Our favorite response so far to President Obama’s immigration meeting yesterday comes from Daily Kos, where Markos Moulitsas managed to sum up yesterday’s meeting — and Obama’s presidency on immigration, so far.
“Yes, I’m cynical about this,” he writes of the White House’s attempt to bring up the issue now, right before the 2012 reelection effort. But, he says, there are things Democrats can do to move forward on immigration reform even given the Republicans’ stubborn refusal to cooperate. Even more importantly, there is a whole list of things President Obama can do to provide immigrants temporary relief.
Immigration reform was DOA so long as Republicans were hell-bent on destroying the Obama presidency. Unfortunately, Democrats were too afraid to fight and lose the legislative battle, and it cost them in the political battle.
Fact is, Democrats don’t have to win the legislative battle to win the political one — as long as Latinos see a genuine effort on their behalf, they will know which party is working to improve their lot in life, and which party is fighting against it. Just ask Harry Reid.
So yes, fight for comprehensive immigration reform, and force Republicans to stand up in opposition to the interests of Latino families.
But if Obama wants to truly cut through the cynicism felt by many in the Latino community (myself included), then there’s plenty he could do to unilaterally show commitment to fairer immigration laws.
For one, his administration could stop deporting more people than Bush ever did, and then brag about it to Republicans.