That’s what gave rise to the DREAM Act, a bill that says that if your parents brought you here as a child, if you’ve been here for five years, and you’re willing to go to college or serve in our military, you can one day earn your citizenship. Both parties wrote that bill.
A year and a half ago, Democrats passed the DREAM Act in the House. It got 55 votes in the Senate, but Republicans blocked it. The bill hasn’t really changed since Republicans co-wrote it. The need hasn’t changed. And it’s still the right thing to do. The only thing that has changed, apparently, is the politics.
Members belonging to both parties wrote versions of the DREAM Act. But it never passed Congress and the president never had a bill to sign into law. The president’s actions overstepped his authority and probably damaged the possibility of getting anything done on immigration, good or bad, for a long time to come. But that was among the reasons he did it.
The president makes one valid point: That nothing has changed since he twice said that he could not do what he did on Friday, but the politics. The only change in that regard has been his own slip in the polls as the economy has continued to sour. It is souring because his policies — the porkulus and ObamaCare, plus his regulatory state — are making it worse. So he has unleashed another bad policy that will put more than a million new workers into an economy that already is not creating enough jobs, and will create a magnet for more illegal immigration.
As the next step, effective immediately, DHS is lifting the shadow of deportation from these young people. Over the next few months, eligible individuals who do not present a risk to national security or public safety will be able to request temporary relief from deportation proceedings and apply for work authorization.
Now, let’s be clear, this is not amnesty or immunity, and it is not a path to citizenship.
Actually, it is an amnesty, and will become a path to citizenship if it stands.
This is not a permanent fix, but rather a temporary stop-gap measure that lets us focus resources wisely while giving a degree of relief and hope to talented, driven, patriotic young people.
Now let’s be clear, this move was political. It was about the polls, and the short-term evidence suggests that it’s achieving the president’s goal.
The president closes with a tug at the heart.
We didn’t raise the Statue of Liberty with its back to the world. We raised it with its light to the world. What makes us American is not a question of what we look like or what our names are.
True, but how many times is he going to use that race-baiting line? What makes an immigrant an American, as American as anyone, is respecting the nation enough to follow its laws and become citizens the right way. Engaging in a life of violation our laws shows disrespect.
What makes us American is our shared belief in the enduring promise of this country – and our shared responsibility to leave it more generous and more hopeful than we found it.
That’s a nice thought but the Statue of Liberty isn’t the law of the land. The president’s job is to faithfully execute the nation’s laws. He is failing in that job, and endangering the rule of law that it is also our responsibility to preserve. Without it, we aren’t the America that our founders left for us. We are either a nation of laws or we are not. Under Obama, we are not.