Some Pro-Immigration Groups Still Giving President Obama a Free Pass
President Obama has had an awful track record on immigration policy. During his administration, there have been, for example, a record amount of deportations. Most recently, the administration has been criticized for dumping more than a thousand illegal immigrant children in Arizona. As immigration advocates decry the inhumane situation, the president insists he has little flexibility on immigration policy and must wait for Congress, even as on a slew of other issues—from No Child Left Behind to his own Obamacare—he's used questionable executive power to unilaterally change the law. Here no such legally questionable action would be needed. Immigration policy is within the purview of the executive branch, and it could choose to enforce the law in a different, and still completely legal, way.
Nevertheless, because most of them are liberal, some pro-immigration groups are, six years into Obama's awful immigration policy, still offering a free pass the man who as senator helped torpedo President Bush's immigration efforts nearly a decade ago.
Here is a statement, for example, released by the executive director of the group Presente.org, Arturo Carmona:
Eric Cantor's defeat at the hand's [sic] of a tea party extremist prove what many of us have been saying for quite some time: immigration reform is dead in this Republican Congress. In the face of growing xenophobic and racially charged extremism, the only thing that can stop the tearing apart of families and inhumane treatment of immigrants is executive action. We urge President Obama to face the facts, stand up to the xenophobic and hateful forces in America, and take action to stop deportations immediately. Anything less is unacceptable to Latinos across the country.
Got it? Some Republicans are xenophobic, therefore they are to blame for the president's "inhumane" actions. Rather than applying pressure on the Obama Administration by lobbing some well-deserved criticism at it, Presente.org chooses to demonize someone who has not yet even entered Congress. Not the man in charge of the government that's "tearing apart" families, but one man about to join a body of 535, whose party is in control of just one of the chambers.
David Brat may be awful on liberal immigration policy, but he's hardly a one-issue candidate who ran a one-issue campaign. Anti-immigration advocates may point to Cantor's loss as evidence that immigration reform is an electoral loser, but that pro-immigration advocates buy into this narrative so fully only makes sense if they're not interested in holding President Obama accountable for six years of awful immigration policy.
Though it would be too much to expect of a liberal special interest group, anyone truly concerned about xenophobia would have seen it in the actions and rhetoric of President Obama—and not just his immigration policy. Obama spent most of the 2012 campaign railing against outsourcing, a xenophobic policy position that considers foreign workers and their drive to work dangerous simply because they're not Americans.