Oh, yeah, that’ll win ’em over, Mitt
I think it’s time Mitt Romney quit pretending that he’s going to get any sort of appreciable percentage of the Latino vote in November. On top of the already abysmal record on immigration issues that Republicans in general have, Mitt himself has yet to establish himself as a friend to Latinos in any way.
However, this week, a lawsuit being filed by one of his immigration advisors against the Obama administration should just about put the final nail in that particular coffin.
Recall that, as part of his “We Can’t Wait” initiative, President Obama gave up on Congress passing the DREAM Act which would provide the children of undocumented residents with a pathway to citizenship. Earlier this month, he instituted a “deferred action” policy instead, temporarily allowing these young people relief from being deported. Additionally, he instructed the Deparment of Homeland Security to use “prosecutorial discretion” to focus their efforts on criminals and repeat offenders.
Thousands of young people took advantage of this opportunity:
The Obama administration kicked off one of the most sweeping changes in immigration policy in decades Wednesday, accepting applications from young illegal immigrants for the temporary right to live and work openly in the United States without fear of deportation.
An estimated 1.7 million young people who arrived in the United States illegally as children could qualify for the new Department of Homeland Security program, and thousands are expected to pay the $465 application fee for a “deferred action” permit that would protect them from deportation for at least two years. Many began lining up earlier this week at their native countries’ embassies and consulates to get passports and other records needed to apply.
By the way, it’s worth noting that the DREAM Act was a bipartisan effort, originally co-sponsored by Republican Orrin Hatch.
Now Mitt Romney’s advisor on immigration, Kris Kobach, who also happens to be the Kansas Secretary of State, is suing the Obama administration on behalf of ten immigration agents.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is back in the national political spotlight with a lawsuit challenging President Barack Obama’s plan to allow young undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States without being deported.
An informal adviser to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Kobach is representing 10 immigration agents who contend they are being put in a no-win situation.
They either break the law by not moving to deport illegal immigrants or disobey their bosses by not following the directive, the suit says.
“They have sworn an oath to uphold the law and if they follow federal law, they end up disobeying the orders of their superiors. If they disobey the orders of their supervisor they’re disciplined,” said Kobach, who filed the suit outside his role as secretary of state.
“They’re put in an untenable and a very difficult position.”
The lawsuit was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Dallas. It names as defendants Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and immigrations and customs Director John Morton. Kobach is the lead attorney in the lawsuit, which is funded by Numbers USA, a group based in Arlington, Va., that advocates for lower immigration and raised almost $5.5 million in 2010.
Homeland Security spokesman Matt Chandler said the new directive complies with the agency’s prosecutorial discretion to focus its efforts on arresting and deporting criminal immigrants.
According to Steve Benen at The Maddow Blog, Romney has been targeting getting 38% of the Latino vote. With this move, that seems laughably unattainable. Here’s Benen’s take:
So, the Obama administration is pursuing an immigration policy that used to enjoy bipartisan support, pursuing the goals of the DREAM Act, and Kobach is filing to suit to combat the policy.
And who’s Kris Kobach? He’s the anti-immigration official who advises Mitt Romney on immigration policy.
Kobach’s lawsuit, incidentally, coincides with the completion of the Republican Party’s new national platform. And guess what it says on immigration: “In their debates this week in Tampa, Fla., over the party platform, Republican delegates hammered out an immigration plank calling for tough border enforcement and opposing ‘any forms of amnesty’ for illegal immigrants, instead endorsing ‘humane procedures to encourage illegal aliens to return home voluntarily,’ a policy of self-deportation.”
I’m going to go out on a limb and say 38 percent is overly ambitious. Maybe Romney should aim for about half that.
Yeah, good luck with that, Mitt. I don’t see how what you want and what you’re doing line up. Not at all.
[CC image credit: Toksave | Wikimedia Commons]