The conventional wisdom among conservatives is that if President Obama wins a second term, things on the immigration policy front will become worse. But it’s difficult to see how the situation could become much worse when the state of immigration in the US today is in chaos and disarray, with no foreseeable political will to fix it.
Republicans are much more divided on immigration than Democrats. Many pro-business GOPers support lax immigration enforcement and full or partial amnesty for illegal aliens already in the country. Rank-and-file Republicans and Tea Party supporters tend to take a harder line on immigration, favoring more aggressive enforcement of existing laws. They want illegals deported.
And decades of liberal immigration policies have taken their toll on border-state politicians. Even GOP governors have felt the need to run to the left on immigration issues at election time.
A case in point is the leading Republican contender for the presidency, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, whose stance on immigration isn’t much different than Obama’s.
Some of Perry’s policy positions as a governor are almost the mirror image of Obama’s. In 2001 Perry implemented a Lone Star State version of national Democrats’ proposed DREAM Act in Texas. It gave students with three years residency in Texas in-state tuition rates.
In one important respect it is an apples-and-oranges comparison. Obama favors giving illegal aliens a so-called path to citizenship. Perry doesn’t – and couldn’t – because immigration and naturalization are federal matters.
Nonetheless Perry’s similarity to Obama on this hot-button issue is already making some segments of the Tea Party movement uncomfortable with the otherwise appealing candidate.
Perry has assured conservatives that his support for the Texas-style DREAM Act was a one-shot deal and that he won’t enact similar legislation at the federal level.
But the point is arguably moot.
Obama’s recently unveiled federal DREAM Act-by-fiat provides relief from deportation using criteria that largely mirror the proposed federal DREAM Act. Like all amnesties it rewards lawbreaking and serves as a flashing green light to would-be illegal immigrants, inviting them to jump the queue. Amnesties beget amnesties. Each one increases the likelihood that another immigration amnesty will follow in the future – and so on and so on and so on.
Despite this slippery political maneuver President Obama is deporting record numbers of illegals. He’s sent close to 400,000 undocumented migrants packing in each of the last two years. The 400,000 figure is almost 10 percent more than President Bush deported in 2008 and 25 percent more than Bush sent home in 2007.
Obama’s uncharacteristic interest in enforcing the nation’s laws by booting illegals out of the country has earned him the scorn of pro-open borders left-wingers like Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL). The radical congressman deliberately got himself arrested while protesting Obama’s policy on deportations outside the White House in July before the president’s targeted amnesty was announced.
But critics like Gutierrez are delighted with other aspects of Obama’s approach to immigration. Under Obama, the federal government has taken the bizarre step of joining a foreign government, Mexico, in suing Arizona to overturn that state’s immigration law.
President Obama has also issued a host of “quasi-amnesties,” according to David North of the nonpartisan Center for Immigration Studies. “These creeping, partial amnesties indirectly encourage additional migration, including illegal migration,” he writes. Some of these programs provide taxpayer-funded benefits even to aliens who are facing deportation, North adds.
Would Perry or any of the other Republican presidential candidates do a better job on immigration issues, or would they “grow in office” after being inaugurated? We’ll have to wait and see.
One thing’s for certain, though: America’s immigration system is an incoherent mess – just the way the Left likes it. Highly skilled, self-sufficient workers have to run a gauntlet of onerous regulations while illegal immigrants sneak into the country to gain free taxpayer-provided healthcare, tuition, and housing.
Some leftists are openly contemptuous of the rule of law. They’re not shy about admitting that the Left uses America’s confusing immigration system to promote so-called social justice.
Eliseo Medina, secretary treasurer of the Service Employees International Union, says that boosting immigration levels will help push America further leftward. Immigration “will solidify and expand the progressive coalition for the future,” said Medina who is an honorary chairman of the Democratic Socialists of America (along with Marxists Frances Fox Piven and Cornel West). The purpose of immigration, says Medina, is to “create a governing coalition for the long term, not just for an election cycle.”
Long ago the Left figured out how to use taxpayer resources to promote progressive-left policies. The Democrats’ cherished National Voter Registration Act has allowed many illegals to unofficially participate in the electoral process since President Clinton signed it into law in 1993. The so-called Motor-Voter law was envisioned by Marxists Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, who lobbied for it, as a way to swamp voter rolls with ineligible voters and encourage massive voter fraud.
The federal law requires that everyone applying for certain government benefits be given an opportunity to register to vote. Government workers processing claims for public benefits are prohibited even from asking applicants if they are U.S. citizens. Some of these illegals vote.
As I write this article the Obama administration may be planning more made-in-America mayhem by engineering an overhaul of election laws that would make voter fraud by illegal immigrants even easier than it is now. Two weeks ago I reported the disturbing news that attorney Estelle H. Rogers, director of advocacy at ACORN-affiliated Project Vote, visited the White House earlier this year. Rogers, who maintains voter fraud is a figment of Republicans’ collective imagination, met with a senior aide to Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett and with Van Jones’s former chief of staff.
Watchdog group Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Justice Department, demanding copies of all correspondence between department officials and Rogers. Judicial Watch said it is investigating the extent to which the department and Project Vote, Obama’s former employer, “are partnering on a national campaign to use the National Voting Rights Act (NVRA) to register more individuals on public assistance, widely considered a key voting demographic for the Obama 2012 campaign.”
Could illegal aliens, many of whom are dependent on welfare, provide the margin of victory for Obama next year, allowing him to further undermine America’s immigration laws?
And given the policy stances of leading Republicans on immigration matters, does it really make a difference who wins?
Time will tell.