When Obama could have passed comprehensive immigration reform — when he still had 60 Senate Democrats — he didn’t lift a finger to push it. Now that he can’t pass it — it is too late in the year, he doesn’t have 60 votes and many Democrats will defect — he aggressively pushes it in a national speech.
The opportunism and hypocrisy of his attempt to manipulate America’s Latinos into forgetting his previous inaction is transparent and obvious. Polls show him losing Hispanics due to high and continuing unemployment and losing congressional seats in the bargain, so Obama has dug up the immigration proposals of former President George W. Bush, dusted them off and made them his own.
He knows it won’t pass. But he hopes that it will reignite Latino enthusiasm for his failing presidency and anger at Republicans for frustrating immigration reform.
In the process, Obama is neglecting the real answer to immigration. It is ridiculous to speak of sealing the border. A border of more than 1,500 miles can’t be sealed. It can’t even be controlled. As long as people want to cross, they will be able to get over. Some won’t make it. They will just keep trying until they do.
To sell his amnesty program for those already here, Obama raised the red herring of deportation, saying that we could never round up and send away 11 million people.
But he brushed over the real answer: to dry up the jobs. If employers would not hire illegal immigrants, they would stop coming here — and those already here would pack up and go home of their own accord. Obama’s promise, in his speech, to invigorate the enforcement of sanctions on employers who hire illegals rang hollow.