Politics

Obama Prepares To Abandon BattleStar Amnesty

Photo of Neil Munro
Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

White House spokesman Josh Earnest used his Sept. 2 press conference to prepare President Barack Obama’s escape pod from his imploding project to amnesty millions of illegals.

Obama’s departure preparations have already demoralized the top-level advocates for greater immigration who have helped Obama’s push for amnesty.

A group of five despondent advocates, including Frank Sharry, the director of America’s Voice, and Charles Kamasaki, a vice president of a main Latino ethnic group, La Raza, were seen leaving a Sept. 2 White House meeting. When asked about the meeting, the five declined to detail who they met, or what they were told at the meeting.

However, said Sharry, “as usual, our long-term prospects are good.”

In June, Obama promised the leaders during a White House meeting that he would implement a major unilateral action. Later, he said publicly the action would be accomplished  before the end of summer.

According to numerous reporters based on comments from the advocates for greater immigration and from White House leaks, hat action would have used Obama’s power over agency administrators to award work-permits to several million illegals.

Last week, as polls showed public opposition to amnesty, Obama and press secretary Earnest started to back away from the deadline.

Today, Earnest repeatedly refused to acknowledge the end-of-summer deadline.

“I don’t have an update on the timing,” he said when asked by reporters if the action would be postponed past the November election.

Earnest also suggested that Obama would distance himself from the amnesty action once final recommendations are completed by top leaders at the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security.

The recommendations may be sent to another official for final approval, he suggested. “Ultimately, in terms of how the final recommendations will be presented [in the White House], I’m not sure who will be on the ‘to’ line in the email,” Earnest said.

Earnest also repeatedly tied the rollout of any new amnesty action to a national debate on immigration, and then declined to say what the president would do if he loses the public debate.

“The president does want to have a fact-based debate with the American people,” Earnest said.

“When the president is ready to announce [his unilateral action]… he will do that in the context of the debate,” Earnest said.

But Obama has already lost the debate, which has been underway since at least early 2013.

For example, a July 2014 poll of 1,044 Americans by the Associated Press and GfK Public Affairs showed that public approval of Obama’s immigration policies has slipped from 22 percent in May, to only 18 percent strong approval in July. Strong disapproval climbed from 43 percent to 57 percent, marking a 18-point shift away from Obama since May, said the AP/GfK poll(RELATED: U.S.S. Obama Hits Immigration Iceberg)

Other surveys show that swing-voters strongly oppose Obama’s policies, that many Hispanics also oppose Obama’s lax-enforcement policies, that Americans view immigration as an economic issue and that the high-tech economy is expected to boost unemployment among lower-skilled Americans.

Those polls help explain why GOP legislators blocked the Obama-backed immigration-boosting bill which the Senate passed last June. GOP leaders blocked the bill despite intense pressure from businesses and media.

Since 2007, business and progressive groups have spent at least $1.5 billion pushing for an amnesty bill.

The public’s worries about immigration are fueled by economic concerns that have grown sharper during Obama’s tenure. For example, from 2000 to early 2014, the number of working-age Americans with jobs actually declined, despite a population increase of roughly 17 million, according to a June 2014 report by the Center for Immigration Studies. During the same period, the number of employed immigrants and guest-workers rose by 5.7 million, said the report.

Obama’s problem worsened in July when the public recognized that his lax enforcement policies had allowed a multi-year inflow of at least 170,000 Central Americans children, youths and adults.

In July, Americans tagged illegal immigration as the nation’s most important problem in July, according to Gallup. Seventeen percent of 1,013 Americans — and 23 percent of GOP supporters — identified “immigration/illegal aliens” as their top political priority. (RELATED: Obama’s Border Meltdown Is Nation’s Top Problem)

Those various poll results have prompted several Democratic incumbents to ask the president to delay or abandon his work-permits-for-illegals plan.

Correspondingly, nearly all House Republicans voted last month for a bill that would block some types of presidential amnesty. Several GOP Senate candidates, including Rep. Tom Cotton, are using the issue to weaken their Democratic rivals.

Follow Neil on Twitter