President Obama plans to make the case for comprehensive immigration reform during a stop in Texas on Tuesday. Now that he's made good on promises to tighten border security and increase deportations of illegal immigrants who commit violent crimes, Obama is expected to argue that it's time to provide a citizenship route for other illegal immigrants. But with a Republican majority in the House, political strategists say Obama has little chance of passing his plan. Is he just trying to cement his support in the Latino community?
Yes, this is just a cynical ploy for Latino votes: "President Obama is not serious about immigration reform," says Abby W. Schachter in the New York Post. He's just trying to make Latinos think he cares so they'll vote for him again in 2012. If Obama weren't "just blowing smoke," he would be looking for ways to cooperate with the GOP, instead of saying that Republicans in Congress are to blame for everything that's wrong with our immigration laws.
"Latinos know Obama isn't serious about immigration reform"
Obama is reminding voters that Congress is blocking reform: Obama is on the hook for his failure to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill, says Ezra Klein in The Washington Post. During his 2008 campaign, he guaranteed he would pass one in his first year in office. But when the economy collapsed, many of his hopes for that first year went with it. But even if his new push fails, it could work politically if he convinces Latinos that "their problem isn't with a president who wants to sign immigration reform, but with a Congress that doesn't want to touch it."
"Wonkbook: Obama’s belated immigration push"
Give Obama credit for trying: "Attempts to reform America's immigration laws have been pushed to the background with other priorities over health care and the economy," says the Watertown, N.Y., Daily Times in an editorial. But at least President Obama is trying "to build support for a broad overhaul." He's holding meetings with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, with mayors from both parties, and with law enforcement leaders in states affected by illegal immigration. Reform is overdue, so Obama at least deserves credit for restarting the conversation.