This plan triggers "probationary" legalization, which in reality is permanent, because once the 11 million register, it is inconceivable their status would be revoked.
Let's be clear. A mere Department of Homeland Security enforcement plan is a very weak trigger
I would prefer legalization to occur later, once the plan is actually carried out and some independent body certifies that the border is essentially closed.
But that simply will not happen. Democrats control the Senate and the White House, and they will only agree to a weaker trigger.
Legalization first - i.e., living here openly without fear of deportation but nothing more until the border is controlled. Until then, no one even starts on the path to citizenship - no green card, no naturalization.
So why is Obama undermining even that compromise, asserting that "this earned pathway to citizenship" must not be "put off further and further," that it must be "certain" - not contingent on verifiable benchmarks of border closure?
Are he and Napolitano signaling to their hard-core open-border constituency that they will try to sabotage passage of any law that has a serious enforcement trigger, or that they will try to sabotage enforcement if a strict law is nonetheless enacted?
Isn't border control an elementary principle of sovereignty? What country deliberately forfeits the right to decide who gets to join its communal life?
Remember: We're not talking about the 11 million already here who will be legalized as a matter of both practicality and compassion. We're talking about the next 11 million.
Without border enforcement, they will be here. If you don't build it - the fence, the visa-tracker, E-Verify - they will come.
Why deliberately create the next immigration crisis? Is it because you coldly calculate that this wave and the next are destined to be partisans of your political party?
Talk about placing party over country.
Or perhaps Obama intends this to be a poison pill: (1) Demonstrate unmistakable bad faith on enforcement. (2) Undermine the Gang of Eight's already weak border-control "trigger." (3) And thus force Republicans to defeat this "immigration reform" - as newly defined and newly defanged of enforcement.
Obama seems to want an issue, not a solution - a potent political issue for Democrats to demagogue in 2014 and 2016 and forever.
If so, given the Democrats' incessant and lachrymose expressions of compassion for those living in the shadows, this would be the ultimate in cynicism.
Krauthammer's email address is lett...@charleskrauthammer.com.