President Obama’s agenda on immigration is more and more obvious each passing day: he wants to break the Republican Party by training the Hispanic population that Republicans are secretly racist. That’s why Obama goes out of his way to propose an alternative immigration reform structure to the border security first structure considered by the Senate “Gang of Eight.” Obama is attempting to put a poison pill in the immigration reform package, killing it dead while forcing Republicans to play the villainous obstructionists.
This whole debate is a win-win for Obama. If he gets his wish, and Republicans obstruct his immigration reform package, he will cast them as anti-Hispanic bigots fearful of demographic shift. If Republicans and Democrats pass their original, border security-first bill, he will take credit.
But if he can pick one or the other, he’d go for the poison pill approach. That leaves the border open, allows more and more people to cross, leaves the immigration on the table, and allows Obama and his allies to demagogue. This is why Obama didn’t propose immigration reform during his first term. And it’s why now, he thinks it’s top priority.