Obama had dominating Democratic majorities in 2009 and 2010, and could have chosen to press forward with his own plans on immigration reform.
For several months, Obama had a veto-proof majority in the Senate, as well as at least a few Republicans who would have been inclined to go along on the issue, such as John McCain and Lindsey Graham. He could have tackled immigration reform at any point in those first two years, and might have built enough bipartisan goodwill to boost his party’s chances in the midterms. Instead, Obama pushed it to the back burner and instead pursued an unpopular health-care overhaul that cost his party 68 House seats, ruining his chances to push through any more of his agenda in the final two years of his term.
So. Now he goes on Univision to say he’s taking the Latino vote for granted, and besides, he’ll get around to passing immigration amnesty sometime because he’s got “another five years“, while blaming Republicans in a meandering paragraph:
PIOLIN: We’re going to start right away because this is what our community wants to know. During your presidency, you have not delivered the immigration reform that we were hoping for. Thousands of families have been separated by deportation, leaving their children behind, alone in this country. Do you think that you still have the support of the Latino community?
OBAMA: Well, first of all Piolin, my presidency is not over, I’ve got another five years coming up. We’re going to get this done. And — and absolutely we have strong support in the Latino community because they have seen something we are working on. First of all, strengthening the economy, we were able to get the payroll tax done that provides 25 million Latinos with an extra 40 dollars in every paycheck and is going to strengthen the economy. We made sure unemployment insurance got extended because the Latino community has been so hard hit. A million Latinos are going to be benefiting from that. The housing settlement that we just passed, which will help Latino families all across the country who were taken advantage of by subprime lenders to be able to stay in their homes. The work we have done on education, to make sure millions of students — many Latino students are still getting Pell Grants and other scholarships and financial aid so that they can go to college. So, there are a lot of issues that we have worked on that have directly benefited millions of Latino families.
You’re right though, immigration reform is something we still have to get done and as I’ve told you since before I was elected president, the only way we are going to get this done fully is by getting Congress to do its job.
What we’ve been able to do is, administratively, we’ve said, let’s reemphasize our focus when it comes to enforcement on criminals and at the borders and let’s not be focusing our attention on hard-working families who are just trying to make ends meet. We’ve administratively proposed to reform the “three and 10” program so that families aren’t separated when they’re applying to stay here in this country.
So we are trying to do a lot to soften the effects of immigration, but ultimately, the only way we are going to do this is to get something passed through Congress, and that’s why we have to keep the pressure up.
Unfortunately, the Republican side, which used to at least give lip service to immigration reform, now they’ve gone completely to a different place and have shown themselves unwilling to talk at all about any sensible solutions to this issue and we are just going to have to keep up the pressure until they act.
My fellow Latinos and Latinas who favor immigration reform of any kind: if you fall for this line, the word best describing you is pendejos. Might as well wait for that algae fuel to gas up your car.
To my English-speaking readers who don’t know what the word means, the polite term is suckers.