Obama's Immunity for Illegal Immigrants Is a Smart Play for Votes
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- President Barack Obama needs every vote he can get, and his comments Friday probably didn't hurt.
During a press conference, the president announced that he would extend deportation immunity to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. before they turned 16.
"I think what he's trying to do is energize the Latino, Hispanic community to shore up his votes, and Republicans have done a miserable job reaching out and courting Hispanics," said Sig Rogich, a GOP political consultant and former adviser to Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
June has been a difficult month for the president, politically, as national unemployment rose in May to 8.2% on just 69,000 new jobs, and as other U.S. economic data has softened recently.
"You're seeing this on every issue from air pollution to immigration, that the president's not waiting for Congress to take action on the things they should be working on, and he's using his executive authority," said David DiMartino, a Democratic strategist in Washington D.C.
Having reached a stalemate on virtually every legislative battle with Congress -- including a number of economic measures -- the president appears to be flexing what power he can as he enters a critical stretch in campaign season.
DiMartino said that Friday's decision by the president puts light between he and GOP nominee Mitt Romney on immigration policy.
For those who wonder if Obama's apparent appeal to Hispanics is significant enough in the general election, Rogich says all votes will be important.
"Well if this race is as close as I think it's going to be, I think everything is really important," Rogich said. "He's
It may take weeks before polls show if Friday's immunity decision will have affected Obama's standings among Hispanics, but for now, it could be a wise political move against an opponent who has made little progress with a growing assembly of U.S. voters.
-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.
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