Biden: No amnesty anytime soon

By Jon Feere and Jon Feere on April 1, 2009

Vice President Joe Biden provided some rational commentary on immigration yesterday. And it sure isn’t going to make the amnesty advocates in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus very happy. While speaking to journalists in Costa Rica, the V.P. said the following:

“It’s difficult to tell a constituency while unemployment is rising, they’re losing their jobs and their homes, that what we should do is in fact legalize (illegal immigrants) and stop all deportation.”

Although the White House has apparently put amnesty on the back burner, support for a massive amnesty bill has not completely disappeared. Biden also said the following:

“We need some forbearance as we try to put together a comprehensive approach to deal with this.”

Could another attempt at amnesty happen? Perhaps. But for the most part, Biden is telling amnesty advocates to calm down, stop raising a ruckus, and to not get their hopes up. President Obama recently sent the same message a few weeks back: “We’ve got a lot on our plate right now.”

But the Hispanic Caucus and their enablers either haven’t gotten the message or are hearing only what they want to hear. After a meeting with the president, they claimed that an amnesty will happen this year and that Obama will convene a public forum within the next two months. The White House’s own coverage of the meeting doesn’t promise any timelines.

This is a political battle within the Democratic Party that’s not going away. The White House may try to appease open-border advocates only to the extent necessary to get them to go away. Obama’s goal, it seems, is to buy as much time as possible.

The White House likely understands that an amnesty debate will chew up too much political capital, take too much time, and will delay progress in other policy areas.