Joe Scarborough, the host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and a former GOP Congressman, said on a recent segment that many Americans would likely support President Obama on executive action. As Scarborough said:
I think that what the president is talking about, he could get mainstream support for a measured executive order. [Immigrants are] here, they’re paying taxes — we’re not going to go kick down their doors and drag them back to Mexico and China. We’re not going to do that, we know that. If they’re here, at least legalize them. I would rather cops go after murderers than arresting people who have been here and their children are in school and they’re not leaving. Go ahead and give them legal status and a 3-year work permit and build a border fence. I think the president would likely find that would be acceptable for a lot of Americans.
Dorian Warren, who was a guest on the segment and is an assistant professor at Columbia University, agreed, regretting only that Obama hasn’t taken action already. Speaking about the midterms, Warren said that “the politics could’ve benefitted the President and the Democratic Party if he had led and not disappointed the activist and immigrant communities that were expecting action.”
Speaking of the activist and immigrant communities, check out this post from Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo today. Marshall points out that the universe of people deeply affected by immigration reform and executive action is enormous (remember: some two-thirds of Latino voters know someone undocumented):
If there are 5 million people who are affected by this order, the number of people who either have family ties to these individuals or affective relationships with them is much larger. I don’t know if it’s 15 million or 20 million or 40 million. But it’s a lot more than 5 million people who will feel acutely the fate of these people hanging in the balance. And advocates on both sides of the immigration divide, deporters and pro-immigrant activists will press the issue throughout the 2016 cycle. The 5 million affected can’t vote and won’t be for years. But family members, friends, community members, employers in many cases can…
It all adds up to an intense and likely toxic campaign fracas in which a lot of people will have a unique and intense motivation to vote. That will apply to people on both sides of course. But the anti-immigration voters vote consistently almost every cycle. And as intense as your animus is toward undocumented immigrants, it’s hard for it to compare to the motivation of voters who directly know someone who will be affected. And that latter group is filled with many people who are classic ‘drop-off’ or occasional voters.
Angering these voters — as well as all the Americans who want action on immigration, as Scarborough mentions, will not lead to happy results for Republicans.
Watch the MSNBC segment below: