|Obama may be dumb, but he's not stupid.|
If Ron Brownstein's reporting is to be believed, Barack Obama is set to change the stakes of the immigration reform battle with an executive order protecting undocumented workers with children who are U.S. citizens from deportation. This could affect as much as 50 percent of the 12 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S. today.
Republicans will erupt in fury, but they do so at their peril:
Such a move would infuriate Republicans, both because the border crisis has deepened their conviction that any move toward legalization inspires more illegal migration and because the president would be bypassing Congress. They would likely challenge an Obama order through both legislation and litigation. Every 2016 GOP presidential contender could feel compelled to promise to repeal the order.
Those would be momentous choices for a party already struggling to attract Hispanics and Asian-Americans. Alfonso Aguilar, executive director of the Latino Partnership initiative at the conservative American Principles Project, warns that if Republicans "again fall for the trap" and try to overturn an Obama legalization plan without offering an alternative path to legal status, the party will condemn itself to another lopsided deficit among Hispanics—and to a likely defeat—in 2016. David Ayon, senior adviser to the polling firm Latino Decisions, says that if Republicans erupt against an Obama legalization initiative, it "could turn the Latino vote as ruggedly anti-Republican as the black vote."
Oh yeah. Let the games begin.On many fronts, Obama seems to be only reacting to events. But on immigration, as on other social issues such as gay rights and contraception, he is driving decisions that could shape the two parties for years—and cement the Democratic hold on the coalition of growing demographic groups that powered his two victories.
|The surge of child refugees may have delayed Obama, but it won't deter him.|