Go big: Immigration activists beg Obama to legalize eight million illegals or more

The number kicked around for the past few months was five or six million. That’s not good enough for immigration groups, who want to see something closer to eight figures. And once you’re creeping up towards 10 million, there’s really no point in having eligibility criteria at all. Just legalize everyone, no questions asked.

Honestly, if we’re going to have the president dictate national policy, what’s the sense in demanding that he do it by half-measures? Instead of dipping a toe into our new antidemocratic age, let’s swan dive.

Marielena Hincapié, the executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, said that’s a start but it must go farther.

“I think that will be part of it, parents of U.S. citizens, but I don’t think they can stop there, they can try,” she told BuzzFeed. “There are also parents of DREAMers, and the vehicle for that to happen is deferred action.”…

“The NILC is thinking much broader,” Hincapié said. “We believe he has strong legal footing to provide broad and expansive relief like the 9 to 10 million in the Senate bill. As long as the administration can develop a clear set of criteria like family ties or ties to the U.S. workforce, I can see that businesses would want workers to be included even if they don’t have citizen family members.”…

[Lorella Praeli of United We Dream] added that DACA should be revamped because some people, like well-known activist Jose Antonio Vargas, aged out and were not eligible for legal status from the program.

She said her organization believes 6 to 8 million people could be protected by the president, rather than 2 or 3 million.

Parents of citizens, parents of DREAMers, would-be DREAMers who are too old for DREAM now, even people with “ties to the workforce” — who would be left once the eligibility lines are drawn that broadly? When the dust settles, the only person who doesn’t qualify will be one old man from Guatemala who got here less than a year ago, and then we’ll go ahead and legalize him too just because it’d be cruel to leave him out. But maybe I’m reading this wrong; maybe the reason amnesty shills are upping their demands is because they know the drift in public opinion is towards security and away from legalization, in which case the only way to make Obama stand firm at five or six million is to try pulling him even further left. In fact, here’s a tantalizing poll from last week that Laura Ingraham mentioned on the air today:

Immigration is only the 6th-most-important issue for Latino voters in California when casting a vote for a candidate for U.S. Senator or for U.S. Congress, according to a statewide survey conducted by Univision…

An overwhelming 86% of those surveyed support comprehensive immigration reform. However, a majority–53%–of registered Latino voters in California also answered that they believe that, “…we should require borders to be secured before providing a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.”

Furthermore, when asked, “Which of the following is your major concern or complaint about the Republican Party?”, only ten percent of those surveyed named Republican opposition to immigration reform.

Luis Gutierrez has taken to threatening Republicans with the prospect of two million new Latino voters racing to the polls in November, but the reality is different. It’s older white voters who turn out en masse for midterms; Latino turnout tends to drop off, which is why Brendan Nyhan of The Upshot calls O’s impending decision to issue his mass amnesty before November instead of after “inexplicable.” It’s really not inexplicable — he seems convinced that his base will stay home if he doesn’t do something flashy on immigration, the risk of a backlash notwithstanding. But the higher activists’ expectations get, the more of a bind it puts O in. Conceivably, he could legalize a million illegals and infuriate both the right (which opposes executive amnesty on principle) and the left (which wants the broadest executive amnesty possible). Good luck, champ.

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Jazz Shaw 8:01 PM on December 06, 2022