There are no silver linings to President Obama’s unconstitutional nullification of our immigration laws. The affront to our system is too great.
But there are collateral effects, and not all of them are bad.
The political impact of Obama’s move is uncertain. However, it is likely, on balance, to be adverse to the Democrats for the reasons set forth by Jennifer Rubin.
Moreover, as Rubin also argues, Obama’s grant of amnesty is probably the end of the line for pro-illegal immigrant reform in the foreseeable future. Last year, the Senate, with significant Republican support, passed legislation that created a path for citizenship for illegal immigrants. That legislation also had considerable Republican support in the House. One could imagine it passing within, say, the next four to six years.
But a path to citizenship is off the table now. Republicans won’t permit it. In Rubin’s words:
From here on out all Republicans will be able to agree: The executive order is illegitimate, it must go away and border security must precede other issues. From Gov. Jeb Bush to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), Republicans can speak with one voice.
None of this begins to compensate for the damage to our constitutional system that inheres in Obama’s lawless executive order. Nor does it compensate for the primary practical impact of the order, namely the wave of future illegal immigration it almost certainly will induce.
Solace will come only if conservatives are able to overturn Obama’s usurpation of power. I expect that in the coming days we’ll have much to say about the prospects of accomplishing this.