A couple of days ago the Department of Homeland Security announced that it was taking time off from the really important work of groping your genitals as a prerequisite to boarding a commercial aircraft to actually enforce the law. This is a novel concept in an administration that has virtually replaced E Pluribus Unum with L'etat, C'est Moi as the national motto. It announced that it was going to actually start deporting illegal aliens rather than giving the a driver's license, federal subsistence benefits and the right to vote for the Democrat of their choice.
The Department of Homeland Security has begun preparing for a series of raids that would target for deportation hundreds of families who have flocked to the United States since the start of last year, according to people familiar with the operation.
The nationwide campaign, to be carried out by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents as soon as early January, would be the first large-scale effort to deport families who have fled violence in Central America, those familiar with the plan said. More than 100,000 families with both adults and children have made the journey across the southwest border since last year, though this migration has largely been overshadowed by a related surge of unaccompanied minors.
The ICE operation would target only adults and children who have already been ordered removed from the United States by an immigration judge, according to officials familiar with the undertaking, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because planning is ongoing and the operation has not been given final approval by DHS. The adults and children would be detained wherever they can be found and immediately deported. The number targeted is expected to be in the hundreds and possibly greater.
Love it: "The number targeted is expected to be in the hundreds and possibly greater."
I think most conservatives took this to be a typical Potemkin village of compliance with the law and a signal to the illegals in question that they had best make themselves very scarce. The Democrats aren't looking at it in the same way.
I'm not a huge fan of the Washington Post's Greg Sargent. He's one of the cadre of lefty bloggers that emerged on the scene in the late 90s/early 2000s. He has never worked in politics (one might say worked, period), he has no background in policy formulation, he's not terribly astute and about anything concerning Conservatives or Republicans he's close to ass-ignorant, but he is a good weather vane for the received wisdom of the Democrat political class. In Sargent's view, Obama's decision has not only put Hillary Clinton but a host of lesser lights in an untenable position:
Read the rest for the details, but the short version is that there has been vigorous internal debate inside the Obama administration about this policy, and it has not been signed off on officially. The administration has long signaled that families crossing over illegally who do not qualify for asylum will be deported. But advocates have been urging the administration to treat these migrants as refugees, because experts believe that violence in Central America is a key reason for their efforts to cross the southern border.
In a preview of more to come, a leading immigration advocate, Frank Sharry of America’s Voice, told me that there will be intense pressure on the Democratic presidential candidates — particularly likely nominee Hillary Clinton — to denounce the new policy. Sharry pointed out that this could force Clinton to decide whether to align with immigration advocates and Latinos, as she’s been doing in hopes of winning the Latino vote by a huge margin in the general election, which would mean breaking with the Obama administration and adopting a position that Republicans will attack as weak on immigration enforcement.
“This will be a political nightmare for the Democrats,” Sharry told me. “The specter of raids picking up families and sending them back to violent countries is going to put Hillary Clinton in a difficult position. She’ll have to choose between protecting refugees from Central America, a demand of the Latino community, or standing with the law-and-order position of Obama and Republicans.”
He has a good point.
The major problem confronting Hillary Clinton is going to be energizing Democrat voters to bother to vote for her. The key bloc will be those voters that aren't terribly attached to the political process -- young voters and minorities -- who turned out in some numbers to elect Barack Obama. If she can't motivate them, it will be extraordinarily difficult for her to be elected unless the GOP decides to do what it does best: f*** up a sure thing.
Donald Trump has turned this election into something approaching a referendum on immigration. The proverbial Overton Window has shifted and positions that would have been extreme last year are mainstream now. Witness the number of candidates running like scalded dogs from the mention of a "path to citizenship" which was the key feature of the Gang of Eight amnesty plan that, once upon a time, seemed to be a sure thing.
IF, I say again IF because the article points out that this decision is not final, Obama goes through with this plan, Hillary will be forced to run to left of not only the GOP candidates but her own president on immigration if she stands a chance of motivating the ground troops of the pro-immigration movement to work for her. At the same time, there is no love of illegal immigration in the black community so supporting amnesty for this group of illegals could depress turnout there.
For the GOP the problem comes easier. All you have to do is say that you approve of Obama's action.
Obama taking this action now doesn't even take the issue off the table. Illegals will continue to arrive and will continue to be ordered deported.
For an administration that has turned even the most mundane functions of government into a political weapon, it is hard to believe they made this decision in the midst of a presidential election without knowing what they were doing.