The Democrats have partially succeeded in winning the immigration debate because of the increasing percentage of the population that are low-information voters. This is the segment of the populace that comprised the majority of those who returned President Obama to office for another four years. And while the Democrats and the Left in this country have painted all immigration, legal and illegal, with the same broad brush, Republicants have been inept at providing a strong counterpoint.
The Democrats have turned the illegal immigrant problem into the issue of comprehensive immigration reform, which is just a fancy way of saying, "amnesty for the purpose of transforming illegals into Democrat voters." This attempt by Democrats to locate a new vein of voters to mine doesn't surprise me. What is surprising is how many on the Right have fallen for the subterfuge of "comprehensive immigration reform." Is our current immigration system really broken, beyond the fact that no one seems willing or able to enforce its laws? The Obama administration seems less willing to enforce the immigration laws already on the books than any other administration before. They are so unwilling that when Arizona tried to protect its own borders by enforcing federal laws, the Obama administration along with a compliant Supreme Court, forced them to cease and desist.
The current salvo fired in the illegal immigration war has come from the Obama White House. The President let details of his "immigration reform" leak in an attempt to paint Republicants as obstructionists, as he has done successfully in the past. The President's leak makes it clear that enforcement is not part of his plan, no way, no how. This has been the problem with immigration reform going back to Ronald Regan in the 1980s. Democrats promise enforcement later for amnesty now, only the enforcement never comes. Currently, President Obama has dropped all pretense of enforcement and is hellbent on transforming illegal aliens into Democrat voters enmasse. Remember the 800 mile fence that was part of a 2007 immigration deal? Very little of the fence has been constructed a full 6 years later, and it doesn't appear that it will ever be completed.
President Obama has none the less had some unintended success with regards to illegal immigration. There are many fewer Mexicans wanting to make the illegal trip across the border due to a Mexican Gross Domestic Product that is out pacing that of the United States. President Obama has transformed the economy that once was the envy of the world into one which even our impoverished neighbors to the south don't see as a viable alternative to staying put. If this keeps up, Americans may one day be making the illegal trip across the border to look for work in Mexico.