There are few - if any - people who lack compassion for young people who were brought here for the most part by relatives at a young age, undoubtedly without a say in the matter. Everyone understands that to abruptly deport them would be extremely traumatizing. But as harsh as this may sound, compassion is no excuse for disobeying the law, and disobeying the law is not the way to fix the illegal immigration issue (by the way, by disobeying the law, I am, for the time being, referring to the President of the United States, not the illegal immigrants).
The issue, in this case, is not whether or how to deport people here illegally, or what the best fix to the problem is. The issue is that once again the president is demonstrating executive branch overreach by ignoring existing laws on deportation and the Constitutional power given to Congress to enact legislation, such as the so-called DREAM Act (which, if passed, would establish a path toward citizenship for young people who came to the U.S. illegally, but who have attended college or served in the military). But what Obama can't get through the legislative process, he'll get by executive fiat, simple as that.
The Act has yet to pass because granting amnesty to illegal immigrants is hardly something that can be taken lightly. The U.S. currently permits one million immigrants to come here legally every year. We are a nation built on immigration -- claims that we are anti-immigrant are false. Our tradition of immigration is what makes America great, but being a nation of law is also what makes us great. Granting in essence amnesty to people here illegally by allowing them to bypass the established naturalization process of America flies in the face of law. And to sign an executive order that contradicts existing law is unconstitutional. The president is breaking the law to cater to those who are breaking the law by being here.
What it comes down to is that our system of checks and balances and legal processes are completely beneath a president desperate for reelection at any cost. This should infuriate law-abiding American citizens. And since getting votes - in this case the Latino vote - is more important than anything, ignoring existing laws on immigration and bypassing proper legislative channels when it suits him is the president's chosen tact.
Obama knows that Latinos' opposition to America's existing deportation policies is a huge issue for this part of the electorate. Within almost minutes of his announcement, a CNN reporter cheerfully admitted that the president's actions are clearly designed to get the Latino vote in November, that his (Congress-free) policy decision will serve to rally Latino voters for election day. Of course the White House denies this motive - even though Obama timed his announcement a week before he will be addressing a Latino Conference in Orlando.
Defending his decision today, the president said of the young illegal immigrants, "they are Americans in their hearts, their minds, in every way...except one - on paper". Yes, and what an important piece of paper that is. It's the difference between being here legally and illegally, and the law matters. But since when has this president shown that the law matters - or even applies - to him?
Speaking about the policy change earlier today, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said, “Our nation’s immigration laws must be enforced in a firm and sensible manner.” Yet the federal government is suing Arizona for trying to enforce immigration law, while it ignores existing law itself and bypasses Congress to enact its own policies by executive fiat.
Meanwhile, during the president's announcement today, a reporter who asked how this policy will help American workers was quickly chastised by the Commander in Chief for interrupting him. But it was a valid question, indeed. How will letting illegal immigrants work in the country legally help American citizens who are struggling to find work themselves, especially young workers?
The nation's youth unemployment rate is out of control at 16.4%, double that of the official overall employment rate (which is likely even higher than we're told if you add up all the hopeless people not included in the official number who have given up even trying to look for work). Obama's policy change will now allow approximately 800,000 thousand young, educated, illegal immigrants to compete with legal citizens for very few available jobs.
But hey, what are a few million unemployed American citizens when you can pander for votes from a distinct section of the electorate? And Congress? Who needs it? It's as unnecessary as the Constitution itself. This president is above all that nonsense. After all, there's an election to win, and that, to this president, is far more important than anything so silly as the law.
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