Immigration Debate Heats Up
No, this is not another opinion as to whether “comprehensive immigration reform” will be passed this year. While we thought that the defeat of Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor in his reelection primary put the final nail in the coffin for this year, other immigration issues have now further embalmed and then cremated the body of any immigration reform legislation, perhaps in perpetuity.
There was even the threat only a few weeks ago that President Obama would use his “pen and phone” in an effort to craft some sort of immigration friendly executive order beyond his previous actions to exempt “Dreamers” from deportation and provide them work permits. Even that effort appears dead without a zombie in sight.
The hope of honest immigration reformers and their pro-amnesty allies for ANY immigration reform looks to have been killed not by Republicans in Congress, primary elections surprises, or by Tea Party Patriots, but by a recent surge of over 250,000 immigrants crossing into Texas including approximately 50,000 children, most unaccompanied. Within a few weeks, this surge of humanity has created a social and health crisis that the Obama Administration has begun transporting across state lines to communities reportedly as far away as Massachusetts and California.
And while pro-immigration apologists blame this sudden surge of Central American immigrants on “poverty and drug cartel violence” even the mainstream media has not been able to avoid the clear evidence, spoken by the children and adults themselves, that they were told that “if they could make it across the United States Border, that President Obama and America “would let them stay.”
And what else are these people to think? President Obama, with a wave of his pen signed an executive order on behalf of “Dreamers,” those persons brought to the United States unlawfully as children by their relatives, exempting them not only from deportation, but allowing them to legally work. And while both Democrat and Republican supporters of the immigration reform act passed by the Senate deny that it confers amnesty to those in the country unlawfully, it does provide those persons with the ability to remain, apply for legal status, work, and ultimately receive citizenship.
Now the “humanitarian crisis” is front and center in the national media, further compounded by the rejection of relocation efforts in communities not just by our neighbors in Murrieta but in communities across America. While immigration advocates desperately seek to rebrand the situation as a refugee situation due to violence in their home countries, these advocates avoid any question as to how the situation with the drug cartels has changed in a matter of months driving this humanitarian surge. They avoid it because it has not changed.
What has changed is the message being sent to persons south of our border, a message that resonates from the Dreamers Executive Order and the President’s own words on immigration reform over the past few months that he will “do it on his own.” A message that many on the other side of the aisle warned the President about and that has finally come to fruition; the President’s actions, speeches, and postures have given the message that the welcome mat is out and that our laws do not matter because the President will not send you or your children home if you cross the border illegally.
It is a message reinforced by Catholic and some Protestant religious leaders. It has been broadcast in the media of the immigrant’s home countries. And because of it, a wave of people who honestly want a better opportunity risk death from drug cartels and coyotes. Any honest American who would put themselves in their shoes would certainly consider such a risk if they thought “they could stay.”
Unfortunately for these folks, they cannot stay. President Obama has stated as much. The President and Congress are now working on a compromise that would lift the 2008 law that provided greater safeguards from deportation for immigrants from countries that do not have a physical border with the United States and give them the same status as Mexican and Canadian nationals.
This fiasco has proven that the opposition to the recent immigration reform measure was correct when they stated the border was a sieve that needs to be fixed, that our existing security measures were inadequate, and that providing a broad amnesty to those who were already here unlawfully would cause more illegal immigrants to come.
The American public is aghast at what is happening and they are compassionate. But they also know that our ability to absorb these folks is not possible, and that doing so will only encourage more to come.
The situation not only has destroyed any opportunity for reform, it is apparent that the law is likely to become more restrictive. And immigration reform, and the pen and the phone promises by President Obama look to be terminally concluded.