President Barack Obama is using the latest border crisis to push U.S. citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants and convert them into loyal Democrats before Congress and the public can react, political strategist Dick Morris told Newsmax TV
"It's an attempt to stack the deck," Morris, appearing on "MidPoint" with host Ed Berliner, said of the president's vow
this week to ignore a gridlocked Congress and go his own way on immigration.
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The White House says it has the authority to issue work permits and stays of deportation to many of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants already in the United States.
"Obama understands that whatever the price in his popularity, if he can make 11 million tried and dyed-in-the-wool Democratic voters legal, and give them, in effect, the right to vote and, in effect, put them on the path to citizenship, he's going to stack the deck in any future election," Morris said.
"What's important now," said Morris, "is to increase the number of voters who are reliably, absolutely, mechanically Democrat."
But as communities in Southwestern border states stagger under an influx
that includes thousands of unaccompanied children, the president's gamble carries risks.
"He's making a serious mistake, not only substantively but politically," said Morris. "There is an overwhelming consensus in the country — 59 to 36 [percent] in the latest Gallup poll — that this flood of children trying to come into the United States is directly because of Obama's lightening up on deportation and in effect dangling amnesty."
Obama is also courting a constitutional showdown with a House Republican majority leadership that plans to sue him for abusing his powers and with a Supreme Court that has checked him in a string of rulings this month.
"The first article of the Constitution related to the presidency, Article II, says he shall take care that the laws are faithfully executed," said Morris, "and the law requires deportation, and suspending [deportation] is in violation of that.
"The Supreme Court," he added, "is increasingly getting the message — and sending the message — that Obama is overstepping his bounds. He's like 0 for 3 right now [in high court rulings on presidential powers], and it's going to continue."
Morris said polls show the president's only remaining supporters are "hard-core" liberals, and in Congress, Democrats such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California.
Pelosi, in a visit
to the border city of Brownsville, Texas, pleaded on Saturday for the United States to treat the unfolding humanitarian crisis as an "opportunity" and a chance to demonstrate that "we are all God's children."
"She should reflect on the concept of whether it's OK to fool God's children," Morris said of Pelosi, "and trick them into believing that all they have to do is slog across 1,000 miles of desert and risk their own lives, and put themselves in the hands of coyotes and drug dealers, to be smuggled into the United States to be able to stay here for the rest of their lives — in violation of the law."
Public sentiment on another issue, the insurgency tearing at Iraq in the absence of U.S. troops, is almost as bad for the president as it is on the immigration crisis, Morris said.
"Obama feels — correctly — very personally responsible for what's going on in Iraq," he said. "And the American people agree with him: that same Gallup poll I referred to shows that by 56 to 40 [percent], Americans think his withdrawal of all personnel from Iraq a few years ago led to the situation we now face."
Three years after exiting Iraq, just as he promised voters he would, the president is reversing course by sending in hundreds of military advisers and combat-ready troops, along with drones and helicopters, to help Iraq's crumbling government stem a radical Islamist insurgency.
Obama "does not want to be responsible for a caliphate — a radical terrorist-sponsoring state — to be formed where Iraq and Syria now are," said Morris. "The problem is that, as everybody knows, 200 troops are not going to be enough to do it, and inevitably those troops are going to call for more troops, and more and more."
"It'll become clear that the seminal promise on which he was elected, which was to end the war in Iraq — a war he opposed from the very beginning — will be undone by his own actions," said Morris.
"By pulling out completely simply to honor a campaign pledge, he's plunged that region into total chaos, and he's scared to death of the consequences of that for the country that he leads," said Morris.
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