By Allan Wall
July 6, 2010
On July 1st, 2010, President Obama delivered a speech on immigration at the American University School of International Service in Washington, D.C.
If you desire, you can read the whole thing right here. In the meantime, let’s analyze some excerpts and see what he had to say on the subject.
President Obama said that,
“Of course, the tensions around immigration are not new. On the one hand, we’ve always defined ourselves as a nation of immigrants -- a nation that welcomes those willing to embrace America’s precepts.”
This hackneyed expression, “nation of immigrants,” used by both political parties, is used to shut people up who don’t want open borders. Semantically, it’s meaningless. Look at the history of any country in the world, and it was formed by some sort of immigration. In this, the U.S. is not unique.
The U.S. is not “a nation of immigrants.” It’s a nation of American citizens. And if immigrants don’t become Americans, then, the country will cease to exist.
Later, Obama says
“To begin with, our borders have been porous for decades. Obviously, the problem is greatest along our Southern border, but it’s not restricted to that part of the country. In fact, because we don’t do a very good job of tracking who comes in and out of the country as visitors, large numbers avoid immigration laws simply by overstaying their visas.”
Obama is right about this. But as president, it’s his responsibility to get control of our borders. And it could be done if our government wanted to do it.
Obama spoke of the illegal alien population, referring to them as “undocumented immigrants.” The president pointed out that they are often paid less than minimum wage. That’s true, but they’re paid more than they would be in their home country, and that’s why they’re here.
Obama correctly pointed out that the use of illegal labor puts companies who follow the rules at a disadvantage.
But he also said that illegal aliens “live in the shadows.” Maybe in some places, but lots of them are bold enough to march in street demonstrations demanding amnesty.
Obama talked about Arizona’s SB 1070 law:
“…states like Arizona have decided to take matters into their own hands. Given the levels of frustration across the country, this is understandable. But it is also ill conceived. And it’s not just that the law Arizona passed is divisive -– although it has fanned the flames of an already contentious debate. Laws like Arizona’s put huge pressures on local law enforcement to enforce rules that ultimately are unenforceable.
“Unenforceable”? The Arizona law is just a Grand Canyon State version of U.S. immigration law. It’s not unenforceable, unless the government just doesn’t want to enforce it.
Then the president mentioned the “profiling” charge:
“These laws also have the potential of violating the rights of innocent American citizens and legal residents, making them subject to possible stops or questioning because of what they look like or how they sound.”
if used appropriately, is a valid law enforcement tool. I recently visited
Mexico, where I was profiled.
Besides, profiling, if done properly, takes not only race into consideration but various other factors, such as dress and behavior. Let’s say the police pull over a van with 20 people in it who don’t speak English, don’t have ID, and don’t have automobile papers. Hmmm….
White Americans, by the way, have to show their IDs all the time. I’ve been asked to show mine in my hometown. Why is it only an issue when a minority or illegal alien has to show his ID?
Back to the Obama speech…
“And as other states and localities go their own ways, we face the prospect that different rules for immigration will apply in different parts of the country -– a patchwork of local immigration rules where we all know one clear national standard is needed.“
What about all the cities (including New York and LA) who have “sanctuary policies” which forbid city employees from cooperating with federal immigration authorities? Doesn’t that constitute a patchwork?
In his speech, Obama tried to “triangulate” – make it appear as if he were rejecting both extremes in the debate and finding reasonable ground in the middle. For example, he sounded like he is against amnesty for illegal aliens:
"…there are those in the immigrants’ rights community who have argued passionately that we should simply provide those who are [here] illegally with legal status, or at least ignore the laws on the books and put an end to deportation until we have better laws…. but I believe such an indiscriminate approach would be both unwise and unfair. It would suggest to those thinking about coming here illegally that there will be no repercussions for such a decision. And this could lead to a surge in more illegal immigration. And it would also ignore the millions of people around the world who are waiting in line to come here legally."
And, the president says we have a right to control our borders:
“Ultimately, our nation, like all nations, has the right and obligation to control its borders and set laws for residency and citizenship. And no matter how decent they are, no matter their reasons, the 11 million who broke these laws should be held accountable.”
This sounds good , but what comes next?
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.
This is the old “we can’t deport them all” argument. It ignores the fact that, if we got serious about enforcing the law, many illegal aliens would self-deport, saving us the trouble.
But don’t worry, Obama has a plan:
Government has a threshold responsibility to secure our borders. That’s why I directed my Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano -- a former border governor -- to improve our enforcement policy without having to wait for a new law.
If you’ve read anything about Janet Napolitano’s career protecting the border, both in her current job and her previous job, you should get a big laugh out of that one.
Now, I agree with what Obama says here:
“That’s why businesses must be held accountable if they break the law by deliberately hiring and exploiting undocumented workers.”
Amen to that!
"We’ve already begun to step up enforcement against the worst workplace offenders."
I need to see a lot more of that to take it seriously. How about seeing some of these rich folk who hire illegal aliens (and pass the social costs on to the taxpayer) hauled out in handcuffs !
As for amnesty Obama is for it. The president doesn’t use the word, but it’s amnesty:
“Finally, we have to demand responsibility from people living here illegally. They must be required to admit that they broke the law. They should be required to register, pay their taxes, pay a fine, and learn English.”
Call it what you will, but it’s still amnesty.
Obama calls on the Republican party to help him:
"So we’ve made progress. I’m ready to move forward; the majority of Democrats are ready to move forward; and I believe the majority of Americans are ready to move forward. But the fact is, without bipartisan support, as we had just a few years ago, we cannot solve this problem. Reform that brings accountability to our immigration system cannot pass without Republican votes. That is the political and mathematical reality. The only way to reduce the risk that this effort will again falter because of politics is if members of both parties are willing to take responsibility for solving this problem once and for all."
In the past, many prominent Republicans, including our previous president George W. Bush, have supported amnesty.
But amnesty is a killer for the Republican party. It’s simple demographics. Today, most immigrants vote for the Democratic party. Most Hispanics vote for the Democrats. And if there’s a major amnesty, most of those who receive amnesty are most likely to vote for the Democratic party.
Amnesty is suicide for the GOP. So why wouldn’t a Democratic president be in favor of it?
Of course, Obama’s speech included a reference to the Statute of Liberty and the Emma Lazarus poem about the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
Now for a short civics lesson.
In the first place, the Statue of Liberty is not part of the U.S. Constitution. It’s a statue, folks.
The Statue of Liberty does not represent immigration. It represents Liberty Enlightening the World, not America as Doormat of the World.
The Emma Lazarus poem was added later. It ought to be removed now anyway. Most immigrants today don’t come for freedom, they come for the money. And they like the welfare state. And they vote for the welfare state.
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So rather than Obama’s amnesty, here’s my five-point plan:
Get control of the border now.
2. Punish American employers of illegal aliens.
3. Eliminate all benefits for illegal aliens.
4. Plug up the insane anchor baby loophole, by which the children of illegal aliens are automatically citizens.
5. Reduce legal immigration to a couple of hundred thousand a year, and be truly selective. Choose immigrants who really want to be Americans.
If we’d follow that plan, we might have an opportunity to save this country…..
� 2010 Allan Wall - All Rights Reserved
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Allan Wall recently returned to the U.S. after residing many years in Mexico.