On Monday, Vice President Joe Biden promised that President Barack Obama would “do an awful lot” for illegal immigrants with executive actions toward amnesty. He said if Republicans don’t “see the lord” on immigration after the midterm elections, then they will feel some “lightning.”
According to pool reports, Biden spoke at a Hispanic Heritage Month reception at his residence and reportedly called up a student who had received temporary amnesty due to Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Biden then said that Obama is going to enact executive amnesty before the end of the year if Congress does not pass comprehensive immigration reform, “and he’s going to do an awful lot.” He said Obama has a chance to change the country “in a way like we haven’t had for a long, long time.”
Even though a plurality of Americans are less likely to vote for candidates who favor a pathway to citizenship and Obama’s approval rating on immigration has hit all-time lows, Biden said that Republicans are irrational for not backing comprehensive amnesty legislation.
“They will either act rationally, or we will act for them, and if we have to act for them, they will not be around a whole lot longer to act in large numbers,” Biden said of Republicans, though amnesty legislation would likely create more Democratic voters, as an Eagle Forum study found. “I’m not offering any false hope about what they’ll do between now and the election, but… I can tell you, when this election [is] over in the lame duck session, they just may see the Lord. It is possible. But if they don’t they will see some lightning.”
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) recently said that when the White House asked for forbearance for missing Obama’s self-imposed “by the end of summer deadline” on executive amnesty, he demanded interest when Obama enacts his executive amnesty by the end of the holiday season. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus had demanded executive amnesty by Thanksgiving but have given the White House by the end of the holiday season, most likely because the Louisiana Senate runoff that could decide control of the Senate may take place after Thanksgiving.
The White House was reportedly considering granting amnesty to at least five million illegal immigrants and giving them temporary work permits “by the end of summer,” but Obama delayed it after Senate Democrats urged him to help them save their majority in the Senate.
Obama complained to Chuck Todd on Meet the Press that the politics had changed on the illegal immigration issue over the summer, which was when Breitbart Texas published leaked photos of illegal immigrant juveniles being warehoused that forced the mainstream press to cover the issue. Since then, according to Gallup polling, illegal immigration has been the top issue among Republicans and increased threefold among Americans as the top concern.