continue to, as time goes by.

      We can be disappointed if we lose – can you be disappointed if we win?

  • Illegal immigrants getting amnesty during high unemployment era is a recipe for political disaster.

    Oh, and my wife finally got her immigrant visa after multiple submissions of paperwork, US$ 2800, and of course, the US embassy demanding I quit my job to “prove” that I would return to the USA, even though my job was willing to pay me for working in the USA…

    But if we had been illegals, we would be feted and moved to the front of the line.  BTW, I had to sign a document making me financially responsible if my wife or stepson ever got on S-CHIP, welfare, etc. I expect illegal immigrants should have to do the same – and not be eligible for any social support.

    Any chance that’s in the bill? Because otherwise it seems quite unfair that one class of immigrant pays their own way, while another class of immigrants (the law breakers!) are rewarded with benefits.