Obama's Post-2014 Plan: Unilateral Amnesty?
As the 2014 elections draw near, panic is setting in for President Obama and Democrats across the country. As John Harwood of The New York Times observed on Tuesday, “The very structure of the 21st-century national Democratic coalition makes its November turnout predicament bad, perhaps historically so.” Blacks, women, and young people turned out in historic numbers for Obama in 2012; those groups will experience significant turnout dropoff in 2014.
So, what happens when President Obama does not achieve his wish and take back the House while maintaining the Senate? He has already threatened to use his phone and his pen – and now that it is clear that Obama cares nothing about the limits of executive power, and that Congressional Democrats will stand for any abuse of that power, Obama may be planning the most far-reaching executive action in American history: amnestying 11 million illegal immigrants.
This would be Obama’s blockbuster move. He has already implied that he will use all power at his disposal to “act” with regard to the status of illegal immigrants in the country. Last week, Vice President Joe Biden openly stated that in his view, those 11 million illegal immigrants were “already American citizens.” He added, “These people are just waiting, waiting for a chance to contribute fully. And by that standard, 11 million undocumented aliens are already Americans, in my view.”
Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has made similar threats: Republicans, he has said, can either “grow our economy by bringing in needed workers in high tech and agriculture areas, and provide a hard-earned path to eventual citizenship for the 11 million in the shadows, or they can sit idly by and watch the President greatly curtail deportations while 11 million continue to live in limbo here in America.”
On Tuesday, appearing on my radio show on KTTH in Seattle, Jessica M. Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies stated, “The President would like to take credit for actually legalizing all these people. He recognizes that he can’t do anything too overt because that will kill any chance of Congress acting. But it looks to me very much like he is starting to recognize that nobody’s trying to stop him with the executive action, and that if he just doesn’t deport people, no one else is going to have the guts to do it later.”
If Obama doesn’t win his Democratic majority in November, this possibility becomes even more real. There are several legal ways in which Obama could blanket amnesty illegals. He could theoretically pardon them the way President Jimmy Carter gave blanket amnesty to Vietnam War-era draft dodgers. He could also use his “discretion” to extend the deportation delays to a broader class of people, although that delay could be challenged in court – a possibility Obama clearly does not fear. None of this would convert illegal immigrants into voters immediately. But it would make it difficult to prevent a broad-scale movement to give the vote to these newly legal residents.
The political fallout from such a move would be serious for Democrats, which is why Obama would wait until after November 2014 to do it. The fallout for Hillary Clinton could be significant in 2016 – but, of course, President Obama has little love for the Clintons, especially given speculation about his wife’s possible interest in national politics. His interest in fundamentally transforming the electorate of the country and enshrining his legacy as that transformative figure could override short-term Clintonian political interest.
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.