THE VOICE OF REASON
Immigration Speech

A DEMAGOGUE WITHOUT CREDIBILITY OR HONOR

On Friday, November 21, the day after Barack Obama expounded upon his executive order concerning immigration, I took a moment to read the text of his speech. Reading what he has to say does not incense me nearly so much as looking at and listening to him saying it. Without surprise, virtually everything he maintained about the subject of immigration was factually incorrect, if not downright deceitful. Yet what else can one expect from a man who has proven time and again that he has no respect for the truth and little more than contempt for America, as well as its founding, traditions, and people? 

At the beginning of his address, he advanced a sweeping generalization: “For more than 200 years, our tradition of welcoming immigrants from around the world has given us a tremendous advantage over other nations.” Not really! Consider the last half century. Lyndon Johnson’s administration passed what Professor Otis L. Graham, Jr. has called “the Great Society’s most nation-changing single act.” It was the Immigration Reform Act of 1965 (IRA), by which Johnson opened America’s “golden door” to Third World peoples as never before in history. Betty K. Koed has written a dissertation for the University of California – Santa Barbara, entitled “The Politics of Reform: Policymakers and the Immigration Act of 1965,” on the enactment of this ill conceived legislation, and it is a pity that the work has not been published. It is one that all who are interested in what has happened to America should carefully read and study. Against the advice of many knowledgeable people, the IRA was hurriedly passed and resulted in millions upon millions of Third World immigrants entering upon these shores. Most of those have been Hispanics, while sizeable numbers Asians and Africans. Since there was a family reunification provision without a limitation on actual numbers, there has been a monstrous overload of newcomers entering the country since 1965. The population has swollen from 209 million in that fateful year to over 320 million in 2014, with White Caucasians projected to be of minority status in 30 years. Assimilation of these immigrants to America's prevailing culture has not been so much an afterthought, as many have held on to their native languages, traditions, and mores, and  even their old world citizenship in some instances. This trend contributes to the already harsh effects of multiculturalism, which is little more than an undeclared war on Anglo-Christian culture in this country. All in all, the effects of immigration since 1965 have served to fragment America's culture and have been devastating. 

Obama further stated:  “But today, our immigration system is broken, and everybody knows it.” Not exactly. Although I agree that the IRA is a major boondoggle that should be repealed, America does indeed have immigration laws. What is broken and wreaking havoc at the present time is that these laws are not being sufficiently enforced. It is still a crime to enter the country illegally. One of the primary reasons for the lack of enforcement is corporate America’s desire to exploit a steady stream of illegal labor. It does not pay fair wages, taxes, pension, or healthcare. If we bear down on businesses for breaking the law, jobs will dry up, and illegals will self-deport. The problem with illegal immigration will then be largely solved. 

Another gross exaggeration, if not untruth, is that “undocumented immigrants . . . desperately want to embrace responsibilities [of citizenship].” Some illegals may want to embrace the responsibilities of citizenship, but there are countless others who do not. Think about the advantages of maintaining illegal status over citizenship. An illegal alien has the privilege of sending his children to American public schools, going to an emergency room free of charge when ill, having additional children at taxpayers’ expense, and drawing from many additional sources of welfare. An illegal immigrant can keep most of his paycheck, thanks to the fact that he pays no income taxes. What precisely is the incentive to “embrace responsibilities” of citizenship? I do not see it. 

Former Georgetown University professor, S. Rob Sobhani, in a plainspoken, easy-to-read book, entitled Press 2 for English, explains that myriads of illegal aliens have no affection for this country at all, but are using it primarily, if not solely, for the extraction of economic benefits. Sobhani describes how, on the commemoration of September 11, he spoke informally to a group of aliens outside of a Home Depot in Maryland, and they informed him that they had no interest in the day, because it is “an American concern.” “The sad thing is that even as immigrants flock to America for a better life," the professor contends, "neither legals nor illegals seem to feel an incentive to assimilate into this country.” If you ever receive the opportunity to talk to any of these people (forget it if you do not speak Spanish), ask them whether they desire to be American citizens. You may be shocked what you hear, contrary to the president’s sanguine pronouncements on the subject. 

Obama likewise misled Americans with half-truths when he stated: “Overall, the number of people trying to cross our border illegally is at its lowest level since the 1970s.” This may be a fact, but it is not attributable to efforts by the Obama administration to make our borders secure. Obama has increased the border patrol only modestly since it nearly doubled under George W. Bush, when the number grew from 11,264 in 2005 to 20,119 in October 2008. Under Obama, the number has increased only slightly, with approximately 85 percent of the increased force stationed along the southern border. It is also true that arrests for illegal border crossings have decreased since Obama took office, but immigration experts have said the sluggish U.S. economy is the chief reason for the trend. 

If one did not know better, he might think that the various points in Obama’s executive order were lifted out of a bloated campaign speech or state of the union address. They were not. The man is actually undertaking to write law. Consider the following statement:  “I will make it easier and faster for high-skilled immigrants, graduates, and entrepreneurs to stay and contribute to our economy, as so many business leaders have proposed.” Obama cannot do this in accordance with the Constitution unless Congress approves it, and he has not received that approval. The executive branch in this country does not make law, but is charged with enforcing it. Aside from this glaring reality, why should these people be welcomed to the country, when young men and women who are American citizens and also highly skilled cannot find jobs and are otherwise attempting to make financial ends meet in an at best cramped job market? Roy Beck, in The Case Against Immigration, explains how corporate greed has caused gifted and high-skilled Americans to be passed over in favor of the immigrant-technocrat. The issue is not about skill, but corporate profit. 

Here is another misguided policy underlying Emperor Obama’s immigration plan: “[W]e’re going to keep focusing enforcement resources on actual threats to our security.  Felons, not families.  Criminals, not children. Gang members, not a mother who’s working hard to provide for her kids.” Security has been relaxed under this administration. To determine who is dangerous and who is not is scarcely a determination that has been, or is being, made at all. Furthermore, has Obama forgotten that undocumented workers are in this country illegally? They have absolutely no right to be here. It does not matter who they are or who suggested they come, the point is that they stole their way across the border. Corporations and businesses that hire them should be compelled to say, “Sorry, but we can no longer keep you.” In the alternative, they should have to suffer draconian fines and penalties. 

The Emperor also said this: “So we’re going to offer the following deal: If you’ve been in America for more than five years; if you have children who are American citizens or legal residents; if you register, pass a criminal background check, and you’re willing to pay your fair share of taxes – you’ll be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily, without fear of deportation.” By what authority does he give this assurance? Does it not mean that he is negating existing law and writing new law? It is not up to this narcissist to offer any “deal” other than one approved by Congress.

Yet consider this: from the aliens’ point-of-view, what if they emerge from the shadows and identify themselves, only to discover later that the “temporary” suspension of the “fear of deportation” is set aside, either by the Supreme Court or by an act of Congress? What then? Aside from the advantages of the “deal,” I am not sure that, if I were an alien, I would take him up on it. Why be targeted for taxes and possible deportation later? 

One of the biggest whoppers Obama told all night was the following: “The actions I’m taking are not only lawful, they’re the kinds of actions taken by every single Republican President and every single Democratic President for the past half century.” Oh, yeah? Show me any past president who, in the absence of an immigration law duly enacted by Congress, has sought to write his own immigration policy and to impose it upon the American people. Or show me where any former president has attempted with an executive order to contravene the explicit dictates of existing immigration law. It is certainly no justification for this action for him to insist: “[T]o those Members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer:  Pass a bill.” Congress has not “failed,” but has “refused,” as is its constitutional prerogative, to enact an immigration bill, because many members of Congress are not satisfied that Obama will enforce border security. What, after all, has he done to assure them otherwise? His assurances are as empty as his suit. 

Demonstrating his credentials as a thoroughgoing charlatan, Obama further maintained what I regard as his most outrageous claim of the evening, the one that troubles me the most: “Scripture tells us that we shall not oppress a stranger, for we know the heart of a stranger – we were strangers once, too.” James K. Hoffmeier, an Old Testament professor who has been at times a refugee and an alien in two different countries, wrote a book, The Immigration Crisis. Professor Hoffmeier points out that an “alien” (or “stranger”) (ger) was a legal resident of ancient Israel, whereas a “foreigner” (nekhar or zar) was not. The foreigner did not enjoy the benefits and protections accorded to the alien. When Scripture refers to the “alien,” it is invariably referring to someone who had legal status. When it refers to the “foreigner,” the obverse is true. Verses, such as “Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him . . .” (Exodus 22.21) and “you are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt” (Deuteronomy 10:19), do not include those who broke the law when entering Israel and were therefore without legal status. Leave it to Barack Obama to pervert the meaning of Scripture in order to accomplish an unconstitutional objective. 

He concludes with one final lie that one often hears, primarily from left-wing demagogues: “My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers once, too.” The late Harvard professor, Samuel P. Huntington, rightly distinguished between those who settled this country and established its cultural identity and those who came later and assimilated to that culture. The first were “settlers” and the latter “immigrants.”  Most of us who came to this country, or whose ancestors came, were legal immigrants. This means that, in the Biblical sense, we were “aliens” or “strangers,” with legal standing. I dare say that neither your ancestors nor mine came lawlessly, demanding and consuming massive welfare benefits in the process. In fact, as Peter Brimelow points out in his book, Alien Nation, between thirty and forty percent of those who came legally to this country, through Ellis Island during the Great Wave of Immigration, returned home precisely because they could not survive the hardships, as no welfare benefits were available. I personally resent Obama's comparing my forebears to illegals!

To summarize: Obama’s immigration address was warmed over baloney, so typical of the policies and programs he has promoted since he entered office. His executive order violates the principle of separation of powers and is unconstitutional. It sets a monstrous precedent, especially in the eyes of those who respect constitutional governance. 

We saw a landslide victory for Republicans in the mid-term elections a few short weeks ago. Yet that has in no way dampened Obama’s resolve to implement his policies, which the electorate has roundly rejected. He is in effect screaming, "To Hell with what the people want!"

How can Congress stop a president with an authoritarian bent? Perhaps the cowards in that body, on both sides of the aisle, should read the Constitution occasionally. There is a remedy, spelled out in black and white there, if they can muster the courage to utilize it. It is called “impeachment.” 

In the meantime, one more nail has been driven into the coffin of the United States of America, thanks to this demagogue without credibility or honor.

November  22, 2014