What Obama’s Quick Illegal Immigrant Fix Ignores

Bruce Thornton is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, a Research Fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution, and a Professor of Classics and Humanities at the California State University. He is the author of nine books and numerous essays on classical culture and its influence on Western Civilization. His most recent book, Democracy's Dangers and Discontents (Hoover Institution Press), is now available for purchase.


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Clearly, students who accept such an ideology are hardly going to be “Americans in their heart, in their minds, in every single way,” as the president claimed. Rather, they will identify themselves as victims of America from which they feel alienated. They will not believe, like earlier immigrants, that living in America allows them to improve their lives by enjoying the freedom and economic opportunity unavailable to them in their ancestral country. Rather, they will think that they are owed reparations from the country that unjustly stole a region of their true homeland. As the Chicano activist slogan goes, “We didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us.” This historical lie justifies ignoring the responsibilities immigrants to the United States traditionally have accepted, which is to assimilate to the country they live in by accepting its language, traditions, and political principles. With the mythic history of unjust displacement, however, the burden is now on the mainstream culture to adapt to and accommodate the culture of those it allegedly oppressed and robbed of their land. The dominant culture must expiate its historical crimes with various sorts of reparations and entitlements, particularly special consideration for illegal aliens like free tuition in public universities, drivers licenses, welfare and health care, or quasi-amnesties such as the Dream Act.

Such a legitimization of illegal aliens thus is merely part of what the “Plan of Aztlán” calls “restitution”:  “Restitution for past economic slavery, political exploitation, ethnic and cultural psychological destruction and denial of civil and human rights.” A “reconquest” impossible by force will be achieved through demography and the abandonment of the old model of assimilation, in an attempt to make California more like the culture illegal aliens risk their lives to leave, and less like the America that has given them greater freedom and opportunity.

We should not simply assume, then, as the president and other supporters of amnesty do, that people here illegally consider themselves Americans and give America their loyalty  just because they were brought here as children. No doubt many do, but how do we know? We need to figure out a way to vet all immigrants to this country to ensure that we give the privilege of citizenship only to those who will not subordinate being an American to being something else. Given how thoroughly multicultural identity politics, predicated on American crime and oppression, permeates schools, popular culture, and government programs, merely living the bulk of one’s life here is no guarantee of American identity. Determining whether or not immigrants, including those brought here as children, truly understand and accept the core principles and values of our political order is the most serious challenge we face in dealing with 11 million illegal immigrants.

Obama’s quick-fix may win him some votes, but it does nothing to make sure residence in the country is reserved only for those immigrants who understand why America is exceptional, feel blessed to live here, and are proud to be Americans.

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  • jacob

    Pure, unadulterated demagoguery, which this President is, a market place "socialist" demagogue…

    He gets away with murder, just because the Congress parasites don't do a damned thing about, as proven
    by the deafening silence this abomination produced so far and which doesn't seem to change, as the poor
    excuse for a House Speaker has kept mum so far and likewise all the rest, afraid perhaps of being called
    "racists"…..
    This is the country we the people allowed to become, bending over backwards for anybody who dares raise
    enough hell, such as the Muslims in our midst but we won't find among our rotten politicians anyone with
    the "cojones" of that AUSTRALIA's lady PM to tell the Muslims there that hey either out up with the law of
    the land or be free to leave, as Australia did not send for them……! ! !

  • davarino

    So for those who have been here illegally for many years and not filed income tax, are they also given amnesty by the IRS for not paying taxes? For those who are citizens and have not payed taxes for years, how do they get that gift? No, no gifts for the rightful citizens of this country. We are here to serve the rest of the world, to shower the alien with gifts.

  • StephenD

    He spoke of them being "victims" getting an education in American schools and not even knowing their Immigration status until they apply for a driver’s license or school loans. To this he puts his faith that they are Americans in all but on paper. To this I ask, does the fact they got an education from our tax dollars for all those years mean nothing? Does the fact that this was essentially STOLEN funds matter? Reform the immigration process as necessary but this Executive Fiat ruling is reserved for Kings not Presidents. What a slap in the face to all those immigrants that did it the right way and weren't a burden to the rest of us. It is so obvious all he wanted to do was take the credit from Rubio. He knows this won’t stand but he figures the Latino community is too stupid to notice and won’t hold it against him that he DID NOTHING FOR 3-1/2 YEARS on this issue. I think he’s in for a rude awakening.

  • diamondmair

    “For the Race everything, outside the Race, nothing.” I BELIEVE that's associated more with La Raza {"The Race"}, another, similarly 'Hispanics-good-gringos-bad' organization …………………………….

    Semper Fi'
    DM

  • Janet S

    When I read what Obama said about these students pledging allegiance to our flag, my jaw dropped. Spend time in the schools and you will realize that you can't even get the natives to pledge allegiance – often I am the only one saying it. With rare exceptions, these students don't allegiance to our flag and are taught in the same America-hating classes (oops, I mean social studies) with the rest of the kids. The only DREAM they have is to return to an idealized Mexico. With a few exceptions, they aren't Americans any more than I am a Mexican if I were to spend time there. What a sad joke!

  • tagalog

    Aztlan was the home of the Bronze Race? And their land was stolen by Anglos? When? In the Mexican War? But Mexico was Mexico in the Mexican War and it is an imperialist creation whose boundaries were set by Spain, the imperial colonizer of Mesoamerica, and the definition of Mexico's northern boundary was not clear (due to the wanderings of Indian tribes and their claims in the deserts around the Rio Grande) until the U.S. and Mexico fought it out in war in 1846-1847. Texas, of course, existed as the Texas Republic, having won its independence separately in the 1830s. California, Arizona and New Mexico existed as money-producing colonies, not functionally as part of Mexico proper.

    Besides, a Mexican is -and has been, for about 500 years- a mestizo, a racial mix of Indian and Spaniard. So let's first find out who's a true child of Aztlan and who's a slave to Spanish imperialism.

    I say by all means let MeCHA, or however you spell it out, persuade people of Mexican descent to go back to Mexico. I don't have a lot of money, but I'll contribute to their bus fare. Mexico awaits. Some of us here in "Aztlan" will fight to stay in the U.S., on the other hand.

    • dmw

      Uh….BINGO!

  • RobinKed

    if these 'scream kids' want to stay & get a work permit then their ILLEGAL parents & All of their ILLEGAL Must GO…Self-Deport, Never to return, IF they do Violate our Borders again then the "dream" kids work permit will be REVOKED….when soneone/Anyone comes up with a way to PUNISH the Lawbreaking ILLEGAL parents then we can talk about Work permits for the kids After an intensive vetting process……..

  • H&R_ Barack

    RE: "What Obama’s Quick Illegal Immigrant Fix Ignores"

    …ah, The United States Constitution's Three Branches of Law?

    ……did I win?

  • mrbean

    This Prince of Fools in the Oval Office is an abomination that ignores the Constitution and his solemn oath of office to uphold the laws of the United States. The quicker this anti American clandestine Muslim racist is gone from officethe better for the country.

  • Spider

    This may win him some votes but it will lose him many others. My friend (a LEGAL immigrant from Mexico) can't stand the illegals and wants them deported and the borders secured. So it is a canard to say that pandering to the illegals will appease all hispanics because they are not simply a monolithic voting block that all think the same..

  • Nessus

    Believe me, it's not a "quick fix" and it's not temporary…….it is amnesty and in th end, it will be for several million illegal aliens.

    The illegals will be allowed to put in for an endless numbers of "temporary" work visas…..aka, they will be here forever.

    Learn Spanish and get a Muslim prayer rug. Unless immigration is stopped or reduced, we will lose this country.

  • Spider

    This is just the first phase of Amnesty for all. The next argument made will be "We can't deport the parents of the dream kids because we would break up the family" even though they were the ones that brought the kids here illegally. And then next argument will be "We can't deport the relatives of the parents because we would break up the family" and so the parents relatives will be Amnestied and so on until they all are Amnestied. See how this works. It's a simple plan and goes around the voters and Congress.

    • fiddler

      Yep, absolutely true. I mean, have a HEART America! Gee whiz! Yes you paid taxes to fund all of this illegality, but hey, you BETTER pay your taxes. Don't even GO there. Don't you feel ashamed!

  • redhawk1989

    Obama more and more reminds me of a dictator,not a democratically elected president and the loony left wants to transform the USA into Yugoslavia II,so they can say how multiculturalism is wonderful.The US is already losing the southwest which is fastly becoming Kosovo II,Asians are looking to the Pacific Northwest,Muslims are becoming an increasing population in Michigan,while the Confederacy could rise again and with the current economic meltdown that is a perfect recipe for the repeat of the 1990s wars in the former Yugoslavia.

    • fiddler

      The really damning thing is he freely expressed that he lawfully could not do this several times in 2011. So this make his "edit" all the more unlawful.

      For anyone out there who is an Obama supporter, realize that if we KNEW he was capable of using the presidency in such a way in 2008, he would NEVER have been elected. Well, I take that back. Surely "journalists" such as Chris Matthews (MSMBC), CNN, ABC, CBS, the NYT, etc would have spiked it so that we largely couldn't know apart from the internet.

      Wise up Democrats! Can you imagine what this man could cook up if he is allowed four more years? What other "executive orders" do you think he would impose on the electorate?

      • fiddler

        Spell correction: "edict".

  • tagalog

    Aztlan is a mythical, legendary construct. No one knows what land might constitute Aztlan. It might be the lands of the Aztecs. It might be the plateau area around what is now Mexico City. It might be lands of the three major northern states of Mexico. It might be Florida; it might be California; it might be the land north of the Colorado River, or it might be the land around where Lake Powell now is. It might be imaginary. No one knows anything concrete about Aztlan. No one knows if there ever was anyplace that was called Aztlan. It's right up there with Cibola and El Dorado.

    So I would conclude that until some reliable evidence is adduced that points to some real land known at one time as Aztlan, we simply assume that Aztlan is a made-up concept, a pipe dream intended to delude simple-minded Americans into believing that there is some Mexican claim to land that belongs to the United States.

  • Nessus

    Mickey Kaus writes at The Daily Caller:

    The maddening details of Obama’s DREAM Decree are becoming clearer. As this CIS report notes, 1) The decree doesn’t just apply to illegal immigrants who were“brought to this country by their parents.”
    It also would give work permits to those who snuck across the border by themselves as teenagers. “Through no fault of their own” is a talking point for DREAM proselytizers, not an actual legal requirement.

    2) The same goes for the phrase “and know only this country as home.” That’s a highly imaginative riff on the decree’s actual requirement, which is for 5 years “continuous residence.” It turns out “continuous residence” doesn’t mean what you think it means. “Immigration attorneys have been successful in getting immigration courts to whittle this down to a point where it is almost meaningless,” says CIS’s Jon Feere. As an illegal immigrant you can go back abroad for multiple 6-month stints during those five years–but, if precedent holds, in Janet Napolitano’s eyes you will still “know only this country as home.”

  • Nessus

    Associated Press
    Calderon praises Obama for his unlawful illegal alien skullduggery
    Los Cabos, BCS, Mex. — Mexico’s president is praising President Barack Obama for having the "courage" to limit the deportation of some young illegal [aliens] living in the U.S. — President Felipe Calderon thanked Obama on behalf of the Mexican people for what he called a "valuable decision." Obama announced Friday that illegal [aliens] will be able to avoid deportation…

    Bloomberg
    Job openings in U.S. decrease by most in almost four years
    Job openings in the U.S. decreased in April by the most in almost four years, the latest sign that the labor market is cooling. — The number of open positions dropped by 325,000, the biggest decline since September 2008, to 3.42 million from 3.74 million the prior month, the Labor Department said today in Washington. Hiring slowed from the prior month and firings climbed…

  • fiddler

    At the heart of this is a president who presumes on the taxpayer. To him taxes for such things are as presumed upon as taking your next breath.

    Mr President, did you bother asking Pres Calderon how HE could help with these "children"? I mean, Mexico values them SO much right? If, as you concede they are illegal in this nation, to they indeed have a nation? Doesn't that other nation feel a responsiblity for them, or is the American taxpayer duped once again. How is it, Mr. President that Mexico's responsibility ends at the border? How does America take de facto responsibility for Mexico's cast offs? And no fair quoting from Lady Liberty! We are literally DROWNING in "huddled masses"!

  • Ghostwriter

    I believe that most legal immigrants are angry at this,wherever they come from. And they have every right to be.

  • guest

    What word in the sentence "NO" is Obama having trouble with? These are the same people who put the Mexican flag up over schools.

    He always bypasses Congress, that branch of government our quaint Constitution makes responsible for such policy. Obama said so himself last year when he reminded people that he couldn’t “change the law unilaterally” and “We have to pass bills through the legislature and then I can sign it.” What a hero. Those people were voted in to represent us. What does that make us, idiots? Why waste time voting? He is out of control.

  • American Eagle

    what makes you think *obama* cares about individuals in america being loyal to america?
    He himself has been anything but loyal to america. Indeed, every single agenda item he has pursued—both domestic and foreign—are precisely calculated to act against america and american interests and allies.

  • Willy Rho

    I Love that opening sentence, what wit! "America’s ward-heeler-in-chief just bought some votes with the policy equivalent of a keg of beer and a slab of bacon".