If you didn’t think President Barack Obama’s new immigration policy would be well received by most Americans, think again. And if you didn’t think it now creates a shaky tightrope for all-but-certain-Republican nominee Mitt Romney, think again — twice. A new Bloomberg poll finds its getting 2 to 1 support:
President Obama appears to have boosted himself politically with his new policy aimed at helping young illegal immigrants. A Bloomberg poll released Tuesday shows likely voters approving the move by a 2-to-1 margin, 64 percent to 30 percent.
And one of the big numbers here is with independent voters:
Independent voters backed the move 65 percent to 26 percent. Fifty-six percent of Republicans opposed it, and 86 percent of Democrats approved.
Last Friday, Mr. Obama grabbed headlines by announcing that the Department of Homeland Security is stopping deportations of illegal immigrants who meet certain criteria: arrived in the United States before age 16, have lived in the US at least five years, are currently under age 30, have no criminal record, and either are in school, have a high school diploma, or have served in the US military. The directive offers such young immigrants work permits but no path to citizenship.
Some Republicans question the legality of the president’s move, but as a political gambit, Obama appears to have scored. A majority of undocumented immigrants in the country are Hispanic, and Obama has addressed a big sticking point among his Hispanic base – that he hadn’t done enough to help young illegal immigrants, who number in the hundreds of thousands. The DREAM Act, legislation aimed at providing young illegal immigrants with a path to citizenship, has been lying dormant since Republicans retook the House in early 2011
“[Obama's] decision left Republicans struggling to respond, trapped between alienating their political base and sending a negative signal to the Hispanic community and independent voters,” Bloomberg writes.
In 2008, Obama won the Hispanic vote 67 percent to 31 percent.
And Romney? He has courgeously…fudged on the issue ever since Obama’s announcement.
He doesn’t want to lose the party’s hard-right base, Tea Party movement members and the all too important talk show hosts who continue to play a key role in the GOP in rallying the party faithful, help them think correctly by hammering home key party points, and mobilizing voters (usually by pushing an anger button) to help get them to the polls. On the other hand, most analysts (of both parties) agree that in the long run the GOP can’t win Presidential elections if it keeps losing big chunks of an inceasingly bit part of the electorate — Latinos.
So everyone on the party would try to make sure that they’re starting to mend fences with Latinos. Right? Wrong: some House Republicans’hope to pass a bill that will halt Obama’s immigration policy shift:
Opponents of President Obama’s decision to allow young illegal immigrants a reprieve to stay in this country are trying to undo that move in Congress.
Rep. Ben Quayle (R-Ariz.) has introduced the “Prohibiting Back-door Amnesty Act of 2012” legislation that would block the president’s action — and exposes the ongoing divide in the GOP on immigration issues in an election year.
Quayle said legislation is necessary to prohibit the “outrageous edict” announced last week by Obama and his Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano. The administrative action temporarily stops deportations of young people who are here illegally but are in school or the military and have no criminal record.
“President Obama and Secretary Napolitano’s decision to end the enforcement of many of our nation’s immigration laws is stunning in both its arrogance and shortsightedness,” Quayle said in a statement. “It’s time for Congress to send a loud and clear message to the Obama administration that its efforts to circumvent the legislative branch and ignore our nation’s laws will not stand.”
What is unclear, though, is if there is any political appetite among Republican leadership for the bill, as the GOP tries to balance the party’s mixed messages on immigration. The GOP’s conservative flank tends to hew toward strict anti-immigration laws, while other Republican lawmakers have expressed more willingness to allow some illegal immigrants – especially youths who have broken no rules on their own – an opportunity to remain in the United States.
Quayle is the son of former Vice President Dan Quayle. Would his bill help Mitt Romney in the general election and the GOP in the long run?
As Dan Quayle would say: “N-o-e. No.”