President Barack Obama is trying to blame migrant Central American “children” for the public’s lopsided rejection of his wage-cutting immigration policies.
“This problem with unaccompanied children that we saw a couple weeks ago, where you had, from Central America, a surge of kids who were showing up at the border, got a lot of attention,” he told NBC’s Chuck Todd.
“And a lot of Americans started thinking, ‘We’ve got this immigration crisis on our hands,'” he said, so “the politics did shift midsummer because of that problem.”
“No one believes that,” said a tweet from Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies, who has long argued that Obama’s plans are unpopular because they’re so disadvantageous to Americans.
On Sept. 6, White House officials said Obama had cancelled his very unpopular plans for a pre-election amnesty edict, and would instead announce his expected rollback of immigration policy before the end of the year.
Obama said the draft plan is on his desk. “Jeh Johnson, the head of the Department of Homeland Security, has presented the preliminary, you know, ideas in terms of how we can take executive action,” he said in the White House interview.
The plan, he said, is to allow many new foreign professionals and plus many existing illegals — “the millions of people who are here, in many cases, for a decade or more” — to stay in the United States.
But Obama said he wants more public debate on the issue. “When I take executive action, I want to make sure that it’s sustainable,” he said.
“I want to spend some time, even as we’re getting all our ducks in a row for the executive action… to make sure that the public understands why we’re doing this, why it’s the right thing for the American people, why it’s the right thing for the American economy,” Obama added.
Since early 2013, Obama’s polling numbers on immigration have dropped steadily as he pushed for passage of an unpopular Senate-drafted bill that would grant amnesty for at least 12 million illegals and sharply increase the annual inflow of guest-workers to more than 1 million.
His numbers fell as GOP politicians and numerous media outlets showed that his plan would dramatically increase the labor supply and allow millions of foreigners to compete against Americans for scarce jobs.
A June 2013 report by the Congressional Budget Office said the Senate’s immigration bill would trim wages, nudge up unemployment and shift more of the nation’s annual income from workers to wealthy for 20 years.
His immigration policies are now strongly opposed among voters by roughly three to one. They are lopsidedly opposed by swing-voters, many Hispanics, working Americans, GOP supporters, plus much of the Democratic Party’s base.
Public support for Obama’s immigration policies dropped sharply this July as the public recognized the Central American migration.
Since last October, at least 130,000 Central American migrants — adults, youths and children — have crossed the southern border and still remain in America because Obama is allowing them to ask judges for residency, instead of immediately repatriating them as economic migrants.
To mute growing public opposition, Obama and his deputies have chosen to spin the mass migration as a surge of so-called “unaccompanied alien children” from Central America.
The spin has helped focus progressives, ethnic lobbies and the media on the small number of young border-crossers, and has successfully obscured the faster-growing and larger inflow of Central American “family units,” which consist of adults and children seeking jobs.
But roughly 80 percent of the “UACs” are 15 and older, and nearly all are accompanied by coyotes working under contract to Central American parents or relatives who are living illegally in the United States.
In the NBC interview, Obama claimed the inflow of “children” has dropped. “In terms of these unaccompanied children, we’ve actually systematically worked through the problem, so that the surge in June dropped in July, dropped further in August,” he said. “It’s now below what it was last year,” he said.
However, Obama spun MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, because he ignored the larger flow of “family units,” which has dropped only slightly in August.
The number of “UAC” fell from 4,332 in July to 2,037 in August, according to monthly records that are released by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency. But the number of Central Americans crossing in “family units” dropped only slightly, from 5,517 in July to 5,205 in August. (RELATED: Obama Hides Steady Inflow Of Central American Migrants)
Roughly 65,000 people arrived in “family units” this year, five times higher than the “family unit” inflow during the year up to October 2013. As of Sept. 1, the number of “family unit” arrivals exceeds the arrivals of children and youths.
The Central American inflow is expected to rise in the cooler months of September and October.