President Obama is considering a delay of his expected move to legalize millions of illegal immigrants, as White House advisors worry that the executive action could harm the prospects of Democratic candidates in politically divided or GOP-leaning states, according to the New York Times.
As recently as a few weeks ago, the White House signaled the temporary legalization move would come by the end of summer. Recently, I’ve heard speculation that “end of summer” had moved in the White House thinking from Labor Day – which everyone considers the end of summer – to the autumnal equinox, which occurs September 22. But now we’re talking November or December.
The Times piece describes a divided White House:
Some of Mr. Obama’s advisers are urging him to postpone action, fearful of the political ramifications of a broad action to protect millions of immigrants in the country illegally from deportation and to provide many of them with official work papers. Such a move by the president, some senior officials worry, could set off a pitched fight with Republicans and dash hopes for Democratic Senate candidates running in Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina and potentially in Iowa.
But others inside the White House are pushing the president to stick to his promised schedule, regardless of the immediate political consequences. They argue that Republicans will criticize the president and attack Democratic candidates even if Mr. Obama delays parts of his announcement until after the election.
And some say that the Republican reaction — which could include calls for impeachment of the president or a move to shut down the government — could benefit Democrats politically by creating a backlash against Republicans among voters.
Remember, the debate is not about whether Obama will violate the Constitution by making his own immigration laws, but when.
Me, I doubt he’ll set off a Constitutional crisis before Election Day. Sure, it would get Hispanics to the polls. But not, I would think, in the numbers it will draw the vast number of Americans who understand the consequences of an open border.