The AP reports that President Obama has dropped plans for immigration reform this year. The AP’s Suzanne Gamboa reports:
Immigration reform has become the first of President Barack Obama’s major priorities dropped from the agenda of an election-year Congress facing voter disillusionment. Sounding the death knell was Obama himself.
The president noted that lawmakers may lack the "appetite" to take on immigration while many of them are up for re-election and while another big legislative issue – climate change – is already on their plate.
"I don’t want us to do something just for the sake of politics that doesn’t solve the problem," Obama told reporters Wednesday night aboard Air Force One.
By doing so, Obama broke yet another of his campaign promises. From the article above:
Immigration reform was an issue Obama promised Latino groups that he would take up in his first year in office. But several hard realities – a tanked economy, a crowded agenda, election-year politics and lack of political will – led to so much foot-dragging in Congress that, ultimately, Obama decided to set the issue aside.
With that move, the president calculated that an immigration bill would not prove as costly to his party two years from now, when he seeks re-election, than it would today, even though some immigration reformers warned that a delay could so discourage Democratic-leaning Latino voters that they would stay home from the polls in November.
I laughed when I read the words above indicating Obama promising to take up the issue in his reelection year. No way that’s going to happen because Obama knows it is such a contentious issue. It’s probably dead until a new president takes office.
Yet another instance of Obama dissing his base, in this case Latino voters. This may also strengthen Arizona’s case in any fight with the feds over its punitive immigration law: there appears to be no federal law that preempts Arizona’s.