For a statement that was originally “off the record,” President Obama’s promise to the Des Moines Register turned out to serious have legs. Earlier this week, the CAPS homepage led with a feature story published by USA Today that quoted Obama as pledging to the Register that during his second term, the GOP will back his plan for comprehensive immigration reform.
According to Obama:
“I am fairly confident that they're going to have a deep interest in getting that done. And I want to get it done because it's the right thing to do, and I've cared about this ever since I ran back in 2008." [Obama Predicts Immigration Bill because of GOP, by David Jackson, USA Today, October 24, 2012]
Obama trotted out all the false reasoning why he thinks amnesty will pass, namely, the growing Hispanic electorate which he infers the GOP will want to tap. To maximize his Hispanic pandering, Obama added that amnesty is “the right thing to do” even though Americans have consistently resisted such a measure since George W. Bush tried to push it through multiple times during his two terms.
The Hispanic vote and its alleged importance has been thoroughly discredited by many analysts including me. In my nationally syndicated column, I wrote:
“To start at the beginning, in the 2010 mid-term election Hispanics represented only 6.9 percent of the electorate. The share of the Latino population eligible to vote is smaller than it is among any other group. Just 42.7 percent of the nation's Latino population is voting eligible (older than 18) while more than three-in-four (77.7 percent) of whites, two-thirds of blacks (67.2 percent) and more than half of Asians (52.8 percent) are eligible.”
Read my entire column here for all the other reasons the Hispanic vote is a fallacy.
Other problems abound in Obama’s flawed logic that raise serious questions about whether he is indeed motivated by a desire to do what he claims is the right thing or just to get out the Hispanic vote. Iowa is a swing state and the Register is the state’s most widely read newspaper. Obama is fighting hard for its endorsement.
Obama’s most formidable obstacle is that he won't be able to persuade Congress to pass amnesty legislation. For more than a decade, the issue has been toxic. Americans are more amnesty- resistant in 2012 than they ever have been.
In 2009, former U.S. Representative Martin Frost (D-TX) and long time amnesty advocate said this about timing for comprehensive immigration reform:
"No year is ever a good year to seek immigration reform. Immigration reform makes Social Security reform look like a walk in the park. The Obama Administration should … not waste capital on this most difficult of all subjects."
Obama didn’t listen to Frost. His effort to pass the DREAM Act failed dramatically.
Whether Obama or Romney is elected, neither will “waste capital” on amnesty. Obama, once safely back in the White House, would gain nothing politically from comprehensive immigration reform. And for Romney, the last thing he would do is alienate his Republican base.