The Corner

The one and only.

Political Calculus of DREAM Amnesty Decree


Sean Trende at Real Clear Politics pours some cold water on the conventional wisdom that Obama’s unconstitutional amnesty decree is a political winner. Sure, you can get positive results when you ask people whether sympathetic young illegal immigrants should be spared deportation, as yesterday’s Bloomberg poll did — but not necessarily if you ask whether respondents approve of the president bypassing Congress to do so unilaterally, and not necessarily if you mention that it would mean 1 million extra job seekers at a time of high unemployment. Trende concludes thusly:

In short, it’s not really clear what Obama’s tack on immigration really accomplishes, politically speaking. It probably will result in minimal gains among Latino voters, in states with only a few electoral votes. But what it costs him could easily offset those gains, and then some.

I’d only add that the Republican leadership needs to articulate a critique of the president’s decree — one that acknowledges the sympathetic nature of the illegal immigrants in question while decrying the nature and effects of the decree — for the president’s move to exact the political price that Trende points to.