Friday, August 9, 2013

Plan B on immigration reform for amnesty supporters: Have Obama issue an order granting temporary amnesty

He did it once before for the DREAMers in a cynical but effective bid to drum up Latino turnout before the election. Why wouldn’t he do it again ahead of the midterms, with Democrats desperate to rally their base to hold back a Republican tide? Remember, this is a guy willing to ignore key provisions of his own landmark health-care law, with not even a pretense of having the legal authority to do so, if it’ll help Democrats politically. According to O’s, he’s constitutionally empowered to Do Good For The People whenever he thinks Congress is dragging its feet too much. If that means imposing a mass moratorium on deportations, hey.

So, plan B in case immigration reform collapses in the House: De facto amnesty for illegals for the rest of Obama’s term. This is the amnesty crowd’s shot across the bow of House Republicans to warn them that if they don’t step up and pass something, Democrats via Obama will get all the credit for what happens next instead of just the vast, vast majority of it:

    "The idea behind the “other track” is to freeze the current undocumented population in place through an administrative order, give them work permits, and hope for a better deal under the next president, with the hope that he or she is a Democrat. It’s a significant gamble, but some advocates—particularly those outside of the Washington legislative bartering system—argue that it’s better than what they stand to see under the legislation being discussed now…

    The Obama administration … has already flexed its muscle and shown that it is willing to exert authority to stop the deportation of hundreds of thousands of undocumented youth through its deferred-action program announced last year. The immigrant community argues that there is no reason that this administrative authority cannot expand further to include other “low priority” candidates for deportation—i.e., parents of “Dreamers” or parents of children who are citizens because they were born here, people who are employed, people who are caregivers, and so on…

    The same legal reasoning for not seeking deportation for unauthorized immigrants—there is no safety-related reason to do so—applies to other noncriminal aliens, immigration analysts argue. Politically, all President Obama needs is proof that Congress can’t get the job done. That could happen in a matter of months with the Republican-led House still unsure of how it will deal with the undocumented population. (To date, no legislation has surfaced in the House, although there is talk of a limited legalization program for undocumented children.)"

The big political target for Democrats in doing isn’t the midterms, in fact. It’s 2016, when the end of Obama’s term will mean the potential cancellation of this policy if a Republican is elected. That’ll hand Hillary (or whoever the Democratic nominee is) a heavy bludgeon to use against the GOP on the stump in front of Latino audiences. Would, say, Marco Rubio vow as nominee to cancel the policy and resume deportations when he and the rest of the Republican leadership will be frantic to claw back some Latino votes from Democrats? The best you can hope for from a Republican under these circumstances is a procedural argument that says unilateral amnesty via executive order is wrong but amnesty passed through proper channels in Congress and then signed by the president is and must be a top priority upon taking office.

Realistically, the only thing holding O back from doing it is the possibility that so many undecideds will be angered by it that it’ll backfire against Democrats in the midterms. How likely is that, though, given that the public on balance has been receptive to comprehensive reform? Did Obama suffer for his unilateral DREAM amnesty last year?

You’d better start thinking about this because, although a few House Republicans have started making noise about legalization during the recess, some purple-district Democrats have also started making noise against it. The House might not be able to pass anything, in which case it’s lights, camera, Obama. But what if they do pass something? Over at the Daily Caller, Mickey Kaus makes a provocative accusation: Stalwart border hawk Ted Cruz is making that more likely to happen than not.

    "Into this void stepped Cruz, who made a bold attempt to rouse a “grassroots army” for the cause of … defunding Obamacare. So instead of haranguing their members about unchecked immigration, hard core red-staters would harangue them about the Democrats’ health care plans. Cruz’s strategy had no hope of actually defunding Obamacare,. By attempting to shut down the government over the issue it had a much greater chance of reviving Democratic fortunes. (I thought Republicans had learned from the past two or three times this tactic failed).

    And it might wind up giving us amnesty. Democrats are secretly delighted, of course: with the Tea Partiers distracted, fence-sitting Reps might have enough breathing room in the fall to sneak some kind of mass legalization through–maybe not a full “path to citizenship” for everyone, but Dems could go back and fix that later, once the millions of illegals had been given legal status. As an added pro-amnesty bonus, Cruz was helping to rehabilitate fellow defunder Rubio, giving the latter something to posture about once he became too terrified to even mention his deceptive immigration plan."

Instead of tea partiers rallying at town halls against amnesty, they’ll spend August rallying against funding ObamaCare. (Kaus also knocks Cruz for taking a subdued role in the Senate floor fight over immigration compared to someone like Jeff Sessions, something I’ve noted before too.) Let me play devil’s advocate, though: Since Cruz’s bid to defund ObamaCare looks like it’s going to fail (possibly without even gaining the 41 GOP votes needed for a filibuster) and that’ll end up angering the base, could some House Republicans be forced into a more hardline position on immigration in hopes of placating righties who are disappointed about O-Care? I take Kaus’s point about putting on a grassroots show during the August recess over immigration, but how much more evidence does the average House Republican need to know that voting for amnesty is a risky proposition in a red district? How many “Rubio’s star loses luster” stories have been written over the past two months because of what he did on immigration reform? Arguably, Cruz’s ObamaCare gambit amplifies the base’s immigration objections because it presents an omnibus case that the RINOs in D.C. are selling out conservatives on everything.


Immigration and recession boost UK population by 420,000... the fastest growth in Europe

The population in Britain is rising more steeply than anywhere else in Europe, according to official estimates yesterday.

Numbers rose by almost 420,000 in a year, driven by the highest birth rate since 1972.

The figure, which covers the 12 months to the middle of 2012 is more than the population increases in Germany, Belgium, Holland and Sweden combined.

The Office for National Statistics says around four in ten of the additional people are immigrants. Six out of ten are the result of rising birth rates, which brought a 40-year high in the number of babies born last year – 254,400 more births than deaths.

But a major cause of the baby boom is immigration. More than a quarter of all newborns have mothers who were born abroad.

The total number of people living in the UK at the end of last June was 63,705,000.

The rate of population increase last year held steady despite Coalition attempts to reduce immigration, the ONS said. Its report said the 419,900 increase in population for 2011-12 was ‘about average’ for the past decade.

Annual population growth first hit the 400,000 mark in 2005, following the opening of Britain’s borders and labour market to Poles and other Eastern Europeans in 2004.

If the increasing numbers continue unchecked, the population will hit the landmark 70million point in the early months of 2027.

The figure is a level at which many commentators believe housing, transport, utilities, education and the NHS will be severely stretched.

Yesterday’s estimates mean that by the middle of 2012 Home Secretary Theresa May’s efforts to reduce net immigration – the amount by which migrants push up the population each year – to 1990s levels had yet to have an impact on the total number of people in the country. The figure is currently 165,000.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage said: ‘These figures show the continuing failure of the Government to get a grip on immigration into this country. The results of this increase in population can be felt in communities up and down the country as public services struggle to cope with the increase in demand.’

He added: ‘At the same time we face cuts to frontline services and send billions of pounds abroad in foreign aid. And this is before Romanian and Bulgarian citizens have full access to the UK come January next year.’

The British population increase was almost a third higher than the rise in the next fastest-growing EU country, France. During the same period the French population rose by just over 319,000.

Numbers in Germany went up by 166,000, in Belgium by 91,000, in Sweden by 70,000 and in Holland by 62,000. All have been magnets for immigration in recent years.

But Britain’s population is expected to outstrip those of France and Germany over the  coming decades, becoming the most populous country in Europe by 2050.

Numbers here have gone up by more than half a million since the last national census, taken in March 2011. Since 2001 the population increase has been 4.6 million, the ONS said.

London saw the greatest rise in 2011-12, at more than 100,000. The rapid change came despite 51,000 people leaving the capital, mainly for homes in the suburban towns of southern and eastern England.

Paul Vickers of the ONS said: ‘A quarter of the UK population increase happened in London. Together, London, the South East and East of England accounted  for over half the growth.’

One in three migrants arriving in Britain went to London. International net migration – the number of immigrants minus the number of emigrants – was 69,000.

Simon Ross, of pressure group Population Matters, said: ‘Our growing population is the root of many of our most pressing problems, including a lack of housing, pressure on services and development threats to our countryside and green spaces.

‘These, together with consequent infrastructure investments and transport issues are increasing costs for everyone.

‘Measures by the Government to limit net migration are to be welcomed. However, the Government should also promote the benefits  to individuals and society of smaller families.’


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