Now that the cat is out of the bag and it appears Obama’s plan is to legalize millions of illegals by himself for cheap political gain, nervous Democrats are starting to surface to express their dismay. Perhaps they could interrupt his fundraising and photo ops and have a chat with their leader.
Democratic senators facing tough reelections want to put the brakes on President Obama’s plan to reform the nation’s immigration enforcement system through executive action.
Two of the Senate’s most vulnerable incumbents, Sens. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) and Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), say Obama should not act unilaterally to reduce deportations, arguing it’s Congress’s job to change the law.
While the Democratic-led Senate has passed a bipartisan bill, the Republican-controlled House will not. That poses a dilemma for Obama.
Slowing or halting deportations of otherwise law-abiding residents who came to the country illegally could produce a backlash in red states where Obama has low approval numbers. Furthermore, the crisis at the southern U.S. border complicates any move to ease deportation laws.
But not taking executive action could discourage Latino voters, who backed Obama and other Democratic candidates overwhelmingly in the 2012 elections and expect action on immigration reform.
Many of those voters are upset by the relatively high rate of deportation during Obama’s second term. Earlier this year, Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) and Janet Murguía, the president of the National Council of La Raza, dubbed Obama the “deporter-in-chief.
While Latino voters will be crucial to Democrats’ winning the White House in 2016, they are not nearly as much of a factor in this year’s Senate battlegrounds. Except for Colorado, where Hispanics make up more than 20 percent of the population, Latino voters make up a small percentage of states’ electorates.
Hagan said Tuesday that Congress, not the president, has the proper authority to reform the nation’s immigration system.
She should let King Obama know. Meanwhile, a huge majority of Americans want to speed up deportations according to a new poll. Expect more Democrats to begin jumping ship.