Breakin’ the law: Obama’s immigration reform decoy
A growing majority of Americans understands lies and deceit were the basis for Obamacare. That’s why Washington, D.C. Democrats are suddenly pushing immigration reform. President Obama declares “it’s time” for Republicans to help “get it done” by granting legal status to undocumented immigrants, allowing them to fulfill their dreams. If Republicans fall for this diversionary ploy, they won’t be just ignoring public sentiment regarding amnesty; they’ll be enabling an increasingly lawless President.
In his State of the Union address on January 28, President Obama asked Congress to grant legal status to those in the United States unlawfully because “they make our country a more attractive place for businesses to locate and create jobs for everybody.” If that’s true, why wasn’t immigration reform a priority for the President during his first two years in office when liberals controlled both Houses of Congress? On the contrary, the Obama Administration has deported more than 2 million illegal aliens.
As a Senator, Barack Obama was instrumental in killing immigration reform sought by President Bush. In 2007, he voted for an amendment designed to torpedo a reform bill by preventing expansion of a guest worker program. Thanks to Senator Obama, the amendment passed. Without the guest worker provisions, much of the support for immigration reform from businesses and Republicans evaporated.
Nevertheless, President Obama asked Congress and the American people for trust during his speech. Then he vowed to use his “pen and phone” to advance his agenda without the people’s representatives in Congress. In the spirit of building trust, he said, “Whenever and wherever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that’s what I am going to do.”
Why should anyone trust the President? Mr. Obama has repeatedly and unilaterally changed his signature health care. He directed the Department of Homeland Security to selectively enforce our nation’s immigration law after Congress repeatedly refused to pass the DREAM Act. Even now, the President is using executive power to impose carbon dioxide limits because Congress rejected cap-and-trade legislation.
Americans have no reason to believe the President will fully enforce new immigration laws. Yet, the diversionary tactic seems to be working on Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives. They fear they’ll be cast as racists by demanding the tide of illegal immigration be stopped prior to providing legal status to aliens already in the United States.
In January, Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) said Republicans would support a program where 11 million undocumented immigrants could qualify for a probationary legal status, subject to stipulations like a criminal background check, paying back taxes, and learning English. The government would then have an undetermined amount of time to reach security benchmarks, including stronger border security and more stringent employment verification. Under Obama, few expect these benchmarks to be met.
Because of words like, “you can keep your plan”, Americans don’t trust President Obama. And thanks to Obamacare, “comprehensive reform” has become synonymous with federal government lies and incompetence. Gallup polling from this past December shows 72% of Americans now see big government as the greatest threat to our country.
Conversely, Gallup finds that only about 3% of Americans see illegal immigration as the most important problem facing the nation. That said, a Pew Research Center/USA Today survey in June 2013 found that 77% of Americans believe legalization should be tied to improved border security. Most citizens understand amnesty will encourage more people to sneak in, especially since the President will selectively enforce the law.
The solution to America’s immigration problem requires changes to our legal immigration system. It must become a dynamic process to regulate the influx of people, based on education, work skills, and the needs of employers. Conservatives advocate an easier citizenship process for those who are legally waiting their turn to become Americans. This will take honest political dialogue and piece-by-piece legislation.
Our immigration system is broken, but the reform talk in Washington, D.C. is devoid of honesty and the potential for a meaningful solution. On the Democrat side, it’s a smokescreen for the unfolding debacle of Obamacare. Instead of paving a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, Republicans should confront a President whom legal Americans can’t trust to follow the law.
This “Right Angles” column was published in Glenwood Springs Post Independent on February 17, 2014 http://www.postindependent.com/news/10167944-113/immigration-president-obama-americans