As people across America were toasting the coming Christmas holiday with egg nog and placing presents under the tree, the Democratic candidates for president had discovered that the Obama administration had placed some coal in their stockings. As NBC News reported on Thursday, Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, and a spokesperson for Hillary Clinton were expressing levels of concern and outrage over plans by the Department of Homeland Security to start conducting systematic raids to sweep up illegal aliens and deport them back to their homelands.
But, as the Washington Post reported, the raids are to be somewhat limited in scope, hardly on the scale being advocated by Donald Trump and others.
“The nationwide campaign, to be carried out by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents as soon as early January, would be the first large-scale effort to deport families who have fled violence in Central America, those familiar with the plan said. More than 100,000 families with both adults and children have made the journey across the southwest border since last year, though this migration has largely been overshadowed by a related surge of unaccompanied minors.
“The ICE operation would target only adults and children who have already been ordered removed from the United States by an immigration judge, according to officials familiar with the undertaking, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because planning is ongoing and the operation has not been given final approval by DHS. The adults and children would be detained wherever they can be found and immediately deported. The number targeted is expected to be in the hundreds and possibly greater.”
The operation has people on both sides of the political divide scratching their heads. Was not the Obama administration for open borders, willing to flout the Constitution to achieve that goal?
Hot Air is torn between thinking something nefarious is going on, or that DHS has gone rogue and is prepared to do the raids regardless of how it affects Hillary Clinton. Either DHS is telegraphing the raids in advance to give the illegal aliens time to go deeper into the shadows, or else Clinton and the other Democrats are in for a painful Spring.
“Whether that’s the case or DHS really wants to get serious (the Post reports that DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson wants to crack down to prevent another large-scale run on the border), the timing is odd in another sense, too. With Barack Obama nearing the end of his term in office, both Republicans and Democrats want to compete in some way for Hispanic voters. Thanks to the hardline rhetoric from the GOP presidential field on immigration, Hillary Clinton has a big opening to keep Hispanics from the Obama coalition within the Democratic Party. If DHS starts conducting raids and deportations on a massive scale just as voters start casting ballots in primaries, that may change the calculus for Hillary in the primaries, and for Democrats in the general election. That may be especially true if dramatic raids get lots of notice, and end up grabbing the wrong people. Depending on who wins the Republican nomination, they may give the GOP a second look — or simply stay home. Either could be fatal for Democratic hopes of succeeding Obama in the White House.”
In other words, the Obama administration may be blundering into the worst of both worlds. The raid will be regarded by immigration hawks as “enforcement theater” with little or no practical results. At the same time it will be seen by Hispanic voters as a betrayal. The question therefore arise, is the Obama administration deliberately trying to throw the 2016 election or is it about to do so by accident?