President Barack Obama will pitch his unilateral amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants on Friday at a mostly Latino high school in Las Vegas.
Del Sol High School will provide him with a cheering crowd because 58 percent of the students are Latino. The location will also aid his ally, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who faces a tough election in 2016, and who needs the support of Latino-dominated unions in the city.
Obama reportedly will unveil the amnesty in a prime-time announcement on Thursday. That will maximize his persuasion, and minimize the media’s opportunity to quiz him about the fairness of the amnesty to Americans and its legality.
The Las Vegas venue will also keep Obama far away from reporters as he announces the plan to award work permits to millions of illegals, and also, reportedly, to offer citizenship to several hundred thousand foreign professionals if they compete for jobs sought by debt-burdened American students.
Already, Obama’s push to wrap immigrants into the Democratic Party’s progressive-led coalition is pressuring GOP leaders and legislators in a more populist direction. That’s creating tension with the donors on Wall Street, who favor large-scale immigration.
But polls shows that many voters, including Democratic base voters such as single women and Hispanics, would be much more likely to vote GOP if the GOP candidates place the interests of American workers above employers who want to hire more new migrants.
In the House, GOP leaders are negotiating with conservative legislators — whose numbers and confidence were boosted by the November midterm election — and the influential members of the appropriations committee.
The committee, led by Chairman Hal Rogers, a Kentucky Republican, wants to pass a 12-month budget by Dec. 12 that would not hinder Obama’s amnesty. They’re objecting to the addition of anti-amnesty language into the appropriations bill that would bar spending to actually implement the amnesty.
Conservatives say the language is the best way GOP can stop Obama’s amnesty. That’s because Obama would veto any remedial bills that the new GOP majorities might pass through the Senate in 2015.
A fall-back, say conservatives, would be passage of a short-term budget bill that would allow the GOP majorities in the House and Senate to block the amnesty’s implementation in February.
Without such a short-term bill or anti-amnesty language, Obama’s amnesty will cause deep splits in the GOP, spur calls for impeachment that would help rally the Democratic base before the 2016 election, and leave the public without any politicians able to block the amnesty.