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Beutler: Screw Politics, Obama Should Act On Deportations as Soon as Possible

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In response to recent news that President Obama may delay his upcoming executive action on immigration reform, here’s Brian Beutler at the New Republic on why waiting just doesn’t make sense.  Republicans have been pretty panicked about the possibility that Obama might act.  Why would they be afraid, unless it was a good move for Obama and Democrats?  As Beutler writes:

Nobody really knows how the politics of a big new deferred-action program will shake out, because it’ll be a novel program. Our best heuristic is to watch how people with a political stake in Obama’s decision react when asked about it, and draw inferences.

And the truth is that Republicans sound much more spooked than Democrats.

Senate Democrats like Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Kay Hagan of North Carolina run to Obama’s right on this, in fairly generic terms. Running to his right kinda comes with the territory.

Republicans, by contrast, have been all over the place….

If Republicans genuinely believed that Obama would regret announcing deportation relief in September rather than in December or January, they wouldn’t tell him. Why interrupt an opponent when he’s making an error?

Which is why I think the political drawbacks of immediate action are overstated. The best political argument I can think of for waiting until after the midterms is that it’d place immigration and deportation right back at the center of the national policy debate just as the political media turns its exclusive attention to the 2016 election and the GOP primary. But Republican presidential hopefuls are making disqualifying statements about immigration right now, all on their own, and will continue to do so whether Obama acts in the fall or in the winter.

Add it all up, and the case for letting politics dictate timing is pretty thin.

President Obama has made multiple promises to take action on immigration reform.  To delay now,  as our Executive Director Frank Sharry recently said, would be to make his record of promises on immigration policy “one of failure.