Immigration is not a political issue. It is a Constitutional issue. Its an Inconvenient Hypocrisy.
Updated 11/25/2014 - from a speech today, the president had this to say in response to hecklers that he has not done enough - "What you're not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law, so that's point No. 1," Obama said. "Point No. 2, the way the change in the law works is that we're reprioritizing how we enforce our immigration laws generally."
The problem of fixing immigration laws is an Inconvenient Hypocrisy. Every solution for decades has dealt only with illegal immigration and quick fixes, not the legal immigration issues. Here are the most common problems and rhetoric of immigration reform:
- Facts and rhetoric – illegal or legal immigration problems and solutions;
- Unconstitutional executive action bypassing legislative action and our Constitution;
- History of both executive and legislative actions have only exacerbated the problem;
- The need for laborers that Americans won’t do;
- Fracturing families and deportation is not a solution; and
- Families wanting a better life and children want to go to college and can’t.
The first issue to deal with is simple - Facts and rhetoric – illegal or legal immigration problems and solutions. There are only two issues, one more complicated than the other. The first is illegal immigration and the solution is to enforce the current laws and deport all illegal aliens as soon as that determination is made. No delay. The second is legal immigration and the solution is complicated because the problem is complicated immigration procedures and laws. Politicians avoid the latter and focus on the former because it is an emotional issue and voters follow emotional issues.
President Obama signs an executive order bypassing our Constitution and Congress, essentially creating new law and amending current law. This is not immigration reform. Immigration reform fixes those issues that hinder legal immigration. Immigration reform is not about illegal immigration – that is resolved by enforcement and deportation. If our government can accept them by the tens of thousands per month, they can deport them faster.
These new executive orders give a reprieve to groups of illegal immigrants, but does nothing to help those here legally and struggling with a process filled with red tape and thousands of dollars. I know some found proud naturalized citizens. This offends legal immigration and those struggling with it. It has a huge social cost impact. It violates our Constitution...and that, for anyone in support of it and opposed to government abuse of it, should be enough to also be offended. When they attack our Constitution, they attack this and will subvert our rights. See the Patriot Act.
Fixing the problem for legal entry is the point. Now all those doing so legally have been bypassed in favor of amnesty in violation of our Constitution. No one should be in favor of a president acting around our Constitution to influence action by Congress. That has been my position for over 30 years and will always be. Fix the process of legal entry. In 30 years it has mostly been a democratic Congress and presidents in favor of fixing (not reform, etc.). The answer is not made by usurping our Constitution as an attempt to force a lame duck Congress to take the action they could have (and at the time - had Sen. Cruz, Sen. McCain and Sen. Graham on board with Sen. Schumer).
Reagan, and others, did so with Congress - not against (and - I opposed all). Fix what is broken - what is broken is the process of legal entry and residency to naturalization. This is only the first of several steps he intends to take by the end of the year. A little here, a little there, seems harmless. It is how the Patriot Act came to be what it is (in full disclosure – I supported the originally drafted, but not passed Patriot Act) - an out of control Department of Homeland Security and domestic citizen spying, etc. No trust in government – and no trust in one person (any person) doing so unilaterally. There is a reason we have three branches of government. For me this is about the process and then about the content. There is no justification for usurping our Constitution, none, regardless of the circumstances. To do so only allows the erosion of the checks and balances, our rights, and the very foundation.
Let’s look at the common emotional rhetoric – because people will not accept facts and reality.
- They are doing the jobs that Americans won’t do! Non-sense. We have had legal migrant farm workers for years, generations. That program has been mucked up in politics and unions. At one time liberals detested how migrant farmers were treated and now they fight for more to treat them as bad. An inconvenient hypocrisy. Moreover, the south made the same argument to defend slavery. Let's not forget the Chinese immigration labor that built our railroads - great success, but doesn't make it right. The only difference is migrant farm workers are paid, but most often illegally, pathetic substandard, and not enough to be taxpayers. To defend that position would be to defend de facto slavery. I won't support that except I'm forced to when I buy produce (much of which now comes cheaper from Central and South America.
- They come here for a better life! Doesn't matter why - it matters how. If I robbed a bank for a better life, it doesn't make it right and my family would be fractured. Moreover, legal immigration is about making a better life. Those arguments only about illegal immigration are emotional, not practical or realistic. We can and do continue to profess the greatness of our great Country. A country of laws for a reason. Should we be the only open border country (essentially, that is the goal)? Legal. Illegal. Its one or the other, can't be both. If you had to look at both families and decide on one right now - what would it be? Three choices: Can't decide because its emotional. Decide based on emotion. Decide based on reality. But, you HAVE to decide on one of two, only one.
- The children want to go to college! The children born here are citizens - they have a right to college. Those not here legally have no legal privileges and no college tuition breaks. DREAM and DACA are bogus. Their parents do not have a right to stay. Call me heartless - but when parents come here for their children to be born, knowing the potential consequences, that's not my issue. We incarcerate criminals every day that break up families. That argument may not be agreeable, but its factual. We only have two choices - support illegal activity or legal activity; you can't have both. My only position is I am more concerned about our citizens and legal resident aliens. When you let emotions get in the way, it clouds the ability to target the problem and devise a solution. Its how we got in this. This administration is now flying in children from Mexico and El Salvador – illegally (before the new unlawful executive orders – but in preparation for them)! Next, under this illegal presidential action, will be allowing their parents in so that families stay together. Absolutely wrong to pacify their choice and their consequences. I'm not heartless, just realistic.
- The president had to act because Congress wouldn’t! First, it is not the Constitutional duty – or authority – for the president to legislatively act in the absence of action by Congress. I recall that a full democratic Congress did not introduce an immigration bill - the Senate waiting to do so until they lost the House majority. Regardless - inexcusable to make and amend law contrary to our Constitution...its the very reason we have on, three branches, and checks & balances. Let's not bring up what all both Pelosi and Reid blocked and pushed over the years - its all politics, regardless of party (and there is no longer much of a difference). They even ignored a bill that had Ted Cruz, John McCain and Lindsay Graham on board with Chuck Schumer. Its a game. CDC functions regardless of any shutdown (which would be ignorant) and the last announcement was ebola was gone - then some guy died of it. However, Cruz and Montenegro have a point - they are from or are legal immigrants. Legal. I haven't figured out why no one wants to fix the problems of legal immigration in favor of illegal amnesty. That is simply ... time to be nice, but I have nothing nice to say about that thought process...except you can't have it both ways. I have one goal - fix legal immigration.
- The children only want to go to college! Non-sense – that is not why illegal immigration is a problem. Its an emotional answer to a problem that almost exists. Many children want to go to college -- we need not push on group aside for the benefit of another. Just like legal immigration reform or illegal immigration amnesty - you can support one or the other, but not both - who is the priority? Remove the emotion and work on a legitimate solution. Don't look for a problem to fix, it creates more problems. This is a good example of that - amnesty over the years has created this new problem of college education. Problem solved by saying no awards for illegal activity. I know - the children are victims, not players. Well, their parents knew and will know. Don't award their bad decisions. This is emotional vote pandering complicated by social issues that are the product of historically bad decisions for -- vote pandering and social issues. Its a vicious circle that is stopped by taking decisive action.
FYI - it is illegal for a person here illegally to receive any public assistance benefits (i.e. food stamps, housing, etc.). However, once the president signed his executive order, and Congress continues to fail to do their jobs, those persons will immediately be eligible for benefits. We have homeless, veterans and families that are begging for assistance and being delayed or denied.
This is not solely resting on the president. Let us not forget that Congress has long encouraged or let him get away with these actions. It is also yet to be seen who will actually go through the whole criminal background check, fines and taxes things. It should also be reminded that, historically, both Congress and the president have acted wrongly and in ways that are counter-productive to enforcing the illegal immigration issue and fixing the legal immigration issue.
Fix the system for those trying to work with it, and not for those knowingly working against it.
See these previous commentaries:
Immigration Reform continues to be vote pandering (02/10/2013) http://www.beerswithourfoundingfathers.com/3/post/2013/02/immigration-reform-continues-to-be-vote-pandering.html
History of Immigration and Naturalized Citizenship (05/25/2014)
Dean A. Beers, American Citizen and Patriot
Author and Speaker