White House Hints At Content Of Obama’s Executive Action On Immigration

The White House is now leaking out details of what seems like an inevitable decision by the President. How it plays out politically, though, is the big question.

Obama Marine One

The New York Times has an outline of what appears to be the kind of executive action on immigration that the President has in mind if Congress fails to act by his self-imposed, and politically naive, end-of-the-year deadline:

WASHINGTON — President Obama will ignore angry protests from Republicans and announce as soon as next week a broad overhaul of the nation’s immigration enforcement system that will protect up to five million undocumented immigrants from the threat of deportation and provide many of them with work permits, according to administration officials who have direct knowledge of the plan.

Asserting his authority as president to enforce the nation’s laws with discretion, Mr. Obama intends to order changes that will significantly refocus the activities of the government’s 12,000 immigration agents. One key piece of the order, officials said, will allow many parents of children who are American citizens or legal residents to obtain legal work documents and no longer worry about being discovered, separated from their families and sent away.

That part of Mr. Obama’s plan alone could affect as many as 3.3 million people who have been living in the United States illegally for at least five years, according to an analysis by the Migration Policy Institute, an immigration research organization in Washington. But the White House is also considering a stricter policy that would limit the benefits to people who have lived in the country for at least 10 years, or about 2.5 million people.

Extending protections to more undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children, and to their parents, could affect an additional one million or more if they are included in the final plan that the president announces.

Mr. Obama’s actions will also expand opportunities for immigrants who have high-tech skills, shift extra security resources to the nation’s southern border, revamp a controversial immigration enforcement program called Secure Communities, and provide clearer guidance to the agencies that enforce immigration laws about who should be a low priority for deportation, especially those with strong family ties and no serious criminal history.

A new enforcement memorandum, which will direct the actions of Border Patrol agents and judges at the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department and other federal law enforcement and judicial agencies, will make clear that deportations should still proceed for convicted criminals, foreigners who pose national security risks and recent border crossers, officials said.


Officials said one of the primary considerations for the president has been to take actions that can withstand the legal challenges that they expect will come quickly from Republicans. A senior administration official said lawyers had been working for months to make sure the president’s proposal would be “legally unassailable” when he presented it.

Most of the major elements of the president’s plan are based on longstanding legal precedents that give the executive branch the right to exercise “prosecutorial discretion” in how it enforces the laws. That was the basis of a 2012 decision to protect from deportation the so-called Dreamers, who came to the United States as young children. The new announcement will be based on a similar legal theory, officials said.

The White House expects a chorus of outside legal experts to back it up once Mr. Obama makes the plan official. In several “listening sessions” at the White House over the last year, immigration activists came armed with legal briefs, and White House officials believe those arguments will quickly form the basis of the public defense of his actions.

Without seeing exactly what it is the President is proposing, I’m not going to comment on the legal issues involved or the question of whether or not he has the legal authority to do what he is apparently thinking of doing here. As a general rule, though, it is true that the immigration laws that Congress has passed give the President, through Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the other agencies charged with enforcing the nation’s immigration laws, a significant amount of discretion in deciding how to handle individual cases, as well as the authority to delay enforcement of deportation proceedings against certain people or groups of people. This is the kind of prosecutorial discretion that, for example, allows the Administration to decide to give priority to cases involving violent felons and repeat offenders while allowing some degree of temporary amnesty for others. This is the legal justification behind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that was announced in 2012, for example, and based on the description above it appears that the President’s contemplated program would be identical to that program in many ways, although it would obviously apply to a much larger group of people. Given that, and again pending more details on exactly what it is the President is planning to do and what legal arguments the White House is relying upon in favor of that action, I’d anticipate that it is unlikely that Congressional Republicans will challenge the legal basis of the action if the President goes forward.

Whether the program is legal, of course, is only half of the equation, of course. The other half, and arguably one that will really matter in determining the relationship between the President and the new Congress going forward. As I have already noted, almost any kind of executive action that is taken before the new Congress even has a chance to consider the possibility of acting on immigration reform would seem to virtually guarantee that it will be impossible to get any work done in that area for the remainder of President Obama’s time in office. Additionally, it is likely to inflame the Republican base, which in turn could end up pushing Congressional Republicans even further to the right not only on immigration but on a whole host of other issues, a step which would be in direct opposition to the party’s obvious need to keep an eye on not alienating the vast middle of American politics, which it will need in order to be competitive in 2016 and beyond. Finally, it is likely to provoke the GOP into some kind of actions, although Republicans still seem to be debating exactly how to react to something they now see as inevitable.

As Chris Cillizza notes, though, that, along with a longer term play for the Latino vote, may be exactly what the President has in mind:

Obama knows that.  And it would seem he doesn’t care. Or rather, he has made the calculation that the chances of genuine bipartisanship on virtually anything was so low in the first place that it didn’t make sense to not do what he believes is the right thing.  As I’ve written before, the post-grand-bargain-collapse version of Obama is far less willing to extend his hand to Republicans — having, in his estimation, had it bitten so many times before.  Obama views the “now the well is poisoned” point being made by Republicans as laughable.


This move is, given the Republicans’ strongly stated opposition to it, a bit of an act of provocation on the part of Obama. And, many Democratic strategists hope/believe that conservatives in the House and Senate will react vociferously to it — and, in so doing, damage the already-not-so-great Republican brand with Hispanics (and voters more generally). Democrats remain convinced that the 2014 election proved nothing about how the country feels about Republicans and, that by exposing some of the elements within the party that GOP leaders have worked to keep quiet in recent months, they can regain the political momentum lost on Nov. 4.

Longer term, the hope in Obama world is that an executive order further cements the Democratic Party as the exclusive (or close to it) home for Hispanic voters. (An aggressive response to the Obama executive order by Republicans — particularly if it veers from talking about Obama into talking about the Latino community in a negative way — could well help that process along too.) Democratic House candidates won the Hispanic vote 62 percent to 38 percent in 2014, according to national exit polls. That’s actually a considerable improvement from the 29 percent of the Latino vote Republican nominee Mitt Romney got in 2012.

There is real long-term political danger here for Republicans. Remember that in the wake of Romney’s defeat, the Republican National Committee commissioned an autopsy to diagnose what went wrong for their side — and how to fix it. One of the central conclusions of that document was that Republicans needed to be for some sort of comprehensive immigration reform in order to take that issue off the table for Hispanics, and allow the GOP to talk to that community about other things.

Obama is moving a major chess piece with his executive order. Republicans must be careful with their countermove. It will have implications that last well beyond 2014 — or even 2016.

All of this isn’t without political risk for the President and the Democrats, of course. Polling on the immigration issue does not necessarily give the advantage to one party or the other. While there is at least some indication that the American public supports the kind of comprehensive approach to reform that was embodied in the now basically dead bill that was passed in the Senate in 2013, there is also strong support for the idea of enhanced border security and and opposition to the idea of blanket amnesty for people who are here illegally. Other polling has indicated public distrust, at the very least, of the kind of go it alone executive action that the President is contemplated here Instead, as with a whole host of other issues, the American public seems to clearly prefer that immigration reform be something that the President and Congress work on together. Obviously, if the President can from his executive action in reference to a Congress that has failed to act on the issue for too long, he may be able to overcome that public skepticism of executive action. However, it’s also entirely possible, and plausible, that the GOP could win that side of the battle for public opinion by characterizing the Presidents actions as another example of executive overreach, which the public has viewed with disfavor since the President’s predecessor was in office, Negative public reaction may not mean much to a President who will be leaving in office in twenty-six months and will never stand for election again, but it could have real consequences for the President’s party heading toward 2016. Additionally, negative public reaction here could impact what the President is able to get done for the remainder of his Presidency, and at the very least will guarantee a bad relationship with Congress. That last part is probably going to happen anyway of course notwithstanding all the feel good rhetoric we’ve heard since Election Day, but if the President is seen as the one responsible for it then that’s going to benefit the GOP to at least some extent.

In the end, if I had to take bets about which side will end up overreacting to the point that they damage themselves politically I suppose I’d pick the GOP only because they have shown themselves to be quite skilled at shooting their own foot time after time since the President took office. Nonetheless, the President would be taking some big political risks here and there’s no guarantee that it will turn out to his benefit in the end.

FILED UNDER: Borders and Immigration, Congress, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. C. Clavin says:

    The wing-nuts are going crazy over this…Krauthammer talking impeachment…Boehner talking Government shut-down. Steve King is having visions of brown people with cantalope calves over-running Iowa.
    Simple solution…Republicans in Congress only need to act. They’re the most do-nothing Congress in history. They won the Senate. They control the entire building.
    DO SOMETHINGOR DON”T…but don’t just sit there and whine like little children.

  2. Stan says:

    Bipartisan action during the Clinton administration amounted to Clinton’s giving the Republicans what they wanted on welfare reform and the budget followed by a near unanimous vote by Republicans in the House in favor of impeachment. Given this background and the feelings the Republican base hold about Obama, it’s ludicrous to feel that his actions on immigration reform would make the House Republicans more hostile. Politically, his proposed executive order is a winner, at least with my branch of the Democratic party. Morally, it frees the country from the shame of depriving children of the care and love of their parents. So right on, BHO, you’re making me proud of you.

  3. John Cole says:

    The way they have treated him the last six years, I don’t think he honestly gives two hoots in hell what they think. If I were him I’d give the middle finger while signing the order- “Go ahead, impeach me, assholes. This Kenyan is fresh out of shits to give.”

  4. michael reynolds says:

    A bad relationship with Congress was already guaranteed. The GOP has stood for absolutely nothing these last six years but Stop That Negro! That’s what it continues to stand for.

    This is a perfectly legal move and it is not without precedent.

    When the US Congress creates a power vacuum by virtue of its own intransigence and stupidity the President has a legal right, and a moral obligation, to act.

  5. gVOR08 says:

    I have no idea what Obama plans to do, but he’s already succeeded in getting the Rs to put up a big neon billboard,

    We Hate Hispanics

  6. al-Ameda says:

    Republicans: “You’re going to poison the well, if you ignore us!”
    Obama: “I know.”
    Republicans: “We’ll impeach you!”
    Obama: “Whatever.”
    Republicans: “Listen to us, we’re in charge now!”
    Obama: “How’s that Benghazi investigation going?”
    Republicans: “Don’t talk back to us!”

  7. Slugger says:

    The Republican party has just achieved a major electoral victory. Now is the time for them to use it by enacting laws and regulations. Pissing and moaning about what Obama is going to do is not earning my respect. Immigration is just one of the issues. How about an AUMF for these wars in Syria/Iraq or a better healthcare plan than the ACA.
    Messieurs Boehner and McConnell, the ball is in your court.

  8. LaMont says:

    If these leaks are in any way accurate – The executive order will be popular to everyone exept the GOP base. And we already know how the GOP base feel about Obama. President Obama is risking nothing here.

  9. Jimbo OPKS says:

    Let President Phone and Pen do his best. Then in 2017 we will know where all of the illegals are, we will have an admission of illegal acts, and can deport them expeditiously. I’m surprised that the illegals will fall for this.

  10. superdestroyer says:

    The Democrats lost the white male vote in 2014, 2012, 2010, 2008 by around 30%. The Democrats can do one of two things: try to move their positions to appeal more to white males or try to change the demographics faster than they are already changing to eliminate white males as a relevant force in politics.

    President Obama is announcing that the Democrats have decided to double down on changing the population and they no longer have any interest about the white male citizens of the U.S. White males, in the future of politics in the U.S., have become irrelevant for progressives.

  11. gVOR08 says:

    @superdestroyer: How about you start voting for your own best economic interest? That would bring over one white male.

  12. Stonetools says:

    The President should simply do what’s right and what’s good for the long term now. One of the good things about the current situation is that he can just act now, and not have to worry about the next election.
    The media is (STILL!) talking about bipartisan deals, but frankly nobody on either side cares about bipartisanship now. Partisan obstructionism has been shown to work politically (thanks , “both sides do it” gang).
    The President has a historic opportunity to not only do what’s right, but to cement the Democrats’ hold on a huge and rapidly growing constituency. He should take it.

  13. michael reynolds says:

    @Jimbo OPKS:

    There you go, that’s the positive, moral approach we love in the GOP. Yay, we’ll arrest a bunch of children, haul them out of their schools and homes and ship them to countries they’ve never known!

    Do you mind if I use your comment as Exhibit A whenever I need to show Republicans are aszholes?

  14. superdestroyer says:


    How is separate admission standards, separate employment standards, 8a minority set aside contracting standards, and the two-income trap in the best economic interest of white males.

    Do you really think that the middle class really want to live like tiger moms so that their children can have a standard of living above the peon class that the U.S. has begun to create?

  15. superdestroyer says:


    How is higher taxes, higher real estate prices in the good neighborhoods with the good schools, and lower average pay in many career fields a good thing for the long term? Open borders and the free movement of people across those borders is something the Oligarchs want. Why are the Democrats and progressives working so hard to give the cheap labor desiring Oligarchs what they want?

  16. LaMont says:


    This is borderline bigotry – just thought you should know.

  17. superdestroyer says:


    Since no one called Senator Elizabeth Warren a bigot when she pointed out that many Americans were going bankrupt trying to afford a home in a good neighborhood with a good school. And how did she define a good neighborhood: one where the schools get above average SAT scores.

  18. michael reynolds says:


    I agree we have a right to control our borders and decide who gets in and who doesn’t. I even agree that Mexican immigration specifically has contributed to the growing gap between productivity and pay.

    What you fail to grasp is that Mr. Obama has deported more illegals than ever before, and border security has been tightened. What has not been dealt with is the problem: American employers who don’t want to carry out employee verification.

    That would have to come from Congress, which would require Republicans to take a break from voting to repeal Obamacare and actually do their jobs.

    Of course a big part of the reason they can’t do their jobs is because their party is hobbled by racist morons who can’t see past the need to hurt some brown folks.

    This isn’t hard. Set up a national ID system and sanction employers who don’t comply. We could have that in place in a couple of years, problem solved.

    So why don’t Republicans do that? Because the Money wing of the GOP likes cheap labor. And people like you end up giving them a pass by obsessing over your race hatreds and your need to inflict suffering on brown people. You’re being played, the same way rich men have been playing your kind since slavery times. Try following the money, not the skin color.

  19. Scott says:

    @Jimbo OPKS: I’m not sure who this “we” you are alluding to (armed militias, vigilantes?) but if the round ups start to happen, then they will take place in every workplace in the country. I’m sure our business leaders will have something to say about that, especially when food starts to disappear out of the grocery stores.

  20. Jimbo OPKS says:

    @michael reynolds: Please do. I am for what is best for American workers. It is impossible to shift the supply curve of unskilled workers to the right without lowering wages. It is Micro 101. You do not have the best interests of non-college educated workers at heart. If the Blacks who vote Democrat reflexively understood this, they would no longer vote for the Democrats. I’m surprised that labor is falling for this crap, the leaders, the rank and file know better. They let the Democrats get NAFTA and GATT passed, now they want to import unskilled workers to take the remaining jobs. IBEW, UAW, SIEU, wake up!

  21. Jimbo OPKS says:

    @Scott: We would be ICE enforcing the laws of our country. Remember: Government is what we call the things we choose to do together.

  22. michael reynolds says:

    @Jimbo OPKS:

    1) Blacks vote Democrat because Republicans get their winning margin by race-baiting. Stop race-baiting and you could win black votes.

    2) Labor? Say what? The GOP has effectively destroyed labor, to cheers from Republican working men too stupid to see that unions were their only defense against capital.

    3) The Democrats passed NAFTA and GATT? NAFTA was passed over the resistance of Congressional Democrats with GOP support. Democrats voted 102 for, 156 against. Among Republicans the votes was 132 in favor, 43 against.

    So, basically, you have it completely backward. It was Democrats who warned that breaking unions and signing NAFTA would have the results you now decry and blame on Democrats.

  23. Guarneri says:

    ” I suppose I’d pick the GOP only because they have shown themselves to be quite skilled at shooting their own foot time after time since the President took office. ”

    An odd observation given that Obama entered office with both chambers by significant margins and now has neither, by significant margins.

  24. gVOR08 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Labor? Say what? The GOP has effectively destroyed labor, to cheers from Republican working men too stupid to see that unions were their only defense against capital.

    That. A thousand times that.

    But I have to add that the Democratic Party has sat passively by and allowed this. Unions used to provide money and boots on the ground that were critical to Dems. Their absence is crippling. Unions used to provide lobbying for the middle class. Obama should have made card check a priority. Unfortunately Dems are also too willing to defer to their corporate donors.

  25. Stan says:

    @superdestroyer: “How is separate admission standards, separate employment standards, 8a minority set aside contracting standards, and the two-income trap in the best economic interest of white males.”

    Now tell me why union busting, tax code reform that favors wealth over work, health insurance reform that converts Medicare into a voucher program, and opposition to an increase in the minimum wage are in the best economic interest of white males.
    Or of anybody.

  26. humanoid.panda says:

    @superdestroyer: So the 500,000 or so Whites, half of whom are presumably males, who got Medicaid in WV, KY, and AR are what, chopped liver? (I know that as far as you are concerned, the only policies they should care about is the purity of the white race,but most people rate health somewhat above that.). How about all those autoworkers that have jobs because the Kenyan usurper bailed out the car industry?

  27. humanoid.panda says:

    @superdestroyer: Elizabeth Warren solution to the problem does not, surprisingly enough, include neither mass deportations nor the abolition of post-1965 civil rights apparatus. Its almost like people who actually care about the middle class and not just use them as a cudgel actually think the problems it faces have little to do with racial purity and a lot to do with economic forces.

  28. Jimbo OPKS says:

    @michael reynolds: 1. Tell Mia Love and Tim Scott. The most race baiting I see in campaigns comes from Democrat scare mongers.
    2. No one could destroy labor if labor markets were tight. Labor’s power comes from, well, labor. Pull 11 M illegal laborers out of the market and things are much better. 3. I missed where Bill Clinton, who negotiated the treaties, changed his party affiliation.

    Even if I concede your argument, it is still no reason to legalize the unskilled workers. You don’t tell me how President Obama’s executive adventure benefits non-college educated Americans. I will not personally see any ill effects from his actions. If my policy prescriptions were followed then my HOA dues might go up for grounds maintenance, so maybe you are right. Regardless of skill level, please come to America and blow Jim’s leaves.

  29. LaMont says:

    @Jimbo OPKS:

    3. I missed where Bill Clinton, who negotiated the treaties, changed his party affiliation.

    That was during a time when our political leaders actually compromised to get bills passed. Bill Clinton is on record saying that signing that bill was perhaps one of the biggest mistakes of his presidency. He signed it in compromise for what the GOP wanted. NAFTA was the republican’s baby. Context – we need context here Jimbo!

  30. michael reynolds says:

    @Jimbo OPKS:

    Labor markets were tight when the Republicans began using state legislatures to quash unions. In fact, that was one of the arguments Republicans advanced – you don’t need a union, you just need to negotiate the terms of your employment, after all, employers need you. Right.

    This vicious fantasy the Right clings to of yanking children who see themselves as American, who have lived their entire lives as Americans, out of their homes and schools, arresting their parents, millions of them, and shipping them en masse back to their country of origin, is, in addition to being fascistic and involving the very sort of jack-booted thuggery people like you are supposedly against (but only when applied to white folks) is just that: a fantasy.

    Were your plan to be carried out the shift in public opinion would be massive, and we would feature on every news broadcast in the world, and likely be condemned by the UN and by our allies.

    It can’t be done, it won’t be done, it shouldn’t be done. What we are talking about is a compromise that allows status to those already here, while adopting employer sanctions to stop the next round. Your side opposes that, because your side has two interests: 1) Low wages and 2) Crapping on brown people to earn votes from ignorant bigots.

    Like they say: follow the money. Who profits from low wages? Business owners. And which party represents capital in this country?

  31. michael reynolds says:

    The GOP is doing what conservatives have always done: they are using racial panic to protect low wages. Nothing has changed since the days when slave owners fostered racial hatred to distract whites from the fact that their own wages were being undercut by slaves.

    The fact that so many whites still fall for this is astounding to me. There is just nothing dumber in this world than a southern white man. Belligerent stupidity.

  32. David M says:

    @Jimbo OPKS:

    Pull 11 M illegal laborers out of the market and things are much better

    There’s something you haven’t really though through there. Pulling well over 11 million people out of the economy will help how?

  33. Scott says:

    Let Obama enforce the law by sending ICE into businesses all over the country, rounding up the illegals, and fining all the business owners. That would also be enforcing the law that is demanded by the right. Watch the squealing ensue. When it comes to illegal immigration, the Republicans like to punch down, not up.

  34. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    From Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_Free_Trade_Agreement#Negotiation_and_U.S._ratification

    With much consideration and emotional discussion, the House of Representatives approved NAFTA on November 17, 1993, 234-200. The agreement’s supporters included 132 Republicans and 102 Democrats. NAFTA passed the Senate 61-38. Senate supporters were 34 Republicans and 27 Democrats. Clinton signed it into law on December 8, 1993; it went into effect on January 1, 1994.[3][4] Clinton, while signing the NAFTA bill, stated that “NAFTA means jobs. American jobs, and good-paying American jobs. If I didn’t believe that, I wouldn’t support this

    Considering that about 50% of Democrats voted for NAFTA and it was passed during a Democratic Administration, claiming that NAFTA is something that Republicans did is nothing but partisanship. NAFTA passed with broad bipartisan support but I guess since at least one Republican voted for it, it is the fault of the Republicans.

  35. superdestroyer says:


    Unios were killed by global market conditions. Unions expanded during the 1950’s when American corporations could easily pass on higher costs to consumers. As work conditions changed, Unions were stuck. Can anyone take seriously organization who thought Ford Motors would grow forever or that higher taxes to pay for public sector pensions would have no effect on the economic behavior of people paying the taxes. Do you really think going back to much higher marginal taxes is to the benefit of white males? Do you really think trying to sustain Medicare and social security with ever increasing taxes is going to work in the long term? Do you really think reducing the percentage of American who are in the workforce will help in the long run? If you want wages to do up grow the economy faster than the population instead of growing the population faster than the economy and forcing people to pay higher prices.

  36. Moosebreath says:


    “When it comes to illegal immigration every economic issue in existence, the Republicans like to punch down, not up.”


  37. Tyrell says:

    One idea would be to take another look at the Dream Act, which had some broad based, bipartisan support. Some parts might need to be tweaked and fine tuned. Another plan that is drawing a lot of interest and support is the one proposed by the Evangelical Immigration Table. While this plan does not have a lot of details or specifics, it would provide a framework of principles to work under.
    Another strategy would be to establish an independent committee that would come up with a plan with details and actions. This committee would have a time limit of six months and not have any politicians on it.

  38. michael reynolds says:


    When did I claim NAFTA was something only Republicans did? I listed the vote totals. I was responding to someone else’s false accusation that NAFTA was rammed down everyone’s throats by Republicans. Obviously that was false.

  39. michael reynolds says:


    It won’t matter unless someone can change Rush Limbaugh and Roger Ailes’ minds. Nothing in the GOP gets done if Limbaugh and Ailes are opposed, and they are likely to remain opposed at least until they can find some better issue to rile up aging, rustic white folks. Hating on brown people is necessary to ratings.

  40. al-Ameda says:


    How is higher taxes, higher real estate prices in the good neighborhoods with the good schools, and lower average pay in many career fields a good thing for the long term?

    A few points:
    (1) Put in a post-WW2 context our tax rates are low
    (2) Are you opposed to a strong housing market? An imploding housing market caused the loss of trillions of dollars in wealth in 2007-08
    (3) Is it wrong for people in good neighborhoods to support their schools?
    (4) Do you find it a good thing that wages for the middle class have generally been stagnant for decades now?

  41. the Q says:

    Boy, no wonder we are in such a friggin mess when it comes to illegals.

    On one side, you have the racist wingnuts. Enough said there. They have nothing constructive to add to the debate. They don’t want “immigrants” soiling the gene pool.

    On the other side, you have extremely naive, do gooder liberal Dems who see zero downside to illegal immigration and encourage law breaking and are delusional in their postion.

    Lets take Mr. Reynolds as a good example of liberal insanity. He states above that employers should have much more strict requirements in hiring workers to ensure they are in compliance with labor laws and are not undercutting legal workers and their wages.He writes, “Set up a national ID system and sanction employers who don’t comply. We could have that in place in a couple of years, problem solved.”

    Ok yes indeed problem solved. So how the phuck does that square with the Dreamer Act? So an illegal goes to UCLA (paying in state tuition and is now eligible for financial aid). So off he goes, to get a job with his newly minted Chicano studies degree, only to be ineligible for a job because he is ILLEGALLY applying.

    I bet Mr. Reynolds is all for the Dreamer Act but its a ludicrous act since that same illegal graduate CANNOT GET A JOB legally because of the employer checks that Mr. Reynolds himself has lobbied to be put in place to prevent exactly this practice.

    In the city of Los Angeles. there’s less jobs than 20 years ago even with an increase of 15% population. A staggering 27% of the city is under the poverty line. You don’t think the influx into a santuary city of hundreds of thousands of illegals has anything to do with this?

    The only solution to this mess is to make the border truly sealed. If the liberals weren’t so childlike in their oppostion to border security, this amnesty, like the Reagan one, should only affect 3 million or so. Instead, through sheer stupidity of the liberals, the amnesty now is 11 -12 million. I guess in 30 years, if we follow liberal thinking and extrapolte those numbers, we will amnesty 33 million in 2044.

    If the border is truly sealed (please don’t ask the rhetorical horseshit of “what does truly sealed mean?”) we can then start the amnesty process of legalizing the many here with a path to citizenship and deport the criminals etc.

    Instead, thanks to the morons on both sides, we have the current insanity of wingnut racism and liberal do gooders run amok.

    You can’t get the libs to ever look at the downside of illegals and you can’t get the wingnuts off the notion that its impossible to put 11 million on buses to the border

  42. wr says:

    @Jimbo OPKS: “It is Micro 101”

    Man, I wish we had at least one “conservative” around here who had actually taken a second quarter of any subject. None of them seems to understand that everything is simplified in an intro class in order to get across the core concepts. But they hold their tiny bit of knowledge like a flag above their heads: “I took one quarter of economics and almost passed, and that proves I know everything about the subject — certainly much more thann eggheads who win Nobel Prizes!”

  43. wr says:

    @michael reynolds: I agree with everything you say here — but why do you choose a picture that makes you look like Rush Limbaugh?

  44. Todd says:

    Two major policy announcements (this and Net Neutrality) AFTER the election … gotta love the Democratic “strategy” … appease those candidates who were unlikely to win anyway by not saying anything too potentially “controversial” before the election.

  45. wr says:

    @the Q: Ah yes. Morons to the right, morons to the left, and then there’s our beneficent genius, the Only One who truly understands the issue.

    Thank you for enlightening us here, your wonderfulness. I look forward to reading your plan as soon as the sunbeams radiating from your ass stop blinding me.

  46. wr says:

    @the Q: “If the border is truly sealed (please don’t ask the rhetorical horseshit of “what does truly sealed mean?”) ”

    In other words, here is the centerpiece of your brilliant plan, o wise one, and you have no idea what it means, how to accomplish it, or what metric to judge it by.

  47. @michael reynolds:

    The Democrats passed NAFTA and GATT? NAFTA was passed over the resistance of Congressional Democrats with GOP support. Democrats voted 102 for, 156 against. Among Republicans the votes was 132 in favor, 43 against.

    NAFTA passed in 1993 with a Democrat President, a Democrat controlled house, and a Democrat controlled Senate. Clearly it’s the Republicans’ fault.

  48. @wr:

    certainly much more thann eggheads who win Nobel Prizes!

    There is, of course, the old joke about Economics being the only field where two people can win the Nobel Prize for saying the exact opposite of each other.

  49. the Q says:

    Sorry my above comments should have been taken down by James as I requested that they be stricken.

    I was venting. This was a draft I was editing and pushed the wrong button – the send button

    Please pay no attention to the man behind the green curtain.

    Several of my points were way off base, so again please ignore.

    As for WR, a sealed border does not allow in 50,000 illegals as we saw with the DACA influx.

    Also, my plan if you would get your head out of your ass and actually read what I did write, is an amnesty with a sealed tight border so that we don’t do this calamity again 30 years later and amnesty 30 million. I got that 30 million figure by extrapolating the 3 million under reagan 30 years ago which is now 11 million, ergo, if that trend continues we will amnesty that many in the future

  50. @michael reynolds:

    2) Labor? Say what? The GOP has effectively destroyed labor, to cheers from Republican working men too stupid to see that unions were their only defense against capital.

    The unions destroyed themselves via federation; as they focused more on national politics than the local level needs of their members, they essentially became just another giant corporation.

  51. michael reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Gee, then I wonder why Republicans felt the need to pass right-to-work laws all across the south? Can you explain?

  52. michael reynolds says:


    Reality is what it is. I’m not happy about it. I was hoping to look like an aging Sean Connery.

  53. michael reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Also, the actual votes were tallied above, by me and by SD. It is a simple fact that Democrat Bill Clinton relied on Republican votes to get NAFTA. It’s there in the record. You can’t pretend it away.

  54. rudderpedals says:

    @michael reynolds: You’re good, it’s the stogie.

  55. @michael reynolds:

    If unions were so popular with the workers, why would right to work laws be a threat to begin with? To a lot of workers, the union is basically just a temp agency that takes a cut of their pay check without actually doing anything to earn it, and then providing a second management chain that screws them over just as much as the first management chain.

  56. @michael reynolds:

    If the DNC was so against it, why did it even come up for a vote to begin with?

  57. Turgid Jacobian says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Dude, the vote count was right there in the post. The fact that congress (and legislation in general) used to function–within living memory–on the basis of majority rule rather than majority-domination–should figure into your analysis.

  58. Stan says:

    @superdestroyer: Improvements in shipping technology and China’s entry into the world economy essentially doubled the world’s labor supply, and made it possible for employers in rich countries to lower their labor costs by outsourcing. That’s your point, and I agree with it. But there’s more to this than simple economics. The same economic facts of life apply to Germany, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia, none of which countries have the same degree of inequality and lack of class mobility as the US. The reason, I think, is the lack of a sense of fellowship and common citizenship here in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Read the posts in right wing web sites, talk to conservatives, and you’ll see active hatred and contempt for the “takers”, Mitt Romney’s 47%. We’re in a state of class warfare, and this plays as much of a role as the economic changes you cited in your post.

  59. wr says:

    @the Q: “As for WR, a sealed border does not allow in 50,000 illegals as we saw with the DACA influx.”

    So a sealed border is a border that’s sealed. Got it.

    What does that mean? The Republican fantasy fence? A thousand foot deep ditch dug all along the way? An army of T-1000s patrolling night and day?

  60. wr says:

    @rudderpedals: The stogie and the angle. I kind of liked the old picture…

  61. John425 says:

    @C. Clavin: Bullsh*t Cliffie. The House passed about 300 or so bills and Harry Reid (you remember him-the Nevada Democrat who ran the Senate) blocked everything so as not to embarrass the President because endangered Democrat senators were likely to pass bills inconvenient to Obama.

  62. John425 says:

    @michael reynolds: Give it a rest Reynolds. You are a one note bleat. It doesn’t matter if one is brown, black, red, white or purple with orange polka dots. If someone comes to your front door asking for help, you act out of compassion. But…if someone sneaks into your house through the back door and wants “stuff” you call the cops.

    Oh, you being slow on the uptake. Please note that house, front door and back door are analogous to nation, legal entry and illegal entry.

  63. John425 says:

    @michael reynolds: The cigar suggests an oral fixation however. Did Bill Clinton give you that one?

  64. michael reynolds says:

    Nah, Rush Limbaugh smokes Clinton brand cigars.

  65. michael reynolds says:


    I get it: you think we should “call the cops” on kids who were brought here as infants and have spent 10 or 12 or 15 years growing up in this country.

    You’re a Christian, right?

  66. Grewgills says:

    @michael reynolds:

    There is just nothing dumber in this world than a southern white man.

    Yup, all of us are idiots. Every single f~<k!ing one of us. Lucky you were born somewhere else, otherwise you might not be our intellectual superior.

    The fact that so many whites still fall for this is astounding to me.

    It is amazing what a sense of privilege based on happenstance of birth will make people say and do.

  67. David M says:


    If someone comes to your front door asking for help, you act out of compassion. But…if someone sneaks into your house through the back door and wants “stuff” you call the cops.

    Oh, you being slow on the uptake. Please note that house, front door and back door are analogous to nation, legal entry and illegal entry.

    That’s just a bizarre analogy, I have no idea who it’s supposed to appeal to. It’s equal parts stupid and offensive, and really shows a shocking lack of humanity and understanding of the immigration issue.

  68. John425 says:

    @David M: Well David, I’m always willing to help slow learners so lemme ‘splain it to you: An immigrant from just about anywhere applies at the front door ( an American Embassy, for example) fills out all the paperwork and gets in line. That’s my kind of immigrant.
    Now instead, suppose a would be immigrant from just about anywhere says to hell with that paperwork stuff and goes ahead and sneaks his family in across the border (the back door), buys a false Soc Sec number on the black market and takes an entry level job away from a deserving American. Well, David–that is NOT my kind of immigrant.

    So, your failing to understand that is what is stupid and offensive.

  69. John425 says:

    @michael reynolds: Yep, that cigar IS from Clinton- a Lewinsky model, no doubt. No, I don’t want to call the cops on truly unaware children who had no say in what their parents did. Having said that, I don’t want to extend additional benefits such as college tuition to them either. Perhaps a stint in the Armed Forces would be a plus in their citizen application though.

  70. David M says:


    Do Illegal Immigrants Actually Hurt the U.S. Economy?

    There are many ways to debate immigration, but when it comes to economics, there isn’t much of a debate at all. Nearly all economists, of all political persuasions, agree that immigrants — those here legally or not — benefit the overall economy. “That is not controversial,” Heidi Shierholz, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute, told me. Shierholz also said that “there is a consensus that, on average, the incomes of families in this country are increased by a small, but clearly positive amount, because of immigration.”

    And as far as illegal immigration is a concerned, it’s mostly a symptom of the problems with the legal immigration system. Hence the need for immigration reform.

  71. Todd says:

    @John425: Most of the people that I’ve known personally who are/were illegal immigrants didn’t sneak over the border. They simply bought a plane ticket, entered the U.S. on a tourist visa, then never left. Ironically (or perhaps not), they are less likely to be questioned at the checkpoints along I-10 than most of my darker skinned friends who just happen to be legal American citizens.

  72. Grewgills says:

    @the Q:

    So an illegal goes to UCLA (paying in state tuition and is now eligible for financial aid). So off he goes, to get a job with his newly minted Chicano studies degree, only to be ineligible for a job because he is ILLEGALLY applying.


  73. superdestroyer says:


    Elizabeth Warren disagrees you concerning taxes: Medicare taxes did not exist in the 1950’s, Social security taxes were lower as a percentage of income. Sales taxes were lower. Real estate taxes were lower. Remember, the three things that are hardest for families to control are taxes, insurance, and housing costs.

    A housing market where costs are growing faster than incomes are a killer for family formation. Look at all of the recent economic works on the issue. Manhattan may have high salaries but even higher real estate costs. Is a future for white males of living with roommates your entire life and never getting married or having children really what progressives want?

    Good neighborhoods depend upon not havng many poor students, having families that are engaged, and not having to spend too much for the worst students. American have to spend a huge amount of money in either housing costs or private school tuition to avoid having their children attend schools with poor people and trying to learn in a school dominated by poor people. Adding millions of poor people to the demographic mix of the U.S. just makes it much harder to be middle class. Adding million of people who do not speak a word of English at home doe snot help middle class whites achieve academically.

    If one wants wages to rise faster than the cost of living, one does not add 2 million legal immigrants to the work force and them allow them to sponsor all of their relatives to come to U/S. is not going to help wages or standard of living. If you look at the deep blue cities filled with recent immigrants, they do not have the greatest standard of living for middle class whites and have many career fields that are becoming off limits for middle class whites.

  74. superdestroyer says:


    Those countries you are using as good examples have almost no population growth rate and very low fertility rates. It is easier to pay more when families and especially poor families. The U.S. has a higher per capita GDP rate even with a population that is only 62% white. One cannot untangle the economics of Germany with the demographics of Germany but progressives insist on not thinking about the demographics of every economic situation.

  75. Stan says:

    @superdestroyer: I think you’re evading the question. Lower income groups in the US, black, white, and Hispanic, are doing poorly because of outsourcing together with class warfare in the US on the part of big business and its supporters. Repealing the reverse discrimination laws you object to isn’t going to have much effect on the situation. We need to improve our infrastructure and to do a better job of educating our workers if we’re going to compete with China and other low wage countries. The alternative is ever deepening inequality and ever increasing extremist politics. The problem is that investing in the future requires spending money now, and this is something your side is unwilling to do. You can emote all you want about how awful things are for white men, but your solution, a return to 1940’s attitudes on race relations and relations between the sexes, isn’t going to do a thing for white men except improve their self-esteem.

  76. superdestroyer says:

    @David M:

    HOw is converting a massive number of illegal aliens to legal aliens help the middle class whites who voted for the Republicans. Will it make the increased taxes any less? Will legal immigrants from the third world hurt local public schools less than the children of illegal aliens? Will my car insurance be less when the uninsured motorist are legal aliens? Will the homes in the good neighborhoods with the good schools (those areas with few third world immigrants) be cheaper because the third world immigrants are in the U.S. legally?

    Massive numbers of immigrants are good for large companies who want cheaper labor and for the public service unions who want to increase the demand for ESL teachers, social workers, and law enforcement. HOwever, it is a bad deal and will lower the quality of life for most of the middle class whites who actually do vote for Republicans. That is why the Obama Administration wants to increase immigration to the U.S.: it rewards the Oligarchs who fund the Democratic Party and punishes the white middle class who vote for Republicans.

  77. wr says:

    @superdestroyer: “it rewards the Oligarchs who fund the Democratic Party and punishes the white middle class who vote for Republicans.”

    Yes, because we know that the Oligarchs hate and fear the Republicans. That’s why all those billionaires keep shellling out tens of millions of dollars to elect them. Because — um, because…

    You want to help me out here, Supes? Because it seems like everything you write has absolutely no basis in anything other than race panic.

  78. superdestroyer says:


    There are more billionaires funding the Democrats than funding Republicans. Even someone like T. Boone Pickens gives money to the Democrats when he should be a poster child for the Republicans. Look at how Wall Street, Hedge Fund Managers, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and the media all donate heavily to the Democrats. That the Republicans are the rich is a laughable meme that will not go away.

  79. al-Ameda says:

    @superdestroyer: Why do I care about Elizabeth Warren? Why should I care about Elizabeth Warren?

  80. David M says:


    That doesn’t remotely pass the laugh test. It’s like you’re completely unfamiliar with the policies of either Party.

  81. wr says:

    @superdestroyer: “That the Republicans are the rich is a laughable meme that will not go away.”

    It is amazing that so much ignorance can be packed into one nasty racist troll.

    You, sir, are the laughable mem that will not go away.

  82. anjin-san says:


    Well, David–that is NOT my kind of immigrant.

    I see. So how long have you been boycotting produce that is harvested in the USA?

  83. superdestroyer says:


    Progressives have been holding up Elizabeth Warren as the smartest person in the U.S. and a great progressive. Yet, in the book “The Two-Income Trap” Elizabeth Warren discussed , using coded language, the negative impact of living in a diverse American and how Americans are bankrupting themselves trying to avoid the negative aspects of diversity.

  84. superdestroyer says:

    @David M:

    I am aware that the richest zip codes in the U.S. vote overwhelingly for Democrats (See Manhattan, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angele). I doubt if a single Republican lives in Malibu California. Yet, progressive keep comforting themselves that the Republicans are the party of the rich when in reality, the Republicans are the party of middle class whites (see the results of the 2014 election) and the Democratic Party is the party of the rich and the poor. What is amazing is how much the rich and the poor both hate the middle class.

  85. al-Ameda says:


    I am aware that the richest zip codes in the U.S. vote overwhelingly for Democrats (See Manhattan, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angele).

    And yet, Republicans accuse these same Democrats of class warfare and of being anti-capitalists.
    Interesting, isn’t it?

  86. superdestroyer says:


    Progressive/liberal politics in the U.S. is the top and the bottom against the middle. That is why the cheap labor oligarchs want open borders, unlimited immigration, and the free movement of people across borders. The Oligarchs will never feel any negative impact from immigration and it will eventually give the Democratic Party an unbeatable demographic edge.

    The other benefit is that open borders will lower the quality of life for many middle class whites but that is seen as a feature by the elites.