Sharry on the rocks! OK, let me get this straight. “Comprehensive”–i.e. ‘legalization first’–immigration reform is stalled in the GOP-led House. So Latino activists are pressuring President Obama to instead take executive action to halt deportations, even though a) Obama’s record as ”deporter-in-chief” is mostly a PR mirage designed to a give a false impression that he’s relatively tough on immigration, and b) unilateral executive action would probably anger Republicans and scuttle efforts to pass an actual piece of legislation.
Not a problem, says Frank Sharry of America’s Voice, who’s been the MSM’s go-to source for quotes on why amnesty’s just around the corner. If the House doesn’t move a bill, Sharry says, ”we expect Obama to act boldly to protect most of the undocumented through executive action.” But won’t that kill the chances for a bill, not just in 2014 but in 2015 and 2016 as well? No big loss! There was “zilch” chance a bill would pass in 2015 and 2016 anyway, during the runup to a presidential primary, Sharry tells Benjy Sarlin of MSNBC. Instead, he says, after Obama’s “bold” executive action,
“we’ll go abut the business of electing a Congress that will pass reform without all these concessions to Republicans.”
In other words, Obama can piss off Republicans with a sweeping executive amnesty because Sharry will just go and elect an all-Dem government.
This is extraordinarily BS-y, even for Sharry. It’s easy to imagine the Democrats retaining the White House in 2016. It’s easy to imagine them running the Senate in 2016 (perhaps after losing it in 2014). But it’s hard to see them winning the House. Does Sharry want amnesty to hinge on that decidedly iffy proposition?
Anyway, is Sharry really giving up on amnesty until 2017?** I’m going to have to find something else to write about. And the MSM’s going to have to find another happy-spin activist to call.
P.S.: Lots of things can happen before 2017. … A sweeping executive amnesty might attract a new wave of illegal border crossing, prompting an Enforcement First backlash that makes legislative amnesty more remote. … Sharry and his allies might reconsider the arrogance of insisting on immediate legalization instead of making legalization contingent on putting in place effective enforcement measures against future illegal entries (e.g., computerized employment checks, fencing, visa overstay tracking.). … OK, that second thing won’t happen.
**–Are Sharry’s business allies–who want the increases in legal immigration contained in the Senate’s “comprehensive” bill– going to patiently wait with him until 2017? I doubt it. If they don’t get a bill by this summer they will push for one in a lame duck session. If they don’t get it in the lame duck session they will push for it in 2015. They might get it, Sharry’s despair notwithstanding–especially if, as I expect, Obama refrains from declaring a further “bold” halt of deportations. Or the business lobby might argue that if the Latino activists are to be bought off with a deportation halt then they should be bought off with a stand-alone legal immigration increase . (In effect ,that would be abandoning their all-for-one, one-for-all alliance with the activists.)