The Florida Election End Game

Over the weekend the dust began to settle over President Barack Obama’s surprise move to change immigration policy to closely resemble the Dream Act – a bill which has appeared on the floor of Congress in several incarnations and which is, primarily, designed to give mercy to young illegal aliens who were brought to this country at a young age through no fault of their own. This move is bound to adversely impact the election across the nation but particularly in Florida.


The President’s announcement Friday of an “immigration policy change” means that if a young illegal can prove that he came to this country through no fault of his own, if he is a high school graduate, if he has no criminal record and is of good moral character, he will not be deported.


This move is a merciful one and quite possibly should have been implemented previously. We should note that this move is not a change to the law, but rather a selective enforcement issue and probably completely within the President’s bailiwick. Nevertheless, it appears to be a shameless one designed to impact critical elections most particularly Florida among the Hispanic voters there..


The rub on the Conservative side is, of course, the implications of adding nearly 800,000 workers to an already strained job market and, worse perhaps, creating a sense of “obligation” in the Hispanic population which will lead to a resounding win in November for the incumbent.


In Florida, this unexpected policy change creates a new wrinkle in an ongoing battle between election officials there and Eric Holder’s Justice Department.


For nine months Florida’s Secretary of State has been about the very legitimate business of purging the voter rolls before the election of those who are ineligible to vote. Such purges of the voting rolls are mandatory in order to keep elections everywhere honest and impervious to voter fraud. By keeping non-citizens and dead people from voting the integrity of the election can be better ensured. Nevertheless, Florida has met with considerable difficulty in this process.


Currently there are 2700 names on the books for Florida’s election whose citizenship status remains in question. Last year, Florida requested a list of citizens from the Department of Homeland Security in order that the names might be cross-referenced with that list and dealt with accordingly. To date, however, that list has been withheld – the people in Florida’s statehouse call it stonewalling and are not happy over the lack of co-operation.


In the past weeks lawsuits began flying back and forth between Tallahassee and Washington, DC – the Feds insisting that Florida is intentionally targeting and disenfranchising Hispanic voters and the Floridians alleging that Obama’s Justice Department intends to steal the upcoming Presidential election by allowing the rolls to go improperly purged.


Of course, illegal aliens and non-citizens – including the ones covered in the President’s “new” immigration policy, may not legally cast ballots. But, if their names appear on the voting rolls, there is an excellent chance those ineligible votes may find their way into the system and award the November elections in Florida to Barack Obama. (Those who remember the drawn-out election of 2000 may also recall that the elections in Florida was decided by approximately 500 votes – five times fewer than the number currently at the center of the Fed vs Florida election tug-of-war.)


One may expect new lawsuits over the President’s policy emanating from the GOP to begin immediately. Sadly, though, the wheels of our judicial system turn so slowly that no decision is likely before Election Day. Even if a judge imposes an injunction stopping the non-enforcement of the immigration law, it will do little to solve Florida’s purging problems. It’s likely that many of the names on the Secretary of State’s election list belong to young illegals who are already set to enjoy the fruits of President Obama’s non-enforcement of the law.


Whatever happens, we may expect something kin to mud wrestling during the elections in Florida come November. It promises to be very entertaining.