Immigration Key in 2010 Elections

Tuesday, 16 Feb 2010 08:06 AM

By James Walsh

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If upcoming congressional mid-term elections repeat recent Republican victories in New Jersey, Virginia, and Massachusetts, Democrats on Capitol Hill and in the White House could get the message that they are moving the nation in the wrong direction.

U.S. voters don’t want nationalized medicine and they don’t want citizenship giveaways. More Republican victories could bench pending comprehensive immigration reform.

Although political polls show that most U.S. voters are against immigration legislation with citizenship giveaways, President Barack Obama chooses to ignore the trends. He continues to support comprehensive immigration reform in an effort to placate the liberal left of the Democrat Party and well-heeled immigration special interests.

The recent Republican victories are credited with the failure to pass health insurance reform in time for Obama’s first State of the Union address. These victories reflect disenchantment by voters with the course the Obama ship of state is charting.

Talking heads and opinion writers ascribe the president’s unfilled promises for “change” legislation to his seeking too much too soon.

In response, the Obama administration circles the wagons, obscuring the content of pending legislation crucial for governance during the current economic and national security crises. Rational reform of health insurance and immigration are long overdue. Former Virginia Democratic Gov. Doug Wilder has observed that the president’s inner circle is campaign-minded rather than governance-oriented.

Wilder articulated what a majority of Americans believe. Although comprehensive immigration reform was a major plank in Obama’s campaign platform, it ranks far below jobs for most U.S. voters.

Joblessness, fiscal insolvency, economic chaos, Obamacare, troops in Afghanistan, and Iran’s nuclear threat combine to absorb all the oxygen in the Oval Office. Immigration special interests, nevertheless, will not allow the president to forget his campaign promise to push immigration reform in 2010.

President Obama’s alter ego for immigration “change” is Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill. Gutierrez sponsored the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity Act of 2009.

This bill, if passed, would constitute payment in kind for the Hispanic vote so vital in the 2008 Obama victory.

Obama has tasked Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid with producing a Senate version of the House immigration bill. Reid in turn tasked Sen. Charles Schumer to draft a comprehensive immigration bill. Unlike the House bill, the Senate bill is a work in progress and unlikely to see the light of day in the near future. Be it the House version or a Senate version, the bill will be a rehash of the failed McCain-Kennedy Act of 2007.

The main thrust of the McCain-Kennedy legislation was a pathway to citizenship for all illegal aliens residing in the United States, in other words, amnesty. The bill also contained a family unity provision that would have permitted millions of additional foreign nationals to enter the United States legally. Such broadscale amnesty could devalue U.S. citizenship, especially if amnesty recipients and their extended family members failed to “foreswear all foreign allegiances” as required by existing U.S. immigration law.

Although most U.S. citizens oppose the concept of amnesty, the Obama administration and the Democrat-controlled Congress choose to ignore the will of the people. This stalemate may well change after the 2010 mid-term elections.

Meanwhile Obamigration supports a fast-track pathway to citizenship for all illegal aliens who are in the country prior to the signing of an immigration reform bill. Such legislation potentially could naturalize up to 30 million men, women, and children, most of them without health insurance. Thus Obama could stand by his pledge that not one dollar of health insurance would go to illegal aliens, as he would render them all legal. The Democrat Party makes no bones about the fact that these new citizens will be sure votes for the Democrats and their entitlement policies.

The proposed House immigration bill is yet another duplicitous piece of legislation that promises enhanced border security on the one hand while limiting border enforcement on the other.

It would grant illegal aliens all the civil rights of citizenship to contest any apprehension, detention, and deportation. U.S. Border Patrol agents and national security enforcement personnel would be subject to both civil and criminal liability for any actions taken in the performance of their assigned duties.

Look for the lack of transparency that shrouds Obamacare legislation to continue with immigration legislation. Look for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Reid to continue their policies of closed-door deal-making.

Meanwhile the cost of proposed comprehensive immigration reform has yet to be mentioned. The Obama administration and the Democratic majorities in the House and the Senate apparently plan to pass on the mounting costs of education, health, and welfare for “pathway” immigrants to the already stressed taxpayers.

Look for the 2010 elections to bring about their own style of “change” restoring citizen participation in the legislative process.

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