Pandering: Right, Fair and Just

“This morning, Secretary Napolitano announced new actions my administration will take to mend our nation’s immigration policy, to make it more fair (sic), more efficient and more just, specifically for certain young people sometimes called DREAMers.” President Obama was referring to the new “Prioritization of enforcement” by ICE that would allow as many as 800,000 undocumented immigrants to live and work in the U.S. without fear of deportation.

In this speech Obama calls us all to put ourselves in their shoes. I can’t truly know what it must be like to find that my parents had broken a law and that I would be deported. I can see how that might upset my whole worldview. I can surmise that I would be quite upset. I may even be upset at the law that would force me to leave the country I call home. However, the parents that originally broke the law (regardless of the reason) have the lion’s share of the blame. They had to have known what the possible repercussions of their actions could be to the family. Life can suck. And I do feel for those for whom life does suck.

Further, I understand the ostensible need to curtail costs in government as a whole. Any place to save a couple million bucks might be a drop in the proverbial bucket, but it is an important bucket.

But let’s not kid ourselves. This is pandering to the Latino community for votes.

It’s not about changing the law (which is congress’ job) it’s about votes. It’s about Publicity. This prioritization could have been done behind closed doors in a meeting with Napolitano. Why give a speech and make a day of it? He needs to drum up interest. He wants to bolster his hold on the “Latino Vote”, as if they were merely a bloc of one-issue voters. It is considered racist to think that all undocumented immigrants are Mexicans. Yet this is the issue the left rolls out when they want to garner Hispanic favor. Do they think Hispanic-Americans incapable of caring about something else? Are there no Canadians who overstay their visas? Do the Indonesians not seek a better life in the U.S.?

America is always looking for a fair and just solution to any problem. We look to our leadership to put politics aside and solve such issues in a manner that is reasonable, righteous and equal. The constitution states that the job of deciding what these solutions will be falls to Congress. Those solutions take the form of laws. The President is charged with enforcing those laws. He doesn’t get to choose which ones he will enforce and which he just won’t.

We have laws governing immigration and most of them are working quite well. There are new Americans taking the Oath of Allegiance, many on the Fourth of July to honor their new nation. They take it very seriously.

Obama goes on to say, “We have always drawn strength from being a nation of immigrants, as well as a nation of laws.” So, which is it? If we are talking about going through the steps to become citizens of the United States, there isn’t really an issue. The two reconcile quite nicely. But if we are talking about the government not enforcing specific laws, we cease to “… [draw] strength from being… a nation of laws.” Why should we be somehow forced to choose only half of our national identity? I believe in the “Melting Pot”. Our strength lies largely in our diversity. But a huge draw to the huddled masses has always been that we are a nation of laws; that cops, soldiers and other government officials are (mostly) not corrupt. This is a place where success is possible through hard work and diligence. This is a nation founded on the principle that we are all created equal and this value is exemplified in our guarantee of equal protection under the law. And what could be fairer than liberty and justice for all?

As a side note, I loved Obama’s response to the question “What about American workers who are unemployed while you employ foreigners?” He just sort of walked off as if to say “fuck ’em”. That’s the jobs president right there. Welcome to another recovery summer.

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