There are few issues of greater sensitivity to many US citizens right now – especially those coping with losing their job as the economy has turned down – than that of illegal immigration. It happens: the battle by law enforcement agencies along the land border with Mexico never lets up, and some get through, because the prospects north of that border appear better than those to the south of it.
Thus the failure of attempts to pursue any kind of amnesty for long term illegals, despite the support of more moderate Republicans like John McCain. The idea of “earned citizenship” has therefore been well and truly kicked into the long grass.
So when a memo surfaced recently, apparently on the letterhead of the US Department of Homeland Security, with the wording “... reduce the threat of removal for certain individuals present in the United States without authorization” in its opening paragraph, it did not take long for the GOP and any right leaning media outlets to claim that they had found a “smoking gun”: here was the evidence that the Obama Administration was going soft on illegal immigration.
Except that it isn’t. The memo is clearly marked “draft”, it hasn’t been signed off, and it hasn’t even been dated. Moreover, the Obama Administration has been deporting illegal immigrants with some zeal of late. But this has not deterred our old friends at Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse) from shouting out “Smoking Gun Amnesty Memo Discovered”.
Expect more on this in the next few weeks.