Napolitano: Hey, 2010 will be a good year for an immigration debate

posted at 3:35 pm on November 13, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Showing the kind of political instincts that have driven the Obama administration’s poll numbers into negative territory already, Janet Napolitano declared that she expects Congress to take up comprehensive immigration reform … in an election year.  Settling the legal status of illegal workers in a country suffering from double-digit unemployment already apparently qualifies as a higher priority than creating jobs and fixing the economy for people in the country legally for the DHS Secretary  — but as Jammie Wearing Fool notes, we’ll need the jail space after ObamaCare passes:

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano expressed confidence Friday that Congress would introduce a comprehensive immigration reform bill in early 2010 and that debate and passage of the legislation could occur before the mid-term elections later that year.

A lot has changed since Congress last debated the issue in 2007, Napolitano asserted in a major policy speech at the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC.

Yes, much has changed since the debacle of 2007, but not in the way Napolitano thinks.  The economy crashed, for one thing, throwing millions of citizens and legal residents out of work.  Legitimizing cheap labor isn’t exactly a great strategy to get those people working again, and suddenly making immigration reform a priority in the midst of a deep recession is going to go over like a lead balloon.

JWF half-jokes about the incongruity of threatening Americans with prison time for not buying health insurance while looking to give amnesty to illegal aliens, but that’s about as foolish a political combination as could possibly be imagined.  Are Democrats really more interested in enforcing criminal penalties for unconstitutional mandates to buy insurance than they are in enforcing legitimate immigration laws?  Because that’s what Napolitano suggests in her political prognostication.  You can bet that those mandates and their enforcement will form a core argument from Republicans against a push for amnesty — and that they’ll make sure to let Blue Dog district voters know which set of lawbreakers interest Democrats more.

That’s part of what makes a push for immigration reform so unlikely in an election year.  Obama may have been thinking that he could split Republicans in 2010 by pushing the issue, but few in the GOP will go along with amnesty or Amnesty Lite with unemployment in the US above 10%.  They will demand action on economic growth and tell the DHS to just do their jobs in enforcing immigration law.  And in 2010, many Americans will agree with that set of priorities — and wonder at the Democrats’ set — as they go to the polls.


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My God, these people have a political death wish. Or something.

Terrye on November 13, 2009 at 3:40 PM

Nope, just securing all the votes they can, while they can.

-Healthcare *check*
-Immigration *check*
-Expanding voting rights to chimpanzes and dolphins, pending…

NickelAndDime on November 13, 2009 at 4:40 PM

Pretty surprising tactic. I can’t see this one working in the Dumbocrat’s favor.

Maybe they still think people view Barry as the Messiah, and are just going to blindly follow them over the cliff. I think Democrats will, but they’re going to lose independents in droves.

On the other hand, maybe somehow, from the standpoint of political strategy, there is some good logic here. What it might be, I simply can’t imagine, though.

mr.blacksheep on November 13, 2009 at 4:42 PM

So then, now we’ll find out:

Who wants to stay an incumbent, and who wants to ‘go home’.

Could they ram immigration up our butts? Maybe. God knows how many seats it’d cost them though. And this would following the pattern of: ‘lose now, win later’.

Me, I think they’re fricking idiots; think the ‘town halls’ were bad in August? They aren’t even ready for next year festivities if this gets thrown against the wall.

Bonus: this is the 2010 issue that could be the ‘last dance’ for any RINOs who go along with it.

CPT. Charles on November 13, 2009 at 4:43 PM

round up as many welfare slaves and illegals to vote as humanly possible.

marklmail on November 13, 2009 at 4:44 PM

Another issue for Republicans to pretend they believe in until they’re in power, like fiscal responsibility, bank bailouts, and US sovereignty?

The Dean on November 13, 2009 at 4:45 PM

My God do they want to lose the Senate too along with the House?

2010 is looking like THIS for the Dems.

Sapwolf on November 13, 2009 at 4:46 PM

Just like Bush’s homeland guy, I don’t get why it is any of their business or concern pushing immigration reform. It is their job to run homeland security and keep us safe, not worry about legalizing illegals and I don’t know why we don’t tell them that it is not their business and to shut up and do their damn jobs!

Hey Janet, how about worrying about the muslim murders in our military and not about patriotic Americans being on your list, and illegals!

patriotparty1 on November 13, 2009 at 4:46 PM

Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet.

OneGyT on November 13, 2009 at 4:48 PM

I absolutely encourage ANYONE who wants to become a U.S. Citizen to go through the Naturalization process and you’ll be welcome by all fellow U.S. citizens with open arms.

Those of you who can’t be bothered with the legal processes DO NOT BELONG HERE. WE ARE A NATION OF LAWS …. NOT a nation of “men”.

Those of you who think you deserve to “cut in line” ahead of those who respect our laws have no business coming here.

GO AWAY!!!

GO HOME!!

STAY HOME!!

YOU ARE NOT WELCOME HERE!!

bannedbyhuffpo on November 13, 2009 at 4:51 PM

It took a COLOSSAL overreach to wake people up. 2010!

marklmail on November 13, 2009 at 4:52 PM

test

Dire Straits on November 13, 2009 at 4:53 PM

I confess to not being able to understand what they are doing, or why.
Is it simply that they do not listen at all to what the American people say, and that they will do what they want as long as they can?

GaltBlvnAtty on November 13, 2009 at 4:55 PM

Napolitano has a lot of deep-pocketed supporters on her side. Look at the list in Krikorian’s posting: http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MTZlZGNlNmM2YmRjYzkyYzA4ZjU1MmE3Y2U4M2JlODc=

With the ObaMao administration and the Center for American Progress as Napolitano’s speech venue, we can be certain that every effort will be made to cram down on leftist legislation.

onlineanalyst on November 13, 2009 at 4:56 PM

Ahh the smell of Democratic Desperation after a hot year under Bruno’s armpits.

Key West Reader on November 13, 2009 at 4:58 PM

I am willing to go to a shooting war over this if called upon by somebody who has the balls to fight it IF they attempt to give amnesty to illegals. It is also a sovereignty issue.

Illegal immigration is the biggest factor in depressing US labor wages in the bottom 20-40% of Americans.

Why blacks vote for this is a mystery since it hurts them hard.

When I think of what my brother and his Mexicana wife and two boys had to go through to get here legally, it just pisses me off to no end that they would reward the cheaters that come here.

I’ve had it!

Sapwolf on November 13, 2009 at 5:02 PM

onlineanalyst on November 13, 2009 at 4:56 PM

Thanks for the Kirkorian link….

clorensen on November 13, 2009 at 5:10 PM

We’re still waiting for the DHS report on the threats of Muslim Army psychologist Soldiers of Allah. Whens that one coming out?

JellyToast on November 13, 2009 at 5:13 PM

I must be tired, because I first took your comment as suggesting that opposing giving millions of law breakers amnesty is somehow nativist or bigoted just because they happen to be mostly Hispanic.

But then I realized that couldn’t possibly be what you’re saying, because that’s no better than Democrats who insist any criticism of Obama is racist because he’s black rather than because he’s a moron.

amerpundit on November 13, 2009 at 4:02 PM

When you are tired, you sure do think straight…

That’s exactly what I am saying. Bring them fully into the economy. I don’t care what they are. The United States was The Destination for our underpaid and overworked grandparents and great grandparents, and I don’t see the difference now. My Sicilian grandfather was hated just as much as the Hispanics are now. I don’t see the difference.

My grandfather wasn’t a mobster — he died of the Black Lung from a long life working in the coal mines of Pennsylvania — doing the job needed so his more genteel neighbors would have heat, and the coking ovens up in Hamburg and over in Bethlehem could feed the steelworks. It was a long struggle for him to become a citizen, because Italians weren’t wanted in much the same way that Hispanics aren’t wanted now.

Sometimes the Democrats are right. It isn’t very often, but it does happen. Listening to all of the nativist sentiment on Hot Air makes me wonder why the parties have switched sides — once it was the Democrats who wanted to restrict immigration, and it was the Republicans who were for open borders. It was the Republicans who held out for individual liberty, and the Democrats who wanted to exclude by groups… All those laws restricting immigration which you hold to so strongly were built by Democrats…

I guess you could call me more of an “old Republican” than a “new Democrat”, but that’s the side I’m on.

unclesmrgol on November 13, 2009 at 5:22 PM

My God, these people have a political death wish. Or something.

Terrye on November 13, 2009 at 3:40 PM

Nope, just securing all the votes they can, while they can.

-Healthcare *check*
-Immigration *check*
-Expanding voting rights to chimpanzes and dolphins, pending…

NickelAndDime on November 13, 2009 at 4:40 PM

Maybe, but I think they are actually hurting themselves. In fact this is the sort of stuff presidents usually save for the second term..but then I doubt if Obama will get one.

Terrye on November 13, 2009 at 5:25 PM

I’m waiting for Janet to outlaw voting ballots for those in the military. Can’t have any of those ‘right wingers’ voting, now can we. Priorities.

GarandFan on November 13, 2009 at 5:26 PM

Ok, Dems, here’s the plan:

We need to give the illegals immediate stimulus money with a subsidy to Western Union to send it home, free bus rides to and from the border with extra luggage space sealed from law enforcement dogs, health insurance and free housing and ‘culture sensitive’ public and private education and community review of local police and businesses. Then we should give them all the affirmative action, set asides and other nonsense for their next 10 generations (or 150 years, we have a precedent) while they grace our shores.

I actually thought that this woman was smarter than she is acting.

IlikedAUH2O on November 13, 2009 at 5:28 PM

Another issue for Republicans to pretend they believe in until they’re in power, like fiscal responsibility, bank bailouts, and US sovereignty?

The Dean on November 13, 2009 at 4:45 PM

Comparatively speaking the Republicans are downright draconian on all these issues compared to this crew. I remember when they tried immigration a couple of years ago, I contacted Evan Bayh and asked him what he thought of it all..his response was that the bill before Congress at that time was too hard on immigrants, it put too many limits on how many family members they could bring into the country. In fact Obama said that bill was too conservative as well and he put in some poison pills as they called them. It seems the Democrats wanted something a tad more {shall we say} liberal.

As for fiscal responsibility, we should be so lucky as to have the same policy we had even 3 or 4 years ago. In fact if the only money that had been spent was the original $300 billion for TARP, our deficit would not be a quarter of what it is right now. I read that the original TARP money is being paid back at 5%. But it all got completely out of hand as time went on and now we are in so deep we might never get out.

Terrye on November 13, 2009 at 5:32 PM

Clown #5 in the very small car that is the Won’s admin.

Kissmygrits on November 13, 2009 at 5:32 PM

Wow, talk about tone deaf. Well, they will get a wake up call when constituents hear about this, on top of crap and tax and obamunistcare.

dogsoldier on November 13, 2009 at 5:52 PM

I would, because I revere Abraham Lincoln. This is one of two subjects where I part ways with my HotAir peers.

unclesmrgol on November 13, 2009 at 3:58 PM

Open borders = Lincoln cultists?

The Dean on November 13, 2009 at 5:58 PM

unclesmrgol @5:52
My guess is that your relatives became Americans and that you don’t live in California. Open borders then is not like open borders now.
Legal immigration is good, but even there we need to get back to the melting pot concept, which worked so well but which has been abandoned as a central part of the leftist takeover of our great country.

GaltBlvnAtty on November 13, 2009 at 5:59 PM

When purported conservatives think that it is either the government’s purpose or even that the government has the ability to “create jobs”, the battle is lost already. Might as well call the war.

Businesses do not exist to “create jobs”. Jobs exist because businesses have business to do.

spmat on November 13, 2009 at 6:04 PM

Just saying: don’t expect our side to debate this properly. They’ll inevitably say lots of things the media can put on tv and laugh at. Race card 24/7. Not looking forward to any of it.

Trent1289 on November 13, 2009 at 6:10 PM

Bonus: this is the 2010 issue that could be the ‘last dance’ for any RINOs who go along with it.

CPT. Charles on November 13, 2009 at 4:43 PM

It’s closing time RINOs!

Blacksmith8 on November 13, 2009 at 6:31 PM

I confess to not being able to understand what they are doing, or why.
Is it simply that they do not listen at all to what the American people say, and that they will do what they want as long as they can?

GaltBlvnAtty on November 13, 2009 at 4:55 PM

Allow me. You see you are a rational thinking human being. They are liberals. There exists in the continuum of non-intellect three classes as explained below:
 
1) Rocks
2) Box of rocks
3) liberals (dumber than a box of rocks)
 
hth

Blacksmith8 on November 13, 2009 at 6:36 PM

I believe this is a good way to split up Republicans – Our two-faced senator Cornyn said a few months ago that he was hoping this would come up again, (and he wasn’t referring to defeating it), and Kay Bailey – well she sides with big business -(and these are TEXAS senators) and don’t forget the Chamber of Commerce is all for this. I for one do not want this to rear its ugly head once more, for I am still recovering from phoning, e-mailing, faxing, protesting Obamacare –but that is what they are hoping for- – - – wrong. My family and I will do everything within our power (once again) to defeat this legislation, and I know most of you will do the same.

texasaggie on November 13, 2009 at 6:47 PM

Are Democrats really more interested in enforcing criminal penalties for unconstitutional mandates to buy insurance than they are in enforcing legitimate immigration laws?

Does a bear $hit in the woods?

MB4 on November 13, 2009 at 7:03 PM

Open borders = Lincoln cultists?

The Dean on November 13, 2009 at 5:58 PM

If that’s the way you want to put it….yes.

unclesmrgol on November 13, 2009 at 7:08 PM

I WANNA BE AN INDIE!!

leftnomore on November 13, 2009 at 7:14 PM

macncheez on November 13, 2009 at 4:00 PM

You know too much!

Cybergeezer on November 13, 2009 at 7:15 PM

JWF half-jokes about the incongruity of threatening Americans with prison time for not buying health insurance while looking to give amnesty to illegal aliens…

I need a drink, but I have to work tonight…sigh…

lovingmyUSA on November 13, 2009 at 7:41 PM

My guess is that your relatives became Americans and that you don’t live in California. Open borders then is not like open borders now.
Legal immigration is good, but even there we need to get back to the melting pot concept, which worked so well but which has been abandoned as a central part of the leftist takeover of our great country.

GaltBlvnAtty on November 13, 2009 at 5:59 PM

I live in Culver City, California — the Heart of Screenland.

I’m all for the melting pot, but if some people insist on preventing certain ingredients from adding themselves, it ain’t gonna happen. If I were here illegally, I’d be pretty insular too — especially if the alternative was to be grabbed off the street and sent back to wherever I escaped from.

Even in this era of 11%+ unemployment, the faces out by the driveway of the Home Depot haven’t changed a bit. And we Americans still hire them to do our dirtiest work. If these people are stealing jobs from Americans, it’s not visible.

I’ve told this story several times — need to build fence between my house and neighbor’s. Neighbor and I agree to do it on a Saturday. I call my family to come, and on Saturday I have myself and four others. My neighbor shows up with a Mexican laborer he got from the front of Home Depot. He pays him $20 for the day and disappears into his house; I’m reminded of the Civil War, when you could pay someone else to take your place. The guy looks at least 60 years old but he works like a machine. We have to grab his shovel to make him break for lunch.

His work ethic impressed me, far more than the work ethic of my neighbor. If I had to choose between the two with respect to expected contribution to our society, I’d choose the Mexican guy, just as I’d choose the guy paid to go to war over the guy who paid him.

unclesmrgol on November 13, 2009 at 7:53 PM

The democraps have to have the illegals here in order to win.
I worked the polls here in AZ., the amount of people that registered and voted on the same day was more than the people listed in the registry.
They had to fill out provisional ballots and you can’t tell me that all those ballots were checked before results were given out NO WAY.
Had one woman with 2 current DL.s, 2 different addresses 2 different districts, answer she had lost her DL before moving and found it later.
We need stiffer voting requirements.

concernedsenior on November 13, 2009 at 8:13 PM

unclesmrgol on November 13, 2009 at 7:53 PM

I don’t care how illegals are supposedly hard working that doesn’t make up for their crimes.

ChunkyLover on November 13, 2009 at 8:20 PM

…be a good year for a revolt too. Talking tar, feathers, pikes the whole deal..wow, did I say that out loud?

rgranger on November 13, 2009 at 11:00 PM

I don’t care how illegals are supposedly hard working that doesn’t make up for their crimes.

ChunkyLover on November 13, 2009 at 8:20 PM

Depends on the crimes, doesn’t it?

We hold in the highest esteem the lawbreakers who ran the Underground Railroad. Ya’ Falla?

unclesmrgol on November 13, 2009 at 11:46 PM

Depends on the crimes, doesn’t it?

We hold in the highest esteem the lawbreakers who ran the Underground Railroad. Ya’ Falla?

yes I follow, my grandfather was a bootlegger during prohibition if I was alive back then I would have turned him in even though I believe prohibition was a mistake.

ChunkyLover on November 13, 2009 at 11:57 PM

God is inspiring the Dems to crack up an commit political suicide.

Thank God!

Akzed on November 14, 2009 at 8:12 PM

While this dumb ass bitch then JAILS or fines

Take your meds.

The Race Card on November 14, 2009 at 8:41 PM

Wow! Talk about a third rail…
Didn’t Reid just keep bringing this to the floor, 5 or six times and we were calling it the “bill that wouldn’t die!”
We sent them bricks and screamed into their telephones, crashed their email servers more than once, and they still can’t hear us.
I propose we build a fence around congress, and backfill it with concrete.
Seriouly, what do we have to do? Walk in the front door with hammers?
They can’t stop us all, they can’t stop part of us, how ’bout a million of us just plan a T-party in the capital building, occupy the building for say, five years…
Hold a local vote, and replace them all, not constitutional you say. THEY DON’T CARE, WHY THE HELL SHOULD WE. I’m tired of playing nice.
I’m not going to listen to another year of immigration crap, I’m not going to. PERIOD!

docjohn52 on November 14, 2009 at 11:45 PM

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