U.S. President Obama has surprisingly announced that illegal immigrants will be permitted to apply for amnesty. That could secure the election for him.
A good six weeks ago, U.S. President Barack Obama had official confirmation. The U.S. Census Office officially determined what had been suspected for the last several years: In a couple years, the majority of the population will no longer be white. Already 50.4 percent of all babies who were born between July 2010 and July 2011 are of African-American, Latino, Asian or other ethnicity, thus having no white parents. The publication of the statistics may well have given Obama the final impetus to take a stand on the immigration question.
A few days ago, the Obama administration directed that in the future well over 800,000 young people who are in the U.S. illegally will be able to apply for amnesty. Most of them are Latinos. These people who have spent the greater part of their lives in the U.S. and graduated from school there -- and possibly even served in the military -- will no longer have to fear deportation in the future. The White House's decision was not only due to the insight into demographic development. It didn't result only from the fact that more than 50 million people living in the U.S. today are from Latin America. Above all, the decision was brilliant.
Obama understood that due to the majority situation in Congress, he would no longer be able to get the immigration legislation passed -- legislation that has been stalled in Congress for years. He recognized that the Republicans, who want to take the presidency from him in November, will not lift a finger to solve the problem. To the contrary, they are even ignoring the legislative efforts of their young senator, Mario Rubio from Florida, still a potential vice presidential candidate. Above all, Obama recognized that the Latino vote could be the deciding factor between victory and defeat. The number of registered voters among Latinos is rising. In 2008, it was well over nine million. In November, it is estimated that it could be more than 12 million. This constituency is quite important to Obama primarily in the swing states of Florida, Nevada, Colorado and North Carolina. These states traditionally tend to make decisions from election to election. Sometimes they vote for the Democrats, sometimes for the Republicans. If Obama gets the Latinos there behind him, he will probably remain president.
Protection from Deportation
Obama made an ice-cold calculation – and acted. Those who fall under the most recent regulation will not get U.S. citizenship. Obama could not have ordered that without congressional approval. However, the Republicans dominate Congress. The so-called DREAM Act, an immigration law in the classical sense, has been buried in one drawer or another of Congress for more than a decade. The prospect alone that 800,000 people will soon be protected from deportation and will receive temporary work permits has excited the Latino community in the U.S. and thrown the Republicans into a state of confusion. They have stepped into Obama's trap. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is trying to tap dance around the problem. Four times this weekend, he has already been asked whether he would revoke Obama's order on his first day in office if elected – as he has promised in the case of health care reform. Four times, Romney outright refused to answer.
A yes would be a serious mistake because Romney is just as dependent on the Latino vote as Obama. Romney knows that the Republican party is the party of the white man. He knows that he must change that and has already realized this. He just doesn't know how. Evidence of this bewilderment is Romney's complaint that Obama's actions were politically motivated. That is true. Is it a wonder, four and a half months before the election? The reaction of Senator Rubio from Florida looked even more bewildered than Romney's tap dance: His plan for an immigration law by his own party was disregarded. Rubio said, "The White House never called us. No one told us that the matter was underway." If Rubio wonders why he was never contacted, then he is naive.
The Republicans are paralyzed with shock; the Latinos are pleased; Obama can emerge relaxed because he has pulled off a coup. His next appointment with the Latino community is on Friday in the swing state of Florida. Obama is supposed to give a speech to NALEO. By this time he will know what his competitor has said because, just days before, Romney will have appeared in front of the yearly convention of the largest representation of Latino interests. Obama has delivered his present. Romney still needs to explain where he stands on the Latino issue.