Find out how many senators appeared before an immigration rally last year. Who was talking the talk, and who walked the walk — because I walked.
— U.S. Sen. Barack Obama to the National Council of La Raza, July 2007, claiming exclusive rights to the Hispanic vote
Despite being one with Hispanics the day he made the speeh to La Raza, Barack Obama's record on immigration has him saying one thing and voting for another, taking ambivalent positions deftly explained away or disowned upon demand.
While paying lip service to border control, he has voted for open borders, using a political form of an old carnival scam — the three-card monte — having refined the technique in the Illinois Legislature, where he routinely voted “present” rather than commit to a vote.
Charging that the U.S. Senate immigration debate of 2007 “was both ugly and racist,” he promised that, as president, he would make amnesty “a priority.”
If Obama, D-Ill., were to be elected president of the United States in November, is this how he would shape immigration policy?
If elected president, the senator’s past performance suggests a redirection of U.S. immigration policy with a sharp shift to the global left. He defines the flawed U.S. immigration policies that have plagued the nation for the past 20 years as “immigration dysfunction.” This phrase, however, scarcely has been heard in the current election cycle.
Some hold that an uncertain economy has forced immigration to the back burner, but it is the news media linking arms with the political left who are intent on silencing those “nativist and racist” voters who dared defeat last year’s pathway to citizenship/amnesty bill. Although the leftist stratagem has worked, the immigration crisis continues unabated, conspicuous by its absence in the election discourse.
Luis Gutierrez, executive director of the Chicago Latinos Progresando, recently observed, “Folks are staying away from the immigration debate. It’s a touchy subject. Some don’t want to talk about it, unless, it’s ‘build a fence.’” After voting for a fence along the U.S.-Mexican border, Chicago’s own Sen. Obama has managed to spin his way through the rough terrain of immigration policy, failing to mention exactly how he would fix “immigration dysfunction.”
On May 22, 2008, at a South Florida fundraiser, Obama accused CNN’s Lou Dobbs and radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh of “ginning things up” to such a level as to cause hate crimes against Hispanics to double in 2007. A recent Candidate Watch column in The Washington Post found this claim and others by the senator to be inaccurate. The Post column read, “This is hardly the first time that Obama has come up with faulty stats.”
The Miami Herald Latin American correspondent Andres Oppenheimer, in a May 2008 column, claimed that Lou Dobbs, Bill O’Reilly of Fox News, and CNN’s Glenn Beck are “creating and making careers of bashing Hispanic undocumented immigrants.”
The column went on to note, “Also good news: Likely Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama told me in an interview . . . he shares concerns about the anti-immigrant tenor . . . in some of the broadcasts, which are helping create a climate of hatred against Hispanics.”
Oppenheimer ended with the same old bromides offered by illegal alien advocates — that “undocumented immigrants” are not responsible for crime, that they pay taxes, and that they don’t use a “disproportionate” share of social services. He apparently ignores the news section of his own paper and a National Public Radio series that describe Hispanic gangs as a major crime menace.
Obama’s concern about an anti-immigrant tenor among broadcasters hardly reflects the healer and uniter that his early campaign rhetoric promised.
In an Obama administration, immigration legislation — whether a restructuring of previous legislative blunders or a pandering to immigration special interests or a negotiated amnesty plan — would be part and parcel of a national shift to the left by political “elitists.” Such a shift would be in accordance with Obama’s stated views, in line with leftist orthodoxy, and augmented by the naiveté of U.S. voters.
During the presidential primaries, Obama has attracted a cult following of college-educated relativists lacking a moral compass. They are egged on by a leftist newsmedia and an anti-American global lobby that encourages a snake-oil sales pitch for change in Washington.
Obama's voting record on immigration is straight from the Democrat Party rulebook. His voting ranks him as the most liberal senator in the U.S. Senate, quite an achievement for such a young senator. This means Barack Obama (D-IL) is to the left of socialist Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Russ Finegold (D-WI), Diane Feinstein (D-CA), and the Lion of the Left Teddy Kennedy (D-MA).
Senator Obama’s support of open borders threatens national security and increases economic and cultural costs of illegal immigration. His vote for a border fence was a sop to immigration reform, which became a political imperative in 2005-2007, as U.S. citizens began to feel the pinch of some 30 million illegal aliens on local schools, hospitals, prisons, and social services.
At the grass roots, U.S. voters began to realize that the nation is losing control of its destiny. Local budget deficits began to speak louder than the immigration propaganda that illegal aliens contribute more to the U.S. economy than they cost. In 2008, in the midst of economic downsizing, rising fuel costs, and mushrooming welfare budgets, U.S. taxpayers are questioning the merits of open borders, but you wouldn’t know it from the campaign rhetoric.
Obama’s Immigration Record
During his first and second year in the U.S. Senate, Barack Obama’s immigration votes were party-line votes. He has since supported improved border security, voting for the Secure Fence Act signed by President George Bush in 2007 and now considered a mere crumb to calm an alarmed citizenry.
The electronic fence itself has gone back to the drawing board. Obama supported the various failed “comprehensive” immigration bills and the many open-borders/amnesty amendments of 2005-2007. Those bills would have offered amnesty to some 30 million illegal aliens and their families. President George Bush, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., also supported the 2007 “comprehensive” immigration bills, but when only 23 percent of the electorate supported the bills, they failed to pass.
Obama voted against an amendment in 2007 that would have facilitated deportation of immigrant gang members, terrorists, and other criminals (SA 1184). He voted against an amendment that would have enabled state and local officials to inquire about a person’s immigration status (SA 1158).
He co-sponsored the Dream Act (S 2205), which failed but would have granted amnesty to illegal alien minors, qualifying them for U.S. citizenship and education benefits and providing amnesty for their parents. He then co-sponsored a similar bill (S 774) that also failed.
He co-sponsored amnesty bills for agricultural workers, while at the same time voting for the Sessions Amendment (SA 100) that prohibited employers who hire illegal aliens from receiving government contracts, a bill that passed 94-0.
He has been an ardent supporter of chain migration (admitting extended family members) for any and all legal and illegal aliens. He co-sponsored the Citizenship Promotion Act of 2007 (S 795), still pending, which would freeze the federal fee that legal immigrants pay with each application for immigration services and called for $80 million per year to promote citizenship.
He repeatedly supported the amnesty provisions of the McCain-Bush comprehensive immigration legislation. During the primary debates, Obama stressed his support of driver's licenses for illegal aliens.
The May Day 2006 demonstrations, in which Obama walked, went overboard in their techniques and scripting. The organizers failed to predict the number of demonstrators who defiantly waved Mexican flags, other foreign national flags, and anarchist flags, while burning and desecrating the flag of the United States of America.
The demonstrators carried signs that read, “Gringos go home,” and “This is our land not yours.” Many of these amnesty supporters wore Che Guevara T-shirts and carried “Che” banners. In response, U.S. citizens––those much maligned taxpayers — were offended by the brazen insults heaped upon their country by these illegal aliens and their supporters. In subsequent rallies, the organizers removed all incendiary symbols, but the damage had been done.
Television had beamed live coverage into homes across the United States, and still Obama bragged about taking part. History was repeating itself with shades of the elitist/anarchist/anti-American slogans and demonstrations of the 1970s.
Although the senator talks of the need to control the borders, he has yet to specify a remedy for illegal immigration, other than the failed “comprehensive” legislation that promises to attract more illegal aliens to the United States.
With the support of Democrats in Congress, the newsmedia, academia, and billionaire globalists, Obama would govern in a rarefied leftist atmosphere. Open borders and amnesty would become the keystone to such a government, eliminating, as they would, distinctions between citizens and non-citizens. Healthcare and social welfare programs would be expanded, and new taxes to pay for these entitlements would cripple the middle class.
The newsmedia who fawn over Obama diligently label anyone who questions open borders and amnesty as “racists,” “hate-mongers,” and “bigots.” Immigrant advocates and their allies in academia refuse to admit the ultimate outcome of open borders, which is a nanny state with the lowest common denominator as its standard.
Those who wish to level the playing field of nations by pulling down the United States and placing it on a par with Third-World nations must accept the associated risk of totalitarian rule by money-elitists.
Barack Obama is an educated man. What will it take for him to realize that “immigration dysfunction” is a symptom of a wasting disease spreading through U.S. culture?
As it did with the Roman Empire, failure to control immigration ultimately will signal the demise of the United States — at least as the world’s longest lasting democracy, structured as a republic by the Founding Fathers.
James H. Walsh is a former federal prosecutor.
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