The Immigration Ploy

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President Obama’s latest political ploy — granting new “rights” out of thin air, by Executive Order, to illegal immigrants who claim that they were brought into the country when they were children — is all too typical of his short-run approach to the country’s long-run problems.

Whatever the merits or demerits of the Obama immigration policy, his Executive Order is good only as long as he remains president, which may be only a matter of months after this year’s election.

People cannot plan their lives on the basis of laws that can suddenly appear, and then suddenly disappear, in less than a year. To come forward today and claim the protection of the Obama Executive Order is to declare publicly and officially that your parents entered the country illegally. How that may be viewed by some later administration is anybody’s guess.

Employers likewise cannot rely on policies that may be here today and gone tomorrow, whether these are temporary tax rates designed to look good at election time or temporary immigration policies that can backfire later if employers get accused of hiring illegal immigrants.

Why hire someone, and invest time and money in training them, if you may be forced to fire them before a year has passed?

Kicking the can down the road is one of the favorite exercises in Washington. But neither in the economy nor in their personal lives can people make plans and commitments on the basis of government policies that suddenly appear and suddenly disappear.

Like so many other Obama ploys, his immigration ploy is not meant to help the country, but to help Obama. This is all about getting the Hispanic vote this November.

The principle involved — keeping children from being hurt by actions over which they had no control — is one already advanced by Senator Marco Rubio, who may well end up as Governor Romney’s vice-presidential running mate. The Obama Executive Order, which suddenly popped up like a rabbit out of a magician’s hat, steals some of Senator Rubio’s thunder, so it is clever politics.

But clever politics is what has gotten this country into so much trouble, not only as regards immigration but also as regards the economy and the dangerous international situation.

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  • davarino

    Great article. I had not thought of that angle, that the "amnesty" could go away in a few short months. What Obama gave the illegals is a thoughtful gesture, but thats all. It gives them false hope………..just like everything else he has done for America.

  • StephenD

    I echo Davarino's sentiments. Also, I hadn't considered your second point and that is, How do you disprove the claim from someone here a week that is under 30 that says he was brought here as a child? I know he has stipulations such as Military Service or school enrollment but serious people must understand that these criteria too will be sidelined should this "program" really pick up any momentum. Essentially then we will have an Open Border Policy and since we know now of at least 54 different nationalities that have crossed the southern border, we can expect plenty more.

    • dmw

      And, what will Homeland Security do when, as it processes the less than 30 year olds who have to provide proof of being "dragged in", the agency becomes aware of the illegal parents still in the country? And according to Secretary Incompetano's letter to the various agencies involved, the new policy is supposed to be implemented in 60 days. Hay Caramba!!! The whole thing is flat pandering and not serious.

  • clarespark

    The President's ploy will fall on prepared ground ploughed by academics in colleges and high schools, those who have advanced the study of "the common man" and buried how leaders make decisions (the latter condemned as "elitist" and based on "literary sources." I wrote about that here:…. The title is "The social history racket+illegal immigration." I couldn't agree more with Sowell's fine article.

  • tagalog

    Is this new immigration thingie a matter of executive order or is it some sort of policy directive to Janet Neapolitano?

    A government that issues rules by fiat like this is not democratic; it's not a republic either. It's a wannabe monarchy, or some other government ruled by one person. A society ruled by laws must have laws that are certain, reliable, and predictable; that's fundamental.

    A society that governs itself based on the consent of the governed, that then turns around and carries on like this is not a society that is governing by the consent of the governed. It is government ruling by decree. John Locke said that if that happens, the governed may withdraw their consent and are not bound by the rules that have been passed down.

    • Jim_C

      It's a change in enforcement policy that every modern president has availed himself of.

  • Ghostwriter

    Both Americans and legal immigrants should be angry at what President Obama has done. I know the immigration system has problems but this is no way to fix it.

  • aspacia

    Bravo! I have had many racist proLa Raza illegal immigrants in class