Here’s Why President Obama Delaying Immigration Reform For Political Reasons is a Good Thing
President Obama has decided to delay issuing executive orders that will attempt to deal with America’s immigration problems. Originally saying he’d act before summer’s end, the Associated Press reports that two unnamed “White House officials said Obama concluded that circumventing Congress through executive actions on immigration during the campaign would politicize the issue and hurt future efforts to pass a broad overhaul.”
During the 2008 presidential primaries and general election, then-candidate Obama wasn’t exactly the shrewdest politician. Sure, he gave a good speech, but most of the big stories that hurt him, like when he said Pennsylvania voters cling to God and guns, came from the campaign’s own missteps.
What helped him win, however, was the way in which he was able to address these gaffes and spin the conversation into one about honesty and transparency. So, it’s ironic that since his inauguration the Obama Administration has had an adversarial relationship with the Press thus losing the ability to retake control of the story.
So with this latest move, the President might be returning to the campaign strategy that helped them weather earlier storms. The acknowledgement that this is a purely political decision is a bit of refreshing honesty from the usually cagey and vague administration.
Given the thinly-veiled (sometimes not veiled at all) xenophobia present in many of the anti-immigration arguments, the height of the mid-term campaign is not the best time to raise the issue. Also, because the issue is as stagnant as ever until the White House takes action, the new Congress may actually be able to pass some meaningful, lasting reform.
Trying to predict how Congress will vote before it is even elected is like trying to figure out how a tournament of 700 apes playing chess would turn out. Still, if candidates don’t have to campaign on immigration, perhaps they will be more likely to deal with it in January.