Every now and then, the Republican leadership issues a criticism of President Obama that is more or less accurate, more or less attuned to the reality-based universe. Thus it was with Mitt Romney’s declaration about the president’s new directive on immigration: Romney insists that the move is all in the service of rounding up more Latino support for Obama’s re-election campaign.
Last weekend, Republicans howled about Obama’s executive order that would give short-term legal papers to an estimated 800,000 young illegal immigrants as long as they are younger than 30 and came to the United States as children, have committed no major crimes, and have finished high school or served in the military. The provisions are similar to those of the DREAM Act, which Republicans have refused to pass.
Romney groused about Obama’s timing. “I think the timing is pretty clear. If he really wanted to make a solution that dealt with these kids or with illegal immigration in America, then this is something he would have taken up in his first three and a half years, not in his last few months,” he told CBS’ Bob Schieffer.
Many commentators have noted that the president desperately needs Latino voters to turn out in droves if he is to prevail in a handful of swing states with a growing Latino base. Obama’s directive, they point out, is likely to energize them. All true.