President Obama says the illegal immigrants being given de-facto amnesty under his suspension-of-deportation policy are “Americans in their heart, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper.” Under the circumstances, Mr. Obama is probably the wrong person to make that argument.

The new policy, announced Friday, suspends enforcement of immigration laws against aliens who were brought to America before they turned 16 but are younger than 30 and have been in the country for at least five consecutive years. They are also allowed to apply for temporary work permits.

The White House denies this is an election-year move. “The president isn’t going to be stonewalled by politics,” an unnamed administration official told Politico. Despite such protestations, the calculations behind the move are transparent. The White House probably believes the gains they will make among Hispanic voters in battleground states in the South and Southwest will exceed the number of voters alienated by Obama-instituted amnesty.

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