Hillary Clinton is signaling she will move fast and furiously to force upon the nation President Obama’s drastic and unconstitutional executive actions legalizing millions of illegal immigrants, putting them on a path toward permanent citizenship — and Democrats on the path to a permanent majority.
The signal that Clinton will act by fiat, and quickly, was ironically sent by her vice president as part of a pledge to abide by constitutional norms and push “comprehensive immigration reform” through Congress.
Here’s the problem with that strategy, a problem Clinton and Kaine are well aware: It has no chance of succeeding.
“Hillary will do that in the administration’s first 100 days,” newly minted vice presidential pick Kaine told Telemundo. “She is going to make a big effort in Congress to get reform passed, and with my experience in the Senate, with bipartisan colleagues, I am going to work hard — especially in Congress — to help this effort.”
Here’s the problem with that strategy, a problem Clinton and Kaine are well aware of: It has no chance of succeeding. What will succeed, however are executive actions that will be confirmed by a Supreme Court she will get to appoint, including the replacement for stalwart conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.
In 2013, with the Senate in Democratic hands, a comprehensive immigration reform bill pushed by the treacherous, bipartisan “Gang of Eight” passed the Senate. The House refused to take it up, and one of the Gang, Sen. Marco Rubio, admitted in 2015 that the votes weren’t there in the House to pass it.
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Today, the landscape in Congress for immigration reform is entirely different, and comprehensive immigration reform has even less chance of passing.
If there was one issue that dominated all others in the 2016 campaign, it was Donald Trump’s winning pledge to build a wall on the border with Mexico. Rubio’s membership in the Gang of Eight may well have cost him the nomination. Even two years before Trump, then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was destroyed in a GOP primary by a college professor, David Brat, who pounded Cantor as too soft on immigration.
Today, cooperation from Republicans needed to pass immigration will be found only among Republicans who enjoy ruinous primary challenges. If there is any lesson to be drawn from the GOP primaries, it is that the GOP base is implacably opposed to legalizing illegal entrants and wants to stop the endless wave of immigration that is transforming the nation’s culture. Republicans with the most rudimentary of political compasses will understand that they cannot possibly support a Clinton/Kaine immigration initiative and survive.
The Senate is likely to remain in Republican hands, and the House almost certainly will. Immigration reform will not pass Congress.
The insincerity of Kaine’s rhetoric is clear from his plan to “control the border,” which seem to have little to do with the basic Republican insistence that illegal immigration be physically blocked. He seems to blame Americans for the problem and his solution involves combating societal ills.
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“Now we understand the reasons why those children are coming here,” he told Telemundo. “Americans buy illegal drugs from south of the border, and the money from those drug deals goes back south. In societies like Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, that money becomes a source of corruption and violence.
“Many of the children who are traveling thousands of kilometers to come here are escaping from the consequences of illegal drugs.”
He thinks, having lived in Honduras as a young man, “I could help work with the governments there to support their efforts at economic development, to combat the violence.”
Once it quickly becomes apparent that immigration reform is stillborn on Capitol Hill, Clinton will take a dog-eared page out of President Obama’s playbook and accuse Republicans of “obstructionism” and declare that the immigration problem must be addressed “for the good of the nation” with legislation being written and passed in the West Wing instead of by Congress.
Obama took extra-consitutional action and was batted down by the Supreme Court, which blocked his decree legalizing millions of illegal immigrants who are parents of legal residents. What Clinton and Kaine surely know is that they won’t be facing the same problem.
Obama’s end run around Congress was stopped by a lower court and the ruling was let stand by a deadlocked 4-4 Supreme Court, which would have rejected it outright had Justice Antonin Scalia not passed away. During the same 100 days Clinton and Kaine will ostensibly be trying to push doomed immigration, the White House on a parallel tracking will be working to have Congress confirm a new justice who will provide the fifth vote needed to uphold the executive action written by Obama — and whatever other decrees Hillary and her claque can think of. By the time Hillary and Tim recoil in “disgust” from Congress, a new justice will be in place to solve the problem.
In short order, Democrats will have added millions of new legal residents who broke the law by sneaking into the country, and Democrats will have put on a track to full citizenship millions of new Democratic voters who will be primed to help re-elect Clinton in 2020.
It’s a brilliant plan. And it demonstrates just what is at stake in the 2016 election. Hillary will probably get to appoint yet more Supreme Court justices during her first term. The ability of the Court to rubberstamp Clinton’s and future Democratic presidents’ immigration fiats will become insurmountable, possibly for a generation.
And no amount of raising Cain by the right will stop it once Americans have raised Kaine to the vice presidency.