Mr. President: U.S. Latinos Respect the Constitution, Too
President Obama can rewrite U.S. immigration policy all by himself. Who knew?
The Obama administration will stop deporting -- and begin giving work permits -- to younger illegal immigrants who entered the U.S. as children and have since led law-abiding lives. The administration's policy will affect as many as 800,000 immigrants: they will avoid deportation and be eligible for work permits if they arrived in the U.S. before age 16, are younger than 30, and have been in the country for at least five continuous years.
This president has continually lied to people with my skin color and surname. I'm angry that he thinks me and other Latino-Americans too stupid to see this for what it is -- election-year politics. I'm further upset that he is attempting to divert my attention from the most important issue facing my children: the state of the U.S. economy.
Our forebears came here in search of the economic freedom that had been taken from them in their leftist countries of origin. Yet under President Obama’s leadership, America is approaching the very thing my grandmother fled. The May jobs numbers spelled bad news for all Americans; whites and African-Americans were just as disgusted when the figures revealed that Hispanics were hit especially hard. (In May alone, the Hispanic unemployment rate soared from 10.3% to 11%.)
The last thing on my mind: trying to figure out how illegal immigrants can find work.
I’d prefer my president focus on putting Americans back to work -- once we have full employment here, then we can turn our attention to helping the world. But that’s not President Obama’s way: he’s a “citizen of the world,” and I fear his collectivist mentality prevents him from taking care of business at home first.
Mr. Obama is supposedly well ahead of Mitt Romney within the Latino community, so why would he make this play? Likely, he did this because he isn’t as solid with Latinos as the mainstream press has presented him as being. At the start of 2010, the president enjoyed support from 69% of Hispanics, yet by October 2010 that figure hit 55%. The Democrats had taken the Latino vote for granted, which contributed to the historic 2010 “shellacking.” As of today, the president still hasn’t delivered on his 2008 promises of legal and illegal immigration reform, and he has reportedly deported over a million illegals -- double George W. Bush’s total.
Obama’s crackdown was likely payback to his union supporters, who don’t like illegals very much: the sentiment was expressed long ago by Cesar Chavez, who famously referred to illegals as “human contraband” in congressional testimony. But when the Latino community cried foul over the deportations and the press got wind, the deportations stopped.
When polls ask who Latinos like, Romney or Obama, Obama wins hands-down. But the numbers from 2010 -- and I suspect the current internals for the Obama campaign -- show that like isn’t enough to get Latinos to the polls right now.
Latino groups were fighting mad at the president in the 2010 midterms. They actually took Obama at his word when he promised to address immigration issues in 2008. But it took a backseat to his stimulus spending, and then took a backseat to his Obamacare fight. When confronted, he claimed:
I just have to continue to say this notion that somehow I can just change the laws unilaterally is just not true. We are doing everything we can administratively. But the fact of the matter is there are laws on the books that I have to enforce.
I laugh when liberals try to convince me of George W. Bush's supposed imperialism and lawlessness. And I have news for our president: not all Latinos are ignorant of the law; in fact, we American Latinos cherish our nation of laws. Some of us have studied our countries of origin, and now recognize when narcissistic thugs who sport the title "president" make unilateral decisions contradictory to established law or even their own prior claims.
I caution Mr. Obama not to believe the cover of Time magazine featuring illegals that arrogantly proclaims: “We are Americans. Just not legally.” It takes more to be an American than simply declaring yourself one.
The people of the world do not have a right to be an American. There is a process, as cumbersome as it is, to achieve that goal. It is my hope that legal U.S. Latinos will insist that the process of legal immigration be streamlined, while simultaneously insisting on the rule of law in the interim.
Legal Latinos value the rule of law as codified in the Constitution. It’s part of being an American.