Production Note: This morning, I discovered the controls in WordPress that enable one to use one’s nickname to identify posts, etc. So now my posts and comments are identified as belonging to ‘BklynGuy.’ But it’s still me.
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Last Thursday, President Obama announced a plan to grant residency to those illegal immigrants who had been here for five years and had citizen or permanent resident children. I missed his speech on Thursday night, but tuned in to some of the commentary on the Spanish television networks. They all thought it was a really good idea, and were looking forward to more action in the same vein.
On the other hand, one of my conservative colleagues sent me the following:
Illegal immigration, as the name implies, is against the law.
So is murder.
And so is speeding.
And in the continuum of breaking the law, illegal immigration is closer to speeding than murder. And an appropriate punishment is closer to speeding than murder: pay a fine, face an administrative penalty (points on one’s driver’s license for speeding; something similarly relevant for illegal immigration), and be done with it. For the moment, I’m not addressing other crimes that one might commit on top of being an illegal alien: that’s a different kettle of fish, and one I’ll get back to at the end of this post.
Meanwhile, the President struck back with this item:
On the surface, it seems a perfectly reasonable approach. It is, indeed, such a reasonable approach that we tried it in the 1980s. We provided a path to residence and citizenship for those already here, together with allegedly better border enforcement and penalties for employers who hired illegal aliens. But we didn’t follow through on that last part, so instead of 4 million illegal aliens, we now have 12 million.
There’s nothing to suggest that this time wouldn’t be different. From past events this year, it’s difficult to imagine the Obama administration actually working to secure the border. It seems to be in their interest to keep the ‘humanitarian crisis’ going. But, again from past experience, I don’t see that someone else would do much better.
Beyond that, Obama has incrementally used executive action to get around the law in progressively larger steps. Besides the scandals, there was the tweaking of Affordable Care Act requirements to make his administration politically palatable. This move on immigration is the biggest and boldest yet, and if we let it stand, further usurpations of power are inevitable, not only by Obama, but future Presidents as well.
Should I write to my Congressman or Senator? It seems pointless: they’re all total Democrats who worship the ground our President walks on. I should save my breath to cool my porridge.
But the bottom line:
- Our immigration system is broken. Despite all the rhetoric, in fact, both parties like it that way and want to keep it. The Democrats like it because immigrant families are part of their power base; the Republicans like it because illegal immigrants push wages down for everybody.
- For that reason, it’s hard to believe that our leadership will enact real immigration reform.
- And if they do, whether that reform will be actually implemented, without backfiring on itself, is even more doubtful.
- I noted earlier that merely coming here illegally is closer to speeding than murder. But if someone here illegally commits other crimes, we should throw the book at him. But too often, our leadership seems to wink at it. One of our ongoing scandals is that of illegal immigrant families claiming not only their own families as dependents on tax returns, but also their relatives back in their homeland, and our leadership doesn’t seem to care. We have to start caring.
- The Republicans will moan for a few months about Obama’s abuse of executive authority, but they’ll ultimately let it stand. After all, they wouldn’t want the Democrats to come after a Republican President doing the same thing.
The illegal immigrants aren’t the problem. It’s the bloody politicians.