Politics

Obama Evades Murrieta Protests Over Border Breakdown

Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

President Barack Obama is trying to minimize the public’s opposition to his policy of accepting hundreds of thousands of poor Central Americans into the United States.

His P.R. effort is highlighted in Murrieta, Calif., where Obama’s supporters want another media-magnified clash with the American residents who blocked a July 1 federal transfer of roughly 140 border-crossing adults and their children into their community.

But Obama hasn’t supplied another convoy of Central American migrants to ignite a TV-ready clash outside the border patrol station in Murrieta.

The first convoy was turned around by Murrieta residents on July 1, prompting a blaze of publicity that highlighted the impact of Obama’s immigration policies.

Another convoy was scheduled for July 4, but didn’t appear.

Protesters are now preparing to stop any July 7 convoy, but suspect it may not arrive.

“We expect that there will be a bus arrival on Monday, or that the buses will be diverted because we have so many individuals standing up and saying no,” said Patrice Lynes, the main organizer of the Murrieta protest.

On July 7, she said her supporters will use peaceful, camera-friendly tactics to block any more buses.

Women will stand quietly in the road, while men will use cameras to record any provocations by professional activists who support greater immigration of Central Americans into the United States, she said. Pictures will be released free to the media via websites, she added.

But Obama’s agencies have not done anything provocative since July 1, and supporters think he’s trying to minimize the visibility of the Murrieta protests.

Officials are “doing what they should have been doing from the beginning — not letting people know what is going on,” said Enrique Morones, the founder of Border Angels, which is a group that favors laws allowing U.S. companies to hire immigrant labor.

Officials will sneak some buses past the protestors and into the facility in Murrieta, Morones said. “Eventually they are going to go up there, but they’re not going to do it in the middle of the day… when people are watching,” said Morones, who also wants the federal government to stop deporting foreigners who enter the United States.

Morones welcomed a TV-magnified challenge in Murrieta.

On July 1, when the first buses were stopped by protestors, “you could see the children on the bus, crying [and] scared,” he said. “They don’t speak English, but they could clearly see the hate,” he added.

The crisis could help his political cause, he said. Obama and his family could be stirred by the “racism” in Murrieta, and could offer a ”humane” solution that would allow the migrants to stay, he said.

The images of “racist” people in Murrieta shouting at the buses “could be the turning point on the immigration debate…[but] I’m really sad that it happened,” he said.

The same language is being used by La Raza, an ethnic lobby.

“The protestors, to justify taunting a group of defenseless kids, grotesquely cloaked their hatred in ‘patriotism’ by chanting ‘USA!, USA! USA!’ over and over again,” said an article by Janet Murgula, the president of the National Council of La Raza. The article was titled “Reclaiming ‘USA!, USA! USA!’ from the Bigots in Murrieta.”

But polls show that most Americans agree with the Murrieta protestors, and oppose Obama’s lax enforcement of the border.

A July 7 Rasmussen poll shows that 51 percent of political independents who will likely vote in November blame Obama for the crisis. Only 25 percent of independents say he is not responsible.  Among likely voting Hispanics, roughly 47 blame him, while roughly 29 percent absolve him.

Roughly 50 percent of every income group blame Obama, except for people earning over $200,000 a year, where 42 percent gave him the benefit of the doubt. Half of high-school grads and college grads blame Obama, while only 30 percent excuse him. Among post-grads, 4 in 10 excuse him, and 3 in 10 blame him.

The polling is a problem for Obama, because it shows that public opposition to Obama’s actions may damage Democratic candidates in the November election.

Any escalation by Obama’s agencies in Murrieta “could blow up in his face and he knows it,” said William Gheen, founder of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC.

Most of the media’s coverage is sympathetic to the illegals, said Gheen. “Matt Drudge is saving the day right now — he has allowed us us to communicate all through the country,” he said.

“Every day [Drudge] does it, [Obama’s] numbers are dropping,” Gheen added.

Current polls already suggest the Republicans might gain a majority in the Senate.

Obama’s weak support among whites and declining support among Hispanics may drop further if Obama is not able to use the establishment media to stigmatize the protestors in Murrieta and elsewhere.

On June 30, Obama met with activists who want to increase immigration, and told them he would curb the current border surge, but also would relax enforcement against the roughly 12 million illegals who are already living in the country.

If the border crossers aren’t deported, “then anyone can come in, and it means that, effectively, we don’t have any kind of system… We are a nation with borders that must be enforced,” Obama told his supporters, according to the National Journal.

However, in practice, Obama has done nothing to block the inflow.

Instead, he’s releasing up to 290,000 migrants; he’s providing many with taxpayer-funded transportation to get them to their preferred destinations; and he’s providing some with lawyers to help them win Green Cards.

Also, he’s not using his management authority to arrest and deport the illegal-immigrant parents of the arriving youths.

Immigration officials are bypassing state and local governments, and are moving convoys of migrants into communities without seeking their approval, Gheen said. “Any [local council or board that] would allow the American people to engage, they’re trying to bypass,” Gheen said.

But Obama is working hard to control the P.R. damage, mostly by downplaying the crisis, and arguing that he is only complying with a 2008 law.

On July 8 and July 9, Obama will be in Texas, but his deputies say he won’t visit the border.

In the June 30 meeting, Obama’s apparent concern about the out-of-control inflow of migrants before the election was balanced by his promise to relax enforcement of immigration law, perhaps after the election.

“He was a different guy. He was unplugged… it became clear he was no longer going to use the prospect of legislation to deflect attention and pressure from him,” activist Frank Sharry told National Journal.

Various media reporters say Obama may provide a quasi-amnesty to six million illegals.

Americans “need to start standing up as we did,” Lynes said. “I started with two friends… Everytown, USA need to start standing up and present the same resistance,” she said.

“If they value national sovereignty, if they value the USA being the United States of America and not the United States of the World, if they value their way of life, they need to stand up,” she said.

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