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Friday, March 14, 2014

Pres. Obama orders review of deportation policy

Washington Post: President Obama on Thursday ordered his administration to review its immigration policies to determine ways to make it more humane, a response to mounting pressure from advocates to stem deportations of illegal immigrants.

The move came after Obama met at the White House with three members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, which has been drafting a letter to the president expressing concerns about the administration’s deportation policy.

Obama “emphasized his deep concern about the pain too many families feel from the separation that comes from our broken immigration system,” the White House said in a statement after the president’s meeting with Democratic Reps. Ruben Hinojosa (Tex.), Xavier Becerra (Calif.) and Luis Gutierrez (Ill.).
The impetus behind the move was pressure from Latino groups and many on the left to halt — or at least slow — deportations. Pres. Obama, in a typical Democratic over-compensating “See? I can be just as tough as a Republican!” move, had been engaged in deportations at an alarming rate. But now that pressure has caused an apparent reboot of the President’s policy. This overcompensation also explains why Obama’s been going nuts with drones and surveillance.

This is an important story for two reasons, as I see it. First, but not foremost, is that we’re seeing another example of how demographic shifts in the population are driving our politics away from conservative positions. Republicans will hate this, but Democrats have a lot more to worry about from Latino voters than from the GOP. And it’s clear that the administration is less worried about scaring away swing voters than they are of Latino voters.

Second and more importantly, these shifts do not happen without pressure from the left. There was a vacuum here and Latino voters rushed in to fill it. Obama — and other moderate Democrats — can be pushed to the left without a whole lot of consequence, because that’s where the majority of the voters are. The political center is way to the right of middle America and there’s real no penalty for responding to mainstream demands. If we can convince Democrats to worry more about responding to the majority of voters and less about impressing Republicans, both the party and the country would be one helluva lot better off.

[photo by Fibonacci Blue]

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