President Obama gave a speech on immigration this morning. I missed the very beginning but judging from what I did hear, I probably didn’t miss anything.
He mentioned the new Arizona immigration law and talked about how bad it is because it imposes a burden on local law enforcement and the state budget. Apparently Arizona’s lawmakers didn’t think so or they wouldn’t have passed the law. He also mentioned such laws have the potential to violate people’s rights. Puh-leeze. Show me any law that doesn’t have the potential to violate someone’s rights if it’s wrongly enforced.
Obama said we should stop punishing immigrants for coming here to work. Excuse me? We’re punishing them for coming here illegally. Why they come here is irrelevant. The point is how they come here.
He tried to make a case for how well we are protecting our border now, saying we have more “boots on the ground” along our southern border than ever before. Really? Obviously it’s not enough yet because the border still leaks like a sieve. I couldn’t help thinking we should pull our troops out of the Middle East and put them on the border where they will serve us and our immediate national need, right here at home. We need manpower to seal that border; we don’t have it because it’s all in Iraq and Afghanistan building someone else’s nation, training someone else’s troops, and fighting someone else’s fight.
The president spoke of not punishing the children of illegal immigrants and said that’s why we’ve proposed the DREAM act. Funny, I wasn’t aware that we were punishing any children. Those kids are growing up here getting an American education at taxpayer expense. That’s punishment? For that we should make amends?
He told a nice little story about the Statue of Liberty, never once mentioning that it was given to us by the French, and how it and we welcome immigrants “through the golden door.” Indeed, we did and still do. Legal immigrants, that is. That statue never meant “ya”ll come on down! Free goodies for all!” It never meant the door had been thrown open to the entire world. It never said there weren’t rules and regulations for coming here legally and properly.
And then he ended with the same old saw I expected, predicted, and have written about before. We, the Democrats, he said, are ready to move forward on immigration reform. But we can’t do it alone. It will take a bipartisan effort. We’d really like to do this but, aw shucks, the guys across the aisle just won’t cooperate. Oh, snap! It’s all their fault.
The president did say we need a system by which illegals can “get right with the law” by registering, paying a fine, learning English, and paying back taxes before getting in line to earn citizenship. He was careful not to call such a plan “amnesty.”
Furthermore, he never mentioned that we already have laws on the books to take care of most of our illegal immigration problems. He never said the first thing we need to do — the very least we will do — is start enforcing our existing laws. Apparently even the president is going to pretend existing law doesn’t exist.
Bottom line, he said nothing new and proposed nothing new. This was a “major policy address”? He didn’t say anything worth making a speech over. No, he’s not going to “kick the can down the road”; he’s kicking it across the aisle.