Friday, 02 July 2010

Obama Speaks on the Immigration Issue

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ObamaFor all those playing "Obama Immigration Bingo" on Thursday, July 1, your bingo cards would have been blacked out completely by the end of the President's first speech on immigration since his inauguration in January 2009. All the familiar numbers were drawn out by the Caller-in-Chief: "comprehensive reform"; "the system is broken"; "Arizona"; "amnesty"; "pathway to citizenship"; etc.

After taking credit for single-handedly snatching America from the jaws of economic disaster, the President settled right in to repeating the same old lines with the same old intonation that by now is sounding a bit trite.

First, the President assails the "controversial law in Arizona." Some would take issue with the President's description of the law as "controversial" in light of the overwhelming support for the measure in Arizona and the nation at large. According to national public opinion polls, twice as many Americans see the new Arizona anti-immigration law as "about right" than consider it as "going too far." That broad support is a far cry from the opposition expressed by a similar majority of Americans to Obamacare, a law the President in the same speech called the key to protecting "prosperity of our nation."

That's Obamathematics for you. If sixty percent of the population supports a bill, it is called "controversial." On the other hand, if forty percent of Americans oppose a bill, it is dubbed the bulwark of freedom and prosperity.

As has become the custom of President's flogging their own policies, President Obama related an ostensibly inspirational tale of an everyday American who made good despite the odds against success. In this case, there were two stories: one about an immigrant who started a small business and now employs over 100 people, and another about a young Mexican girl that joined the U.S. Navy before becoming a citizen.

Curiously, President Obama cites such examples of individual immigrants doing things the right way and bringing to fruition the American Dream in a speech mostly devoted to insulting the people and legislators of Arizona for impeding the flow of illegal aliens and to espousing an amnesty plan whereby the lawbreakers would be rewarded with the precious status of permanent resident without any of the requisite discipline.

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In one of the most inexplicable phrases uttered in his July 1 discourse at the American University School of International Service in Washington, D.C., was the President's pronouncement that "being an American is not a matter of blood or birth. It's a matter of faith." Is the President suggesting that those who enter this country in open defiance of the law are Americans already provided that they feel some sort of fidelity to an inscrutable code? If so, does that imply that lawbreaking is an article of that faith? What does that say about President Obama's estimation of what it means to be an American? As a wise man once wrote, "What we obtain too cheaply, we esteem too lightly." President Obama would do well to heed that statement.

In the next paragraph, President Obama evinces yet another hole in his understanding of history. Describing our nation as "unique as a place of refuge and freedom," the President cites Thomas Jefferson as an advocate of opening the borders as a place of refuge for "oppressed humanity." The culled phrase comes from Jefferson's first Annual Message in 1801. In that speech, Jefferson rhetorically asked whether America should refuse "the unhappy fugitives" that arrive in this land. Perhaps President Obama should have read the entirety of that message as Jefferson makes it very clear that all seeking to find his fortune in the United States should be permitted to do so only upon "manifesting a bona fide purpose" of becoming a permanent citizen. That qualification undeniably presupposes a legal and orderly immigration process, not the ex post facto granting of citizenship to those whose whose illegal passage into this nation was premeditated.

As the old saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Well, President Obama and those whose political fortunes are served by an invasion of illegal aliens are determined to "fix" the immigration system, so they must first prove that it's broken.

Porous borders and sloppy visa monitoring are the main problems, according to the President. He humbly places the blame on decades of disregard on the part of "those of us in Washington." He got that right. Arizona would not have been placed in the position of passing legislation of last resort just to keep their beloved state from being occupied by drug cartels and ruthless smugglers. There is no nobility in accepting responsibility for the many murders and maimings that have border dwellers paralyzed with fear and wondering why they have been abandoned by a national government commanded by the Constitution to protect them from invasion.

It is ill-advised to describe the law in Arizona as "ill-conceived" unless you also believe that the protection of liberty, safety, and peace is equally unnecessary.

Next, despite President Obama's rhetoric, there is nothing "indiscriminate" about Arizona's approach to self-defense. The governor of that state and the legislators who voted for the measure, took pains too explain the "rock and a hard place" position into which national government neglect had left them.

Finally, the President imputes his own sensibilities to those of "a majority of Americans," an arithmetical concept we've already shown to be beyond the President's ken. How is it more burdensome to apply the existing immigration law to the 11 million illegal aliens currently present in our nation than it is to apply the "patchwork" of millions of criminal and civil laws to the 300 million Americans presently living legally in any of the 50 distinct sovereignties of which our union is composed?

The bottom line, according to the President, is that our "southern border is more secure today than at any time in the past 20 years." The bottom line, according to constitutionalists, is that regardless of which party's mouthpiece has occupied the Oval Office, the federal laws have not been enforced and whether through disregard or deliberate design, millions of lawbreakers have been permitted to pass unchecked and unpunished across the boundary with Mexico. And, most importantly, the government of the United States has failed to fulfill the mandate of Article IV, Section 4, to protect the states from invasion, and this failure has forced the states to fill in the gaps through which the invaders are pouring into their territory.

Photo: AP Images