On Thursday, July 1, Mr. Obama delivered his first speech on the subject of illegal immigration since taking office. It was a masterpiece of teleprompter equivocation in which the president said “on the one hand” but “on the other hand,” avoiding any remarks that easily could be attacked by either pro-illegal-immigrant or anti-illegal-immigrant constituencies. He simply repeated the arguments offered up by both sides without detailing his personal agenda.
Once again, he has done the country a great disservice. Polls, as always, vary in their numbers (it depends a lot on the questions a pollster asks, how he asks them, and of whom) but when Obama took office, the top three issues for most voters were:
- The Economy (87% of those polled considered this issue ‘very important’). The Obama administration reacted to the worst economy since the Great Depression by doing something terribly Republican: shoveling huge sums of money to bail out the banks, Wall Street, automakers, and other fat cats. Obama’s only solution to the persistent 10% unemployment rate has been to try and extend jobless benefits. Neither he nor his lap-dog congress seem to have a clue about providing jobs, rather than welfare, to the unemployed.
- Illegal Immigration (78%). Thursday’s speech is about the only thing Obama has done about this issue. More on this below.
- Afghanistan and Iraq (58%). The majority of Americans wonder why the hell we are in either place. They see no chance for ‘victory’ and, in fact, ‘victory’ has not been defined. Even those who voted against Obama saw some ‘Hope’ on this issue. Perhaps Obama would have the courage to get the hell out. But no, he is simply extending the largely failed policies of George Bush 2. He has even gone so far as to increase our commitment in Afghanistan, while promising to begin withdrawing troops maybe next year if all goes well. He recently fired Gen Stanley McChrystal, America’s top military man in Afghanistan because McChrystal had the courage to discredit the Obama administration’s Afghanistan policies.
Instead of dealing with the voters’ Top 3, Mr. Obama spent most of his first 15 months in office taking on health care (24%) and, by the squeakiest of margins, setting in motion policies that will put our country into bankruptcy if the law fully is implemented.
But I digress.
On Voter Issue #2, Obama has done nothing, save for his recent speech. In it, he said he supports legislation proposed by Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Lindsay Graham (R-SC). Schumer-Graham once had some Republican support but, seeing the handwriting on the wall, most Republicans have backed away from it. The law has four key provisions:
- Required Biometric Social Security Cards for Every American
- Border Security and Interior Enforcement
- Permits for “Temporary Workers”
- A Path to Legalization for the Illegal Immigrants Already Here
I’ll let you contemplate the pernicious implications of Item 1 at your leisure. Here’s Obama’s take on Item 4:
[N]o matter how decent they are, no matter their reasons, the 11 million who broke these laws should be held accountable. Now, if the majority of Americans are skeptical of a blanket amnesty, they are also skeptical that it is possible to round up and deport 11 million people. They know it’s not possible. Such an effort would be logistically impossible and wildly expensive. [Hey, Barry. Hitler rounded up 7 million people 70 years ago using records kept in shoe boxes. You mean to tell us your lackeys are even dumber than the Fuhrer’s?] Moreover, it would tear at the very fabric of this nation -– because immigrants who are here illegally are now intricately woven into that fabric. Many have children who are American citizens. Some are children themselves, brought here by their parents at a very young age, growing up as American kids, only to discover their illegal status when they apply for college or a job. Migrant workers -– mostly here illegally -– have been the labor force of our farmers and agricultural producers for generations. So even if it was possible, a program of mass deportations would disrupt our economy and communities in ways that most Americans would find intolerable.
And here are Senators Schumer and Graham on the same topic:
For the 11 million immigrants already in this country illegally, we would provide a tough but fair path forward. They would be required to admit they broke the law and to pay their debt to society by performing community service and paying fines and back taxes. These people would be required to pass background checks and be proficient in English before going to the back of the line of prospective immigrants to earn the opportunity to work toward lawful permanent residence.
Washington Post Op-Ed
Schumer and Graham
March 19, 2010
It’s clear both the president and the senators are talking amnesty, “…a tough but fair path forward. [Illegal immigrants] would be required to admit they broke the law and to pay their debt to society by performing community service and paying fines and back taxes.”
OMG! Admit they broke the law??!! How onerous, how humiliating. Pay back taxes? They’d better be paid in full and with the interest and penalties (and occasional jail sentences) that are slapped on legal citizens. Tax evasion is tax evasion whether you are a citizen or not. If your congresscritters even hint at giving illegals a break on back taxes you should be screaming at them. Community service and fines? Right, $200 and three days coaching the soccer teams their kids are in.
Nothing is going to happen on this issue until after the election, except for the Justice Department suing every state and local government that tries to solve its own problems with illegals.
Between the chaos of voter backlash and ill-disguised attempts to bring 11 million undocumented Democrats into the fold, the 112th Congress promises to be a grand festouche.