When push comes to shove, Republicans surrender to the possibility of immigration reform. During the election campaign, the conservatives were adamant in considering undocumented aliens as job thieves, welfare addicts and criminals who if caught should be summarily deported or made so miserable that they would voluntarily self deport themselves. Defend the borders was their hue and cry even though illegal border crossing arrests had fallen in 2012 to the lowest number in 20 years. The Republicans created a scare tactic of overwhelming illegal border crossings because the Republicans thought this was the best way to prevent any sensible federal immigration policy.
Now after the disaster of the Latino vote: 72% to Democrats and 28% to Republicans, the conservatives have now focused on immigration reform. To avoid irrelevance and permanent minority status for their party, the conservatives think that maybe immigration reform will help them.
The President has to be careful not to fall into a trap. The Republicans are pretending to offer consent to the 11 million undocumented aliens through temporary legal status without any assurance of permanent residence. For the President to accept this would be a cruel joke on the millions of Latinos who voted for him. American wives and husbands, sons and daughters, grandchildren, cousins, co-workers, friends, employers of undocumented immigrants are demanding help. For this mountain, the Democrats cannot settle for a mouse!
The Democratic Party in 2012 summarily deported 400,000 undocumented persons who were not criminals and who principally had close relatives in the U.S. These were hard working immigrants supporting their families. The President currently wants to integrate these immigrants into our society. A new approach would be to stop using local police to arrest immigrants. The President needs instead to help student activists, business groups, farmers, labor unions, civil liberties organizations, and evangelical churches to support legalization. If the Republicans want to join in, so much the better.