There’s nothing this guy enjoys more than telling Americans “who we are” and what we believe in, even when there’s statistical evidence to doubt that he’s right. Polls on O’s immigration actions tend to bounce around, sometimes because of a tweak in the way the question is asked, but the earliest polls after he announced DAPA showed a plurality of the public opposed it. A poll taken two months later had 58 percent of registered voters opposed. A Rasmussen poll taken three months after that showed 56 percent of likely voters against it. It’s no mystery why O waited until 16 days after the 2014 midterms to unveil DAPA even though the left had been anticipating it for months. It’s because people don’t agree on what the country aspires to be on immigration, and Obama knew that and didn’t want to risk an adverse verdict on election day. It’s true, I’m sure, that most voters support legal immigration and racial and religious pluralism in broad principle, but extrapolating from that that the country aspires to grant the president kingly powers to amnestize millions of illegals on his say-so is like saying — well, it’s like saying that because everyone wants to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists we should repeal due process for anyone whom the government finds suspicious. A generally recognized problem does not lead inescapably to the left’s specific solution. Maybe the country aspires to be a nation of immigrants who follow the law and respect the separation of powers.
In case there’s any doubt, yes, he’s specifically accusing critics of his policy of being xenophobic. Depressing wages via cheap foreign labor and undermining basic U.S. sovereignty by incentivizing border-hopping seem not to be on his mental grid:
In the end, it is my firm belief that immigration is not something to fear. We don’t have to wall ourselves off from those who may not look like us right now, or pray like we do, or have a different last name. Because being an American is about something more than that.
Two clips for you here, one of him talking about “who we are” and the other of him admitting that there’s nothing else he can do about immigration before he leaves office — which is interesting, since he spent years before his DACA amnesty in 2012 insisting that he couldn’t take the executive actions he eventually took. His sense of the limits on his own presidential power “evolved” while in office. Fancy that. Relatedly, watch to the end of the first clip and you’ll see him say that Congress’s refusal to act left him “with little choice but to take steps within my existing authority to make our immigration system smarter, fairer, and more just.” That’s executive power-grab logic in its purest form: If the legislature won’t do something I want, I have no choice but to do it myself. Remember, this tool had a Democratic House and 60 Democratic votes in the Senate for nearly a year in his first term; he could have passed any amnesty bill he wanted to but didn’t care enough about this issue at the time to act. (Same with gun control, for that matter.) He was “left with little choice” because health care was more of a priority for him than those issues were. And once voters took his congressional majorities away, he behaved essentially the same way House Democrats did in their sit-in last night — he stuck his fingers in his ears and refused to accept that he had lost. It took a Supreme Court ruling to finally convince him, although he’s still not fully convinced. Elsewhere in today’s speech he promised that DAPA recipients still won’t be deported, even if they no longer enjoy the legal status he was trying to create for them. You dumb voters leave him no choice.