SCOTUS, Immigration Executive Order, and the Presidential Race

header-hoover-institution-fellows1-1by Alex Gonzalez

immigration-rulingThe longer-term implications of the 4-4 tie on DACA/DAPA are more vexing than people assume, especially in the House of Representatives.

The case returns to Judge Andrew Hanen, who issued the injunction against Mr. Obama’s order. “He will now decide the case on the merits, and presumably, will strike it down for the same reasons he cited in his injunction. If the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upholds him again, the case is likely to head back to the Supreme Court.”

By then, there could be a full nine-justice bench with a replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February. nothing will happen between now and the presidential election because it will take some time to have a trial on the merits, which is another reminder of the stakes in this presidential election.

Whatever party agenda the GOP has on immigration in Congress – and opposition to DACA/DAPA is purely political; the reality is that the GOP has not offered an alternative to fix the messy broken immigration system. And Speaker of the House Paul Ryan already pledged that he will not bring up immigration legislation through at least 2016; and that he would do so only be if it had the support of a majority of Republicans.

In 2013, the detractors in the House feared that the immigration bill by the Senate would have created democrat voters, and thus, the opposition. But in 2006, these recalcitrant tea party House members were the same House Members — and interests groups like the Heritage Foundation — who opposed a similar Republican Senate bill and led by Republican President W. Bush that would have created Latino Republican voters, following the same logic that Senate bill would have created democrat voters.

So clearly, opposition is not about preventing Latino democrat voters, but also about preventing  Latino immigrant voters from joining either party, and  to keep these immigrants communities marginalized so they can continue having more control with smaller “white” voter population under to entrenched “old values” for a little longer over a population with no political rights living “under the shadows.”

As a result, electing the next President means that, if Hillary wins, by the time the case return to Supreme Court, Hillary would have appointed a Supreme Court judge that will have a more favorable view of DAPA/DACA. And this is where int gets interesting.

If Democrats take back the Senate, once again, there is no guarantee the Republicans in House will take any immigration bill if GOP keeps the House. However, Hilary Clinton has already said that if Supreme Court rule favorably on DACA/DAPA, she will expand on it if Congress fails to act on a full comprehensive immigrating bill.

Therefore, for Latino voters, appointing someone to the Supreme Court is equally important as electing a president that will sign an immigration bill, will protect the old DACA and possible expand the DACA/DAPA if the House fails to bring  an Immigration Bill for vote to the floor.

Thanks to DACA, beneficiaries do not live in isolation and have become more productive members of this nations. They belong to families and communities in dire need of relief. And this is good for the nation and the labor market that already depends on these workers.

Thursday’s ruling denying immigration relief to their parents, other family members and neighbors, many with deep ties to the United States, will have significant ramifications for them and the broader American public.

Without these measures, states stand to lose billions of dollars in earnings and in state and local tax revenue. Many immigrants who would have qualified for the program have made tremendous investments in education, job training and relevant experience. Their wasted talent is a huge loss for our nation.

As a result, it would make sense to suggest that, the United States needs immigration reform to bring immigrants and their families out of the shadows, to recognize their deep community connections and economic contributions, and to build a strong American society. And thus, Latino voters will have to vote against any GOP candidate that threatens to repeal it the old DACA.

Latino voters already perceive that the GOP has been taken over by extremists and ideologues who resent the demographic changes. And these fears have taken a new embodiment in Donald Trump.

Furthermore, Public opposition to DACA/DAPA will only worsen the image of the party with Latino voters, especially in swing states like Colorado, Florida and Nevada where the Latino vote is very active and where Hillary Clinton is already ahead in the pollsl so America’s next president will need to tackle the country’s real immigration challenges.

GOpers want to promote the phony idea that they are pro-immigration, “legal immigrants” they argue. And to underscore that they parade Gov. Haley of South Carolina whose Hindu parents came legally, it shows the GOP is pro-immigrant.  But this narrow argument corner Republicans in Congress about what to do with the people that are already here, and thus, they  run the risk of falling into the same trap they felt two years ago when they attempted to appease the nativists in the House of Representatives by avoiding a vote an immigration and claiming that they were “pro-immigrants” – “legal immigration.”

But the reality is that American firms in many industries, from software to agriculture, worry that we don’t have access to the workforce needed to expand and labor pool, especially those jobs that most American won’t do.

So when Gov. Haley says that my parents came legally, and therefore, it proves that the GOP is pro-immigrant, but this is political scam that send the wrong the message because Republican are not dealing with actual problem – what to do with 11 million already here that are actually doing all the labor-intense work  the few “legal” immigrants are not doing.

The small number of immigrants like Nikki Haley’s parents did not build the economies of the Southwest the same way Hispanic immigrants workers – who officially are about 10% of the labor force – built and sustain the economies the southwestern states.

For Example, in Texas alone, 10% of the labor force is made of this subgroup of undocumented workers. These workers came to sustain its economic growth after the collapse of the state economy in the late 80s. If Texas had not received these workers in the 1990s, who came to Texas illegally, Texas could not have built the strong economy it currently has.

And Texas Gov. Abbott opposes any mandatory use of E-Verify that will impose burdens on the private market.   Thus, in opposing any mandatory E-Verify in Texas, Republicans acknowledge the dependency on undocumented workers. But then again, why the state party leadership refuses that federal  government grants work permits to these workers, which that was the purpose of DAPA?  There are economic and political reasons for wanting to keep in the “shadows” in a big state the relies on  undocumented workers.

Moreover, Gov. Abbott is a moving farther to right on this issue, but this is only to fend off any potential primary challenger ( think Dan Patrick ) next year when he kicks off his reelection campaign. Gov. Abbott is a very shrewd politician that is not afraid to throw red meat to the tea party base that believes anti-Mexico “derangements.” Conversely, Gov Abbott will not push for a bill that hurts businesses that rely on undocumented workers.

So Gov. Haley’s Indian “legal immigrants” angle may in fact a hypocritical and meaningless symbolic tokenism to appease the “angriest” tea partiers in Congress that, at the end, will not event care for this argument, and will say not to any immigration bill, from Congress or via executive order from the president.

Therefore, we need to acknowledge that this political game on immigration and it is very unfair for the millions of families and businesses that have lived “under the shadows” fearing governing overreach for years.

We have a broken legal immigration system, or de-facto amnesty, that penalizes hardworking families and businesses. This de-facto amnesty no only hurts businesses by forcing them into a clandestine black market, but it also suppresses  the “American Spirit” of entrepreneurship .

But again this a game for votes. So let the game of politics and Plural Democracy play its course. And Latino voters needs the voter decide.  Under Plural Democracy, groups compete for power and access to the institutions of government and legislators in Congress. So let the people decide. Let the tea party groups and Latino voters decide who is right on immigration.  Let the GOP face the wrath of religious groups– Protestant and Catholics– that for a long time have supported some type of relieve to keep families together.

We cannot assume that electing Clinton, and giving the Senate to the Democrats will provide an immigration bill. Like in 2006 and 2013, the House again may stands on the way, and Paul Ryan has very unreliable “conservative” on immigration since the [arty will continue to depend on the aging “angry white “voters, and especially those no-college whites who now have come against free trade, and anti-Mexican theme pushed by Trump.

At the end, the Supreme Court, with nine justices,   may be the only alternative for an immigration bill.

 

meAlex Gonzalez is a political Analyst and Political Director for Latinos Ready To Vote. Comments to vote@latinosreadytovote.com or @AlexGonzTXCA

 

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