Well, that is, if this story pans out:
While acknowledging that the recession makes the political battle more difficult, President Obama plans to begin addressing the country’s immigration system this year, including looking for a path for illegal immigrants to become legal, a senior administration official said on Wednesday.
Mr. Obama will frame the new effort — likely to rouse passions on all sides of the highly divisive issue — as “policy reform that controls immigration and makes it an orderly system,” said the official, Cecilia Muñoz, deputy assistant to the president and director of intergovernmental affairs in the White House.
Mr. Obama plans to speak publicly about the issue in May, administration officials said, and over the summer he will convene working groups, including lawmakers from both parties and a range of immigration groups, to begin discussing possible legislation for as early as this fall.
Some White House officials said that immigration would not take precedence over the health care and energy proposals that Mr. Obama has identified as priorities. But the timetable is consistent with pledges Mr. Obama made to Hispanic groups in last year’s campaign.
Keeping in mind that I was one of the 4.7 people who supported the Bush-McCain immigration reform bill…
This is political suicide – I can only figure that Obama will push it either because Obama is really, really stupid or that the hispanic groups have gained so much leverage over the Democrat party that they can’t be refused. The latter is more likely, but we can’t discount the former – Obama is showing clear signs of megalomania, so anything is possible. He might feel that he can do it and come out a winner on it.
What we learned vis a vis immigration reform is that the American people, by an overwhelming majority, want the border secured first. Only after it is clear that no more illegal immigrants are able to just waltz across the border will there start to be support for any program to legalize those illegals already in-country and start up a guest-worker program for foreigners not currently in-country. Any effort to pass a bill which can in any way, shape or form be portrayed as amnesty will become a millstone ’round the neck of any party identified with it. Obama would get less grief if he revived gun control efforts.
We shall see if this actually comes to pass – but, if it does, I’ll gladly accept the rather large number of GOP seats we’ll get out of it. I mean, if Obama is determined to pull a Clinton and spend his term making legislative Democrats politically toxic, I see no reason to stand in his way.