Navarrette: Obama suckered the GOP over immigration

NodramaThe Republican Party has been outwitted and outmaneuvered politically by President Obama. Again. This time, it is on the issue of immigration, according to a leading conservative columnist.

Ruben Navarrette, a nationally syndicated columnist, published a column on today taking some in the GOP to task for being “conned” by President Obama on his recent executive order on immigration.

Navarrette contends that Obama isn’t interested in whether the immigration crisis is resolved, so long as he appears to be acting on it, and Republicans look like villains by opposing it:

What just happened? Obama got out of a tough scrape by proposing an executive solution to the country’s immigration mess that he knew would fail and letting the judiciary take the heat while he got praised for his leadership on a difficult issue without taking the lumps that come from actually leading. It was a first-class political maneuver.

As for the Republicans, well, they don’t know what hit them — which all but ensures that they’ll be hit again and again.

Navarrette points out – correctly – that Obama has been all talk and no action, according to those hoping for real reform. Obama has deported more immigrants than any other President in history, and immigration advocates were finally waking up to the fact that he had done little to improve the situation. Even United We Dream, the country’s leading immigration advocacy group, had been openly criticizing Obama for his lack of action. However, they, and Republicans as well, fell for Obama’s shell game on his executive order shenanigans:

Republicans, you’ve been hustled. The White House set a trap, and you charged right in.

It’s similar to what happened back in 2006 and 2007, when Democratic Senate Harry Reid, the master politician, discreetly killed bipartisan immigration reform bills while making it appear as if Republicans were to blame. Reid was doing the bidding of Democratic Party benefactors in organized labor, which is full of blue-collar workers who don’t want to compete with newly-legalized immigrants who have a stronger work ethic.

Now, it has happened again. Obama took a page from Reid’s playbook, and ran a similar game on you with executive action.

Republicans, however, still haven’t caught on that this is all for show, and Obama and the Democrats couldn’t care less about fixing immigration. With Republicans getting suckered in to taking an anti-immigrant stand (and losing the Latino vote in the process), Democrats will continue to play the game. Navarrette even points out that Hillary is already using the same tactic:

Hillary Clinton, the likely 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, has said that she thought Obama didn’t go far enough. She promised that, if elected, she would take executive measures that spared from deportation even more immigrants. Why repeat this gesture and expand it? Simple. Because it worked for Obama, allowing him to sidestep warring factions of the Democratic Party and get praised for making the effort without having to suffer the blowback that he would have experienced if successful. Of course, Democrats will repeat this stunt.

You can read the column in its entirety here.


About Victor Medina

Victor Medina is a freelance writer based in Dallas. He is the editor of, and his other writing credits include The Dallas Morning News, Yahoo News, and He has served as a Dallas County election judge and on the Board of Directors of The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in Dallas. He is a member of the leadership team of the Cafe con Leche Republicans. You can follow him on his blog, or on Twitter at @mrvictormedina. He can be reached by email at