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President Obama Orders Amnesty For Some Illegal Immigrants

I have contemplating writing this post since I first learned about the directive President Obama gave that in effect, grants amnesty to some illegal immigrants. I have read posts and news articles discussing the subject and the comments on those posts. In no particular order, I have read posts at America’s Watchtower, Conservative Outcry, and Steven Birn Speaks, to name just three. The going opinion among most conservatives seems to be that this is a purely political move. President Obama is down in the polls and he knows exactly what kind of boost this move will give him among Latino voters. As he was with his announcement on same-sex marriage, he is playing to the people he considers to be his base, trying to get them fired up and ready to cast their votes.

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First, let’s look at the details of the plan. This is taken from The Associated Press.

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Under the administration plan, illegal immigrants will be immune from deportation if they were brought to the United States before they turned 16 and are younger than 30, have been in the country for at least five continuous years, have no criminal history, graduated from a U.S. high school or earned a GED, or served in the military. They also can apply for a work permit that will be good for two years with no limits on how many times it can be renewed. The officials who described the plan spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss it in advance of the official announcement.

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On the surface, it seems to be a fair proposition. Obviously, no one wants to punish children or young adults for the crimes of their Illegal Immigrantsparents. However, there is a lot more to consider than just what is on the surface of this issue. Yes, many of these illegal immigrants are illegal through no fault of their own. Should they be held accountable for that? Possibly not, but that doesn’t mean they should be given preferential treatment over other immigrants. You know, those immigrants who came here legally and have followed the rules to acquire their citizenship or legal status.

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I just finished watching the remarks President Obama gave concerning this directive in the Rose Garden and I must say, he makes a compelling case for his decision. As he is apt to do, he talked a lot about fairness. He wants to treat these illegal immigrants fairly and says it is the right thing to do. Okay, I’ll give him that part of the argument and agree that no one wants to treat illegal immigrants unfairly, especially if they had no choice in the matter. But did they really have no choice?

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Consider this. We are not talking about actual children, but young adults. He said in his remarks that many of them have no idea they are illegal, until they apply for a driver’s license or try to get a job. I don’t buy that argument. Kids are not stupid. They pick up on the actions of their parents and if the parents knew they were illegal, they were surely acting accordingly. If they knew they were illegal, so did many of these young adults. Do they bear any responsibility of their own? Should they have tried to work towards legalizing their status in America?

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Another thing I take issue with in the President’s remarks is how he said this is not amnesty and is only temporary. It sounds a lot like amnesty to me, given that they are allowing illegal immigrants, ie. criminals who have broken American law, a get-out-of-jail-free card. Does anyone remember how amnesty worked out for us the last time we tried it? That would have been during the Ronald Reagan years and as much as I respected him, he made a mistake by granting amnesty to illegal immigrants. Our immigration problems have only compounded since then and we have more illegal immigrants than ever before.

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Moving on to another problem I have with this issue, let us look at the economic side of this. President Obama likes to tout the idea that the 800,000 illegal immigrants this change will affect are full of talented young people who our country just can’t do without. The way he talked during his announcement, you would there are no Americans wanting to do the jobs he seems to think these young illegal immigrants are cut out for. We are not talking about farm or construction jobs here. He made mention several times of the technology and science jobs, with specific references to the young illegal immigrants he is granting legal status. What about the 8.2% of Americans who are either unemployed or underemployed? Does he think they do not qualify for those jobs?

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My point is this. He talks a lot about fairness towards illegal immigrants, but what about the fairness towards the Americans who are needing work? Should that not count for something? There is a lot more to fairness than granting legal status to illegal immigrants and allowing them to get jobs in America. I believe Americans should come first. In this case, President Obama is putting political expediency over what is right for Americans. At the same time, he is ignoring the fact that he has no authority to do what he is doing.

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As I understand the powers and the responsibilities of the Executive Branch of our government, he is supposed to enforce the laws of the land, as passed by Congress. Instead, he is changing our immigration laws by his own decision. He is deciding what laws he will enforce and how he will enforce them. In doing so, he is stepping far beyond the boundaries set for him by the Constitution.

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Update:  The original version of this post contained references to an executive order I mistakenly thought President Obama had issued about the changes he was making in the enforcement of our immigration laws. Adrienne pointed out that mistake in her comment. Therefore, I have edited the post to contain the correct information.

About LD Jackson

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LD Jackson has written 2053 posts in this blog.

Founder and author of the political and news commentary blog Political Realities. I have always loved to write, but never have I felt my writing was more important than in this present day. If I have changed one mind or impressed one American about the direction our country is headed, then I will consider my endeavors a success. I take the tag line on this blog very seriously. Above all else, in search of the truth.

  • The Question I ask is what fairness due we owe to illegal immigrants no matter their age when they entered the country. If we know where these 800,000 young people are, we collect them and rheir parents and send them back to their country of origin. many honest people wait years to get their visas to come to the US. Why should we treat children of illegals differently. Obama is breaking the law. the result will be that more foreigners with 15 year old children will come here illegally so that when their child turns 16 the can become legal and, of course, we couldn’t send the parents back without their child. This will become an incentive for more people to come here illegally.

    • I think it is safe to say, history has shown us that giving amnesty to illegal immigrants is not the answer to our immigration problem. As I pointed out in the post, Ronald Reagan tried that and it solved nothing.

      I agree with your point about fairness. If we go this route and apply these new rules because of fairness, what about the fairness to those immigrants who are here legally?

      • Wendy

        If the president is being fair to the illegal immigrants, then what about the legal immigrants. If for any reason i believe those who entered the country legally should be considered.

        • I would agree, Wendy. This is clearly a move to favor illegal immigrants. What about those who are here legally, who have followed the law? Should they not be considered before the law breakers?

  • LD, If I’m not mistaken, Obama did not issue an executive order or sign one. He sent a directive to ICE telling them to stop enforcing the law. That’s even worse…

    • It seems you are right, Adrienne. I will update the post accordingly. And you are right. It is worse.

  • If these kids are as “extraordinary” as Obama suggests, then they are just the kind of folks their countries of origin needs. Science, technology-I think Central and South America could use that kind of talent. And lets face it, that is who Obama is aiming at, not an Irish illegal waving a GED. Obama has inadvertently made a case for returning these folks to their country of origin. Of course, we know that isn’t and was never the plan. He doesn’t want 800,000 fraudulent votes leaving the country for any reason.

    • One would tend to think that way, if the political motives were removed from this decision. I don’t think that is likely to happen.

  • Great post Larry and you ask a great question, if this is all about fairness how is it fair to those Americans who have been looking for a job to now have to compete with people who are here illegally? This was a clearly political move but I think this will backfire on him just as his gay marriage “evolution” did.
    My biggest problem with this is the act he bypassed the Congress and implemented this by EO when the reason it couldn’t pass the Congress is because the people didn’t want it. He ignored the voice of the people in order to win votes and this is indefensible.

    • Completely indefensible. Let’s put blinders on for a moment and forget about the issues I brought up. Take the fairness issue and put it behind us. When it is all said and done, President Obama is dictating American law and deciding how it will be enforced. By doing so, he is performing an unconstitutional act. That is the most troubling thing of all. He is showing a total disregard for the document he swore to uphold.

      • Agreed Larry,even putting aside the issue what is most troubling is that Barack Obama ignored the process and the constitution to implement a policy which couldn’t get passed the Congress. Why even have a Congress if Obama is going to do what he wants regardless?

        • The most dangerous thing about this is, President Obama believes he is justified in going around Congress and the American people because it is the “right thing to do”. That kind of attitude troubles me more than a little.

  • bill

    i’m so tired of debating the bleeding-heart argument for amnesty i could shoot my dog (if i had one); whenever the left says “it’s the right thing to do”, run as far and as fast as you can.

    when asked a pointed (and surprising) question by wolf blitzer; “what about the parents and family of the (qualified) recipients?” janet napolitano ‘blinked’ and essentially said they would not be offered special consideration. excuse me ms. napolitano; but as they are able to live freely in ‘sanctuary cities’, hold jobs, own property, secure bank accounts, obtain credit, file income tax vis~a~vis a ‘tin’ (temporary identification number), send their children to public schools and enlist in our military i’d conclude that these folks already enjoy very ‘special consideration’.

    apologies for the rant; my bride of ten tears is a mexican national and a lot of years and tears, paperwork and govt. fees (both sides) were expended before she was finally awarded ‘legal’ status here.

    of more importance to those of us adversely affected by mr. obama’s announcement yesterday is the political calculus. what is obvious is that the left is once again pushing the envelope of executive preogative in order to appease their base and secure votes. what is less known amongst the general electorate is that mr. rubio had proposed the ‘same’ consideration and the ‘same’ requirements back in march and was working with the r’s in congress to introduce a bill this summer. with mr. rubio as a potential v.p. the passage of that bill would have been a huge boost to mr. romney’s effort, but no more. this article in the atlantic details the skullduggery:

    at the end of the day i’d guess mr. obama’s campaign comes out ahead on this one. when the number of slackards and opportunists exceed the number of thinking constitutional patriotic folk; well…b

    • I have read about Marco Rubio’s proposal, but haven’t written about it. From what I know of him, I respect him for his conservative values, but I disagree with his proposal to allow this. At least, if his proposal becomes law, then it would be through the proper channels.

      You could very well be right about this. President Obama may have been trying to get the jump on anything Rubio may have been able to push through Congress.

  • It is time to stop talking and start acting. It is time to put an end to the non-sense of the government allowing foreign nationals to invade our country. I don’t want to hear excuses anymore; I want to see results. This problem should have been at the top of President Obama’s “to do list” when he assumed the Office of the President of the Untied States of America. Congress should drop all else and now work on a solution to the mass migration for foreign nationals invading our country; they did it for health care for all, and now it is time to do it for the protection of all. If this problem cannot be taken care of before the next General Election (November 2012), then, no one, but no one, should be reelected to office. If those in Congress can’t do the job then it is high time we got people into office that can do the job. Let the record speak for itself; President Obama has had over three years to fix this problem and he as done nothing to fix it except sue the State of Arizona because that State tried to do something about the problem. On this matter alone President Obama doesn’t deserve a second term in office. Additionally, no candidate should be elected to the Office of the President of the United States that doesn’t come up with a viable solution to fix this problem, within 90-days after being sworn into office.

    • Thanks for commenting on Political Realities, Charlie.

      As for a real solution to the immigration problem our country has, I’m not sure we are capable of fixing it, as our government currently stands. The issue is such a hot potato that no one wants to take the political chances they would have to take to push real immigration reform through Congress.

  • This is a debate that needs to be had within the halls of Congress. That the President has unilaterally (and illegally in my legal opinion) is nothing short of an outrage. I’m more annoyed with the separation of powers issue. But if I was one of the 25% of 16-19 year old citizens who is currently unemployed, looking for a summer job I would be even more outraged. If I was one of the 14% of blacks who is unemployed, I would be outraged. If I was one of the 11% of hispanics who are currently unemployed, I would be outraged. All of these citizens now have to compete with 800,000 illegals that could be as old as 29 because the President unilaterally dictated American law.

    • Absolutely, Congress needs to have this debate. But where is the real push to have that happen? I am not aware of any member of Congress who has placed it at the top of their agenda of things to do. The reason is simple, as I pointed out to Charlie Peters. It is one of the hot potato political issues that some people like to talk about, but no one really wants to handle.

      • Not taking up a bill or issue is a form of dealing with it. We already have immigration laws that call for the deportation of these people. If Congress is happy with the laws we already have on the books, then they’re dealing with the issue as they see fit by not considering changes.

        • That is a good point. We do have laws that cover immigration. Part of the problem we are having today, maybe the biggest part of the problem, is that those laws are not being enforced. They haven’t been in years. Hence, we have millions of illegal immigrants in our country and no one has a good solution for dealing with them.

          • Exactly, we have laws on the books that aren’t being enforced. By both parties no less, Bush barely enforced the border laws when he was President.

            • lou222

              Steven, I imagine that as usual, Congress doesn’t know what the laws were when they pushed them thru. How then, could we expect them to USE those laws? You have to know about them first. Like alot of them say, they just don’t have time to read a bill before the vote, so what do we expect. This whole Congress is a mess and they keep making more and more “rules” for us little people to have held over our heads.

              • Congress doesn’t enforce laws, the President does. Odds are half the members of Congress weren’t even there when the laws were passes. After all we haven’t had substantial immigration reform in a generation.

                • lou222

                  My point was that Congress doesn’t have any idea what they are voting on, they just push them thru. I know they don’t enforce the laws, maybe I didn’t get what I was saying across, sorry.

            • I totally agree. President Bush was terrible on immigration enforcement.

  • lou222

    Just more people that will go on the welfare rolls and unemployment lines, isn’t it? However, they will VOTE, hence the need for letting them in. What about the legals here that cannot get any help from the government? Shouldn’t we help them out first before letting a whole new group of “needy” people in the country to stay? It amazes me, as well, that there is not outrage from this situation in Congress, but that they have been bypassed, once again. It is leading me to believe that they are in on the whole scam. There are going to be even more Americans that will not find a job, thanks to this president, all for his own benefit. Isn’t that what it boils down to? Self satisfaction and gratification for President Obama, let others just deal with the aftermath. Sad and ticked off at the same time, that is what I am!!!!!

    • Well, they can’t vote yet, at least not legally. That may change, as there have been efforts in the past to allow legal resident, non-citizens the right to vote in local elections.

      • lou222

        since when has “legal” been an issue?

  • The problem with the fairness argument is, who’s fairness are you talking about?

    We have laws, and lady justice is supposed to be blind. If a law is unfair, you re-legislate it, do don’t issue imperial decrees.

    I think this is the right thing to do, but it was done the wrong way.

    • I disagree with you that this is the right thing to do, for the very reason you stated in your first sentence. This might be fair to the illegals, but what about the legal immigrants? There has to be another solution, other than allowing them to have privileges that legal immigrants have worked long and hard to acquire.

  • I am sick to death hearing that we need the spanish vote, the black vote, the women’s vote, the gay vote. We need the American vote. Legal Americans voting. I doubt I will get my wish.

    • Exactly, Bunker. It’s tiresome, hearing how the vote is divided up into ethnic groups. We are supposed to all be Americans.

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  • Well…this one’s simple: he knows re-election will be tough and he can’t win without the Latino (or any subgroup) vote, big time. And he’s aware Romney MAY run with Rubio, potentially eroding that vote. So he’s bypassing congress and locking in the Latino vote now so his pandering won’t be as blatantly transparent and condescending if he did it AFTER Rubio was named as Mitt’s running mate. Slick, I’ve got to admit.

    If anyone had any doubts as to how disingenuous, cynical and self-serving his words and actions are, this settles the matter. Once again (as with Obama Care), he throws congress under the bus. Of course, down the road the left wing will be happy, Latinos will be drooling over him and independents will have forgotten this. Only us conservatives will remember, and we weren’t going to vote for him anyway. A cool strategy. Just goes to show how we all need to get to work to defeat him.

    • It is a slick political move, indeed. It will be interesting to see how it plays out in the coming months, but it should help him with Latinos.

      Any doubts I had about his agenda were gone long ago. We have our work cut out to show the rest of America what is taking place.

      • lou222

        Larry, he has been in campaign mode since he stepped foot in the Oval Office. He just throws in a EO now and then to make himself look presidential. Reads a bit off the teleprompter and flys somewhere to give a SEIU pep talk. Other than that, he is pretty much useless. Dangerous, but useless.

  • lou222

    Ok, I am going to say it, he is becoming a really big “smart*ss”! Talk about snippy answers and going after people, that is SO unpresidential. Between him and the way his wife dresses, they have taken the positions of President and First Lady to an all time low. I thought there was someone in the White House that handled not only Etiquette, but what should and should not be said. Did they get the boot? There is so little respect from the people I talk to for anything either of those two do now. What used to be looked up to has become positions that have been taken down to marginal respect, at best. Let’s vote someone in this next time that not only has the qualifications to BE President, but a First Lady that knows how to handle herself and represent our country. Both of them seem lacking, don’t they?
    And Bunkerville, I think that your wish is probably too much to expect!

    • We have a saying in Oklahoma. Maybe some of you have heard it. The term goes something like “they have their nose stuck so far up in the air, they will drown if it rains”. Obama is the perfect definition of “stuck up”.

      • lou222

        We have other sayings in the Midwest, but they are not as “nice” as what you said. They are however, VERY fitting!

  • It’s more HOW it was done and WHY. Mittens hasn’t said he’d undo what Obama did.

    The president’s actions just speak, to me, about lawlessness.