Every American is somewhat familiar with the immigrant experience, most more recently than the Mayflower landing at Plymouth or the Godspeed at Jamestown. My own maternal ancestors came to the United States as recently as 70 years ago, forced to flee — since they were “bourgeoisie” capitalists — from Chairman Mao’s genocidal revolution. Though my own firsthand knowledge of the immigrant experience may only come from my Latino friends back home, I beg you resist labeling me as “racist,” “xenophobic” or “nativist” as I engage in a “heartless” evaluation of immigration policy and reform in the United States.
President Obama and Governor Brown’s position on immigration reform, while well intentioned, is nothing short of misleading, hypocritical and illegal. While there is certainly a “moral” argument to be made in favor of the DREAM Act — after all, why should people who were underage (within reason) be punished for the sins of their parents? — the legal case is absolutely nonexistent. Not only does the DREAM Act violate federal law, it also opens the state to hundreds, if not thousands, of lawsuits from legal out-of-state students who are now entitled to receive in-state tuition rates. Any reasonable person also cannot help but notice that the liberal wing of the Democratic Party is playing a game of double standards. On the one hand, they claim that Arizona (and every other state that’s passed an AZ-style immigration law) is breaking the law by actually enforcing federal immigration policy, while at the same time pushing for passage of a law that violates another section of those very same policies.
Perhaps worst of all, the president has been nothing less than disingenuous and misleading when it comes to fixing our immigration problems. In a speech in El Paso, Texas, in May, the president once again displayed how he is only interested in demagoguery. Just minutes after sarcastically claiming that Republicans would like a “moat filled with alligators,” he promised to lead a “constructive and civil debate on these issues.” Further, he went on to claim that “the border fence is now basically complete.” In actuality, only an estimated 33 percent of the U.S. border is protected by any kind of barrier. Of that 33 percent, half is vehicle barriers that do absolutely no good in stopping pedestrians; of the 18 percent of the border with pedestrian barriers, only 10 percent is protected by triple layered fence like those near Yuma — layers that have proved remarkably effective in stopping illegal border crossings.
Despite what the president and a certain governor running for the GOP presidential nomination may think, conservatives are not heartless and are certainly not engaging in uncivil rhetoric on the immigration issue. The facts of the matter are clear: Even if an illegal immigrant in the U.S. is a model citizen, paid their taxes, learned English, etc., they still broke the law when they came here in the first place. Though it would be highly impractical to deport all 12 million illegal immigrants, it is only fair that amnesty — essentially allowing illegal immigrants to cut in front of those patiently waiting to immigrate legally — come with a price. The imposition of fines, background checks for criminal activities, civics and English classes would be an excellent starting point — after the border is secured to prevent freeloading.
It is still possible for the gates of the United States to swing wide for the tired, poor huddled masses yearning to breathe free — the president need only practice the civility he preaches.
Daily Nexus conservative columnist Jeffrey Robin is sick of being forced to wade through a moat of biting labels in order to make a point.
In Response, Left Said:
Mr. Robin himself acknowledges that the children of illegal immigrants are here through no fault of their own — would you really arrest a kid in the car with a drug trafficker? — and he acknowledges there should be a pathway to citizenship, even if it comes with some conditions. Most mainstream and progressive liberals are not for full, unconditional amnesty. That’s a red herring and a strawman argument. I will admit that many on the far left are pushing for this, and that I’m probably ticking off some of my leftist friends by arguing against it, but it’s just not what most “liberals” support.
You know why the federal DREAM Act doesn’t violate federal law? Because it is federal law. There’s no double standard here; Washington calls the shots with regard to border control and immigration. Obama is not being a demagogue, and one spot-on joke does not alone make him “uncivil.” (I hadn’t heard it, by the way; thanks for the chuckle.) By pushing for sensible, responsible, and compassionate immigration reform he is exercising the kind of strong leadership that Americans have been asking for, to deliver the change he promised. You wouldn’t know it by the Tea Party footage on television, but people in this country — and at this school — do not want a Great Compromiser anymore. They want results, and they want a fighter.