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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

Obama: First Deficit Deal and Then Immigration Reform

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Yesterday, the media started hyperventilating over President Obama's interview with the Des Moines Register Editorial Board. The President wants the newspaper's endorsement in the critical swing state of Iowa. He wanted to have a frank discussion so asked that his remarks be kept off the record. Probably not smart politically and the President later in the day was forced to release a transcript of his remarks. There was nothing embarrassing in the remarks so I'm not sure why it was not on the record initially, but there was a VERY intriguing discussion on immigration.

The long and short of it is that the President plans on working on a grand bargain on the deficity and having that accomplished in the first six months of the new term. No surprise. With the fiscal cliff coming based on the sequestration deal, there is no way to ignore that issue and it will no doubt require all of the President's attention.

But then what? According to the National Journal, here's what the President had to say:

The second thing I'm confident we'll get done next year is
immigration reform. And since this is off the record, I will just be very
blunt. Should I win a second term, a big reason I will win a second term is
because the Republican nominee and the Republican party have so alienated the
fastest-growing demographic group in the country, the Latino community. And
this is a relatively new phenomenon. George Bush and Karl Rove were smart
enough to understand the changing nature of America. And so I am fairly
confident that they're going to have a deep interest in getting that done. And
I want to get it done because it's the right thing to do and I've cared about
this ever since I ran back in 2008.

I'm sure Romney will say that this sounds familiar and that the President promised accomplishing immigration reform in the first year of his first term. But this is a little different. First, he was not talking to a Latino group. He was telling a general audience in a critical swing state that this is the plan. Second, he was not saying immigration reform is one of many goals he wants to accomplish in the first year. He was saying it was THE most important goal after the deficit deal and it will come up just 180 days after the inauguration. Finally, the President's actions in the last year and a half are an indicator that he's serious about immigration. I believe the man.

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  1. George Chell 's Avatar
    Immigration Reform will be difficult with a GOP House and the three Senate Stooges: Durbin, Grassley and Sanders!
  2. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    At least, he is not lying to his supporters. Mitt thinks people who give him money are idiots who need to have their egos stroked with lies.
  3. mark fish's Avatar
    "I believe the man."

    I don't.
  4. Another Voice's Avatar
    Is going to be tough with divided government even if he wins, unless the GOP decides to cooperate on CIR in order to be able to compete for the Latino vote going forward. Who knows what the GOP will do....they may take a sip of their own kool aide and vote against their own interest just like they make many Americans do for them.
  5. JoeF's Avatar
    The teabaggers seem to have a hard time, so there may be a more sane GOP in the House next year.
  6. Jack's Avatar
    "I believe the man."

    Yeah, he has a sterling record of keeping promises. The surest bet about an Obama second term is that he would continue his war on the Constitution. In his first term he would constantly ignore the law as a re-election strategy. So how would he operate in a second term? Who knows but I'm guessing the same or worse. He said, "After my election, I have more flexibility." That is scary when you consider he has acted like he is not bound by law at all in his first term.
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