If Republicans don’t act on a comprehensive package that would ultimately give amnesty to illegal immigrants by summer, President Obama will act on his own, Greg Sargent reported at the Washington Post Wednesday.
“Two immigration reform advocates who have spoken personally with the president in recent days tell me they came away convinced he knows he will have to resort to executive action by summer if Republicans do nothing,” Sargent said.
“The president made it clear that three months from now, if there is no legislative action, he will do more using executive authority,” said Lorella Praelli, the director of advocacy and policy for United We Dream. “That was the message that we got in different ways.”
Praelli, Sargent added, was in a recent meeting with Obama and others who support amnesty.
“The president left the clear impression that if Republicans don’t act in three months, he will,” added Frank Sharry of America’s Voice, who, Sargent said, was also in the meeting.
Sargent went on to say there is good reason to believe Obama will carry out his threat to act unilaterally.
“The Department of Homeland Security is already reviewing possibilities. If nothing happens by July, and we head into August recess, it’s hard to imagine Republicans acting in September or October, when the midterms are in full swing,” he said.
He also observed that any unilateral action on Obama’s part will, as he put it, “embolden the ‘tyranny’ screaming hard-liners in the House GOP caucus.”
But Republicans have shown they have no stomach for a fight, despite their rhetoric. A number of Republicans have spoken of impeachment, but have done nothing.
The bottom line for Sargent:
There is good reason to believe that if House Republicans don’t act in the next few months, nothing serious is going to happen until at least 2017. Republicans will be heading into another presidential election without having done anything significant — or perhaps anything at all – to prove their willingness to address a humanitarian crisis afflicting a segment of the electorate that votes in presidential elections and continues to grow in many of the key swing states.
Republicans, however, know that any move to advance amnesty will be met with strong opposition from the conservative base. And any executive action on Obama’s part will also result in even louder cries for impeachment.
The best hope is for conservatives to take the Senate and hold the House this November.
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