Consider this homework for tonight’s speech, which will have its own open thread up shortly. This document is worth its own post, if for no other reason than to make it easy for readers to find it. Posted originally by the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, the document anticipates …. some delay, oddly:
A few thoughts. First, while Barack Obama will no doubt argue about the fierce urgency of now, the plan has a rather large gap between his speech tonight and the actual action Obama promises to take. Section 2 is titled in bold font, You Cannot Apply For Several Months. The start of the program is nebulously given as “early 2015,” which could mean anything from January 2 to, say, June 29th. Why not start now if Obama is so tired of waiting? One has to wonder whether this is a bluff of sorts, intended to scare House Republicans into passing the Senate bill in the waning days of the lame-duck session. If Obama’s willing to wait “several months” to take action, why not just wait and at least attempt negotiation with incoming Republican leadership?
At that point, though, Obama will promise that they can eventually get relief from any deportation action and get authorization to work legally in the US. That may be tricky, since the actual law on green cards requires actual legal status. If Obama issues pardons, then that solves the problem, but the pardon process doesn’t require some of what’s contained here, and could be used immediately rather than in “several months.” Otherwise, the requirements listed here are similar to the DREAM Act and the normalization envisioned in the comprehensive-reform bills that have floated around Capitol Hill for the past few years — 5 years residency, no serious crimes (other than illegal immigration), background checks, fees and taxes, etc.
Here’s the big problem with this, though. Since this is entirely temporary and could be reversed by the next President, who in their right mind would self-identify now? This looks more like a bluff, and a way to bait Republicans into an over-reaction.
Update: Daniel Halper’s source makes a good point:
“Executive amnesty to fast track green cards for illegal aliens,” the source, who is well versed in the immigration debate, explains.
“In other words, the President is going to give illegal immigrants a fast-track to green cards and citizenship denied to the vast majority of legal immigrants. Surely these ‘waivers’ will be granted generously. Green cards confer access to almost all US welfare benefits and ultimate citizenship, chain migration and voting rights. This at a time of course when 58 million working-age Americans don’t even have jobs.”
That’s one reason why executive amnesty polls as poorly as it does.