The program is President Obama’s most ambitious immigration initiative by far, a sweeping exercise of executive authority after Congress failed to pass the Dream Act, legislation he supported that would have given legal status to the young immigrants. It is a major bid by Mr. Obama to win back Latino voters who were souring on him after his administration deported nearly 1.2 million immigrants, most of them Latinos, in the last three years.Interesting that the NYT forefronts: 1. Obama's power grab ("sweeping"!), and 2. that Obama was in trouble with Latinos ("souring"!), and 3. that the executive-power version of the Dream Act is motivated by raw political self-interest ("a major bid... to win"!).
Buried a few paragraphs down:
Because deferrals are temporary and must be renewed after two years — when Mr. Obama may no longer occupy the White House — administration officials have been uncertain how many illegal immigrants would come forward to apply.So it might not be anything like 1.7 million. What's the psychology here? If you've seen 1.2 million deported in the last 3.5 years, would you come forward, identifying yourself as illegal, for only 2 years of immunity? Would you take the bait? If not, then Obama's political power grab is pure gesture, but why would the gesture work? If people think he's luring us out of the shadow to make easier targets of us, it doesn't. It's even counterproductive if people think he's using us any way he wants, blowing hot and cold, not because he cares or even out of a coherent plan, but according to his own transitory interests.