This morning, news broke that signaled the end of immigration reform attempts by the White House and pro-amnesty groups within Congress.
This move by the White House shows everyone what you and I have known all along – immigration reform has never been about doing what’s morally right. It’s about building up a voting base. The funny thing is that the Republicans were suckered in to thinking it would expand their voting base. Even Marco Rubio, who has otherwise been a great force in the Senate, took the side of the reformers (all for the right reasons, but working with people who had no interest in doing things the right way, but simply wanting a conservative, Latin-American face for their amnesty push).
Instead, this was simply a ploy to raise the Democratic voting base, and one that has come far too close to succeeding in the past for us to let up now. A permanent voting majority, in this case, could just be a passed law away. Instead, however, the threat of a Republican sweep has made them realize this isn’t 2009 and they can’t force through unpopular legislation without consequences.
This development doesn’t really surprise us, but it is a brazen admission of two things. The first is the admission to the rest of the country that this is a political issue. We have been force-fed the idea that we have a moral imperative to “fix” the issue at the border, and that we as a nation can certainly do more to welcome the outside world into our states. Because of the softness that was perceived at our southern border, we were flooded with children (and others!) who were shuttled to our doorstep and left. The administration showed further weakness then by shuttling them further into the nation without consulting the cities they were shuttling them to. The idea that immigration reform is way more political than it is morally right is no longer some Republican conspiracy – it has been admitted by the president himself.
The second admission is one that should come as a great relief to conservatives. The president will not be taking further executive action on the issue for the time being. One might say that the president has learned there are limits to his power and that he realizes he needs to work with Republicans to come to a true bipartisan solution, but the one who says that is probably living in a dream world so pleasant that I cannot bear to wake them from their wonderful fantasy.
There are good ways to fix our immigration issues. But they would require a Congress that is not as interested in increasing its voter base and a president that is not so hyperpartisan as what we have now*.