Saturday, 20 June 2009

Obama Backs Changes to Immigration Laws

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Obama hispanicPresident Barack Obama on June 19 attended the Esperanza National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast and used the occasion to reaffirm his commitment to changing the nation’s immigration laws. The appearance also served as a lead-in to next week’s scheduled gathering of legislators at the White House to discuss immigration changes. Having decided against speaking at the National Day of Prayer ceremony in May, the president’s selective attendance may indicate the bloc of voters he is most interested in courting.

 

Obama chose his words carefully to appease Latino voters while also trying to placate opponents of amnesty for illegal aliens. “We must clarify the status of millions who are here illegally, many who have put down roots,” the president said. “For those who wish to become citizens, we should require them to pay a penalty and pay taxes, learn English, go to the back of the line behind those who played by the rules. That is the fair, practical, and promising way forward and that's what I'm committed to passing as president of the United States.”

 

The Los Angeles Times noted that the verbal balancing act is necessary because even in the Democrat majority House, “at least 40 members represent moderate or conservative swing districts with few Latino voters where legalization plans are unpopular and often derided as ‘amnesty’ for lawbreakers.” Representative Jason Altmire (D-Pa.) understands why his fellow Democrats are keen on capturing the Latino vote, but he declared: “I'm not in that camp. I made it clear that I was going to take a very hard line on this, and my district takes a hard line.”

 

It is interesting that while the president was busy confirming his desire to help millions of illegal aliens make their home in America, the U.S. Department of Labor was reporting that the rate of unemployment was up in 48 states and the District of Columbia, with Vermont recording no change and Nebraska seeing a 0.1 percent drop to 4.4 percent. In May the national unemployment rate hit a 26-year high of 9.4 percent, but the average rate was significantly exceeded in five states: Michigan at 14.1 percent, Oregon  at 12.4 percent, South Carolina at 12.1 percent, Rhode Island at 12.1 percent, and California at 11.5 percent.

 

The president is supposed to be concerned first and foremost with the issues that affect legal American citizens, yet he is busy playing up to a group of people among which are many members who have no right to vote. Meanwhile, rising unemployment plagues the nation, a situation that can only be exacerbated by the presence of millions of illegal aliens who are vying with legal Americans for the same jobs.

 

So long as President Obama picks and chooses his prayer breakfasts for all the wrong reasons, American workers will be left praying to see better days.

Photo: AP Images