...[Illegal alien and amnesty activist Gaby Pacheco] said she concluded that day that it was time to shift strategies. The House majority would pass to Republicans, who rejected the Dream Act as a reward to immigrant lawbreakers. The movement would have to concentrate on the president, Ms. Pacheco believed, to press him to stop deportations using executive powers.
...In the summer of 2011, administration officials began to ease up on enforcement, steering federal agents to concentrate their efforts on removing immigrants who had been convicted of crimes. Seizing that leverage, Dreamer groups stopped dozens of deportations, getting news coverage and rallying communities around young people facing removal.
That made more young immigrants feel confident they could protest without being detained, Ms. Jimenez said. New organizations, including the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, embraced confrontational tactics, inviting arrest with sit-ins on streets and in public offices.
...The political equation changed when Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, a Republican, said in April that he was preparing a new bill to give visas to young immigrants. Ms. Pacheco met with Mr. Rubio and his staff, and United We Dream praised his efforts.
Worried, White House officials scheduled a meeting in mid-April with United We Dream leaders. In a Washington church (since illegal immigrants could not enter the White House), Valerie Jarrett, the president’s senior adviser, and Cecilia Muñoz, the domestic policy adviser, insisted that Mr. Obama had no legal authority to issue an order granting deportation protection.
Another advocate activist stood up and disagreed. Then, about a month later, law professors wrote an open letter saying that Obama did have the legal authority to declare an amnesty through executive fiat. Then, in June, Obama declared that amnesty.
Rubio's role was key: his actions undercut opposition from GOP leaders to any amnesty Obama was considering.
If Rubio had put the national interest ahead of his race-based personal ambition, he would have opposed amnesty and used the anti-American DREAM Act to discredit its supporters.
Instead, Rubio helped the Democrats get an amnesty, even though that amnesty will harm American workers.
Sun, 12/02/2012 - 07:04 · Importance: 4