"Our borders have been porous for decades. Obviously, the problem is greatest along our southern border . . . In fact, we don’t do a very good job tracking who comes in and out of the country as visitors; large numbers avoid immigration laws simply by overstaying their visas."
––Barack Obama, July 1, 2010
In his July address at American University in Washington, D.C., President Barack Obama stated the above facts. His proposals for immigration reform included better tracking of foreign tourists and amnesty for illegal aliens not here on vacation.
While identifying the problem as a lack of border security, he was characteristically vague in offering legislative fixes. Much of his speech was a rehash of the ill-fated McCain-Kennedy immigration bill of 2007 that would have given a free pass to illegal aliens without securing the border.
The president delivered his speech on immigration to appease restive Hispanic voters (legal and illegal) who elected him. His words came off as pure politics with no practical solutions to the increasingly serious problems posed by up to 30 million illegal aliens.
The speech showed the president in classic campaign mode blaming all problems on Republicans.
His “we are a nation of immigrants” defense ignored the fact that most U.S. citizens in the country today are native-born by a number of generations. The president defended those immigrants who come to enrich our culture, while failing to mention those illegal aliens who refuse to learn English and disdain assimilation.
Meanwhile, the southern border remains porous, and criminal illegal aliens become bolder. This contrasts with the president’s assurances that crime is down.
Just look at Arizona crime rates, including murders of U.S. citizens, rapes, kidnappings, and other violent crimes by criminal Hispanic gangs, who pass freely back and forth across the border.
The president is correct in saying that the presence of so many illegal immigrants makes a mockery of those who play by the rules of U.S. immigration laws. The years of patchwork fixes and ill-conceived revisions he referenced are largely the work of Democrat Congresses, dating from 1965 to the present.
His criticism of the new Arizona law (SB 1070) is political chicanery. He and Attorney General Eric Holder should know that the Arizona law mirrors federal immigration statutes that have been found constitutional. The Arizona law actually goes further than federal laws in protecting individual rights and privacy.
The president is on shaky ground when he talks about businesses being held accountable for hiring and exploiting illegal aliens. The Immigration and Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) introduced employer sanctions. Like the border control provisions, however, they were never enforced, even though the Democrat-controlled Congress held that IRCA would correct all immigration problems and control illegal alien entries. No matter the legislation, if it is not enforced, it is meaningless.
His vision of comprehensive immigration reform would require those illegal aliens seeking citizenship to admit they broke U.S. immigration law, to register, to pay back taxes, to pay a fine, and to learn English.
Would a new agency be needed to process illegal aliens? How would aliens with criminal records be registered? How would back taxes be computed? How would indigent aliens pay back taxes and fines? Who would pay for the aliens to learn English and what degree of competency would be accepted?
Would those Democrats, who have repeatedly opposed making English the national language, suddenly change their stripes? What would this all cost?
The recent spate of home-grown Islamist terrorists should demonstrate that swearing allegiance to the United States does not always work. What vetting would be needed to assure that illegal aliens are sincere in their pledge of loyalty to the United States and their promise to protect the nation from all enemies, foreign and domestic?
The president takes pride in a proposed DREAM Act, which he supported as a U.S. senator, to fund the higher education of students who are illegal aliens or whose parents are.
He wants to see the DREAM Act included in immigration reform. He also is concerned that U.S. laws should not split up families by deporting illegal aliens. Family unity provisions, which Democrats have long pushed, would easily add another 20 million alien spouses, children, and elderly parents.
Such measures would add to the costly welfare programs bankrupting the nation.
Obama tends to label those who disagree with him as demagogues, while immigrant advocates and illegal aliens denigrate those who oppose open-border amnesty as mean-spirited.
Today 70 percent of Americans oppose amnesty — the same number who opposed the McCain-Kennedy legislation.
Obama and most congressional Democrats apparently do not care where the majority of Americans stand on immigration reform.
His immigration speech suggests that comprehensive immigration reform will not be passed this year, but opponents of open-border amnesty need to remain vigilant.
He could attempt to provide amnesty by executive order, an action that surely would end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.
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