Yahoo! News is reporting: “Obama takes immigration reform off agenda“:
Immigration reform has become the first of President Barack Obama’s major priorities dropped from the agenda of an election-year Congress facing voter disillusionment. Sounding the death knell was Obama himself.
The president noted that lawmakers may lack the “appetite” to take on immigration while many of them are up for re-election and while another big legislative issue — climate change — is already on their plate.
“I don’t want us to do something just for the sake of politics that doesn’t solve the problem,” Obama told reporters Wednesday night aboard Air Force One.
Immigration reform was an issue Obama promised Latino groups that he would take up in his first year in office. But several hard realities — a tanked economy, a crowded agenda, election-year politics and lack of political will — led to so much foot-dragging in Congress that, ultimately, Obama decided to set the issue aside.
With that move, the president calculated that an immigration bill would not prove as costly to his party two years from now, when he seeks re-election, than it would today, even though some immigration reformers warned that a delay could so discourage Democratic-leaning Latino voters that they would stay home from the polls in November.
I was pretty surprised to read this, since the Democrats have been working so hard on the racism meme these past few weeks. Why would they voluntarily give up another opportunity to tar Republicans as racists and fascists? I find it hard to believe that they would let the current “crisis” in Arizona go to waste.
But perhaps hard reality has actually trumped politics in this case. According to a new Angus Reid Public Opinion Poll, 71% of respondents supported the arrest of aliens who are in America illegally. Further, 64% believe illegal immigration has hurt our economy, 58% believe illegal immigrants take jobs away from American workers, and 45% support the termination and deportation of undocumented workers.
These numbers seem to jive with a Rasmussen poll released a few days ago that reported 60% of respondents favoring the Arizona law. Also, in the Rasmussen poll 77% of Republicans, 62% of independents, and surprisingly 50% of Democrats supported the Arizona Law. The same survey also showed that 70% of Arizonans support the new law. And apparently Arizona Governor Jan Brewer got a “bounce” in her approval rating as a result of signing the law.
Brewer’s sudden popularity shouldn’t startle anyone. The new Arizona law exists because Arizona has a unique problem with illegal immigrants. In 2007, illegal immigrants in Maricopa County made up 9% of the county’s population, yet accounted for 19% of those convicted of crimes and 21% of those in county jails. During the same period, illegal aliens in Maricopa County were responsible for:
- 10% of sex crimes convictions
- 11% of murders convictions
- 13% of stolen cars convictions
- 13% of aggravated assaults convictions
- 17% of those sentenced for violent crimes
- 19% of those sentenced for property crimes
- 20% of those sentenced for felony DUI
- 21% of crimes committed with weapons
- 34% of those sentenced for the manufacture, sale or transport of drugs
- 36% of those sentenced for kidnapping
- 44% of forgeries
- 50% of those sentenced for crimes related to “chop shops”
- 85% of false ID convictions
- 96% of smuggling convictions
And Arizonans aren’t the only ones having a problem with illegal immigration. It’s simply common sense to expect that blue collar union workers are going to be very concerned about anything that could potentially contribute to higher unemployment. Illegal immigration is certainly such an issue. And one of the worst-kept political secrets (though it is generally ignored by the media) about the African-American community is its long-running and deep-seated antagonism toward Hispanics. Today — in spite of the pro immigration rent-a-mobs led by Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson — with the unemployment for inner city black males approaching 50%, the relationship between these two prominent racial minorities is probably very tense.
On second thought, when one takes all of this into consideration, the “racism” meme just doesn’t work. As clever as David Axelrod and Rahm Emmanuel are, there is no way they could smear blacks, union workers, and 50% of registered Democrats as “racists” and hope to achieve any sort of political victory. I also have to wonder if President Obama’s own blatant appeal to racial demography this past week actually ended up dividing, rather than uniting, the Democrat base. If the White House’s own internal polling reflected the same things I just discussed here, then undoubtedly they know that immigration is a losing issue right now.