Opinion

Is Obama’s Taking A Page From The U.K. Labor Party On Executive Amnesty?

Ian Smith Immigration Reform Law Institute

President Obama’s willingness to forge ahead with mass amnesty despite its wild unpopularity can only be explained by a longer term electoral strategy of transforming the nation through immigration to further his party’s ends. After all, if previous trends in Hispanic voting are anything to go by, two-thirds of the millions he’s planning to amnesty this week will end up voting Democrat.

Obama’s drive for a new electorate conjures up Bertolt Brecht’s satirical poem, “The Solution,” about the 1953 uprising against the Soviet-installed government in East Germany. In the final stanza, Brecht jokingly asks, instead of the government trying to win back the confidence of the people, “Would it not be easier/In that case for the government/To dissolve the people/And elect another”?

Such a strategy of building political support by transforming a nation through stealth immigration is not unprecedented. Britain’s left-wing Labor Party tried to do the exact same thing in the late nineties. Is Obama taking a page out from their playbook?

Last year and in 2009, during Obama’s tenure, revelations from the UK were made known to London’s Daily Mail that high-up functionaries in the Labor Party had been plotting for years to replace its traditional voter base by pushing through a policy of open-borders mass immigration. Working and lower-middle class voters had been drifting conservative ever since Thatcher came to power and Labor needed new willing constituents fast. As was revealed last year, Labor sent out “search parties” for immigrants to remake and consolidate their voter base.

When Tony Blair in 1997 was finally able to bring Labor back to power after a near 20-year hiatus, his team’s first act was to change the nation’s immigration policy from limited to wide-open in an attempt to build up “New Labor.” According to theDaily Mail, Labor’s conscious policy to “change the face of Britain irrevocably” was “smuggled in under the radar purely for long-term electoral and short-term economic advantage.” Further, “Labor knew people were opposed to their undeclared, undemocratic policy of transforming Britain to a different country – but carried on regardless.” Does this sound familiar?

As a consequence of their immigration push, during Labor’s 1997 to 2010-stretch in office, annual intake of (mostly poor) immigrants quadrupled. Seeing Labor’s example and knowing the Hispanic voting profile, Democratic strategists from this side of pond likely made the same calculation.

In the UK, with its hyper-centralized government and weaker system of checks and balances, national policy can be pushed through much more quickly and stealthily. In this case, it had to be. In the words of the Daily Mail, the Labor Party was about to make the wages of their traditional voters “undercut by cheap foreign laborers,” and “without so much as a peep” from trade unions, due to years of losses to Thatcher. Remember that in an effort to rebuild their declining member base, our big unions also colluded with Obama on his 2012 DACA amnesty.

But in America, where we have a system specifically designed to check unilateral directives, subverting the spirit of democracy is a tad trickier. In order to hijack immigration policy and use it for political ends, only a monumentally brash and cynical elite could employ similar stealth tactics. Enter Obama and his wholesale invention of ‘Executive Action on New Arrivals.’

Instructively, Daily Mail editors point out the utter disregard for working people on the part of Britain’s New Left. The “modern Labor Party” of the late nineties was a “new breed” of preening elites, described by the Mail as your average “self-regarding social worker, political researcher and college lecturer” – not unlike our own “soulless elites” as National Review’s Mark Krikorian calls them. Those who began to question the effect of this new open-borders policy on Britain’s “national identity, social cohesion, public services and housing” were attacked by this elite guard with accusations of racism.

There may be some relief in knowing that the Labor Party in Britain has since been badly scorned for its abuse of immigration policy. In only a few years, the once insignificant UK Independence Party has trounced Labor as well as the weaker elements of the Tory Party, completely altering the British political landscape as consequence. Let’s hope its permanent and Obama learns a valuable lesson: that American people cannot be dissolved so easily.