Monday, May 16, 2011

Illegal Immigration Pops Up Again

Trying to distract Americans from the ailing economy, Barack Obama gave a major speech on illegal immigration last week. It was basically the typical liberal amnesty pap designed to rile up the Hispanic base, full of recycled slogans and political buzzwords. Of course, it was so toothless that even the New York Times suggested that it will take a lot more than the same old words to garner the same kind of support Obama got from Hispanic voters in 2008. Here's why:
Here’s the complete transcript in case you’re moved to read it, although I don’t know why you would be. You’ve heard this speech a hundred times before, and not just from Obama. Enforcement is better than it’s ever been, we have too many people “living in the shadows,” etc etc, so it’s time we got serious about amnesty. Even so, this is good politics for him insofar as there’s a lot of upside and little downside. No one expects it to go anywhere in Congress, and even if it did he’d have bipartisan cover, so the risk of alienating voters who think the solution to high unemployment might not be a sudden glut of legal labor is small. (In fact, so horrible has the economy been that America’s illegal population actually dropped by the largest amount in 30 years in 2009 and is presumably dropping still. Enforcement, Hopenchange-style.) Meanwhile, he gets to reassure Latinos that he’s serious enough about this issue to put his face to it in a major speech, even if he’s not quite serious enough to do anything about it via an executive order.

It's just pandering, but it's so shallow that even liberals recognize it as just pandering. I thought this was interesting, too:
He also assured the audience that the border fence is now “basically complete,” which is news to Jim DeMint and news to anyone else who remembers the “virtual fence” being touted as a deus ex machina in policing the border. The feds finally abandoned that idea just four months ago because — surprise — it wasn’t working. But maybe that’s a good thing. If we slide back into a recession, we might start seeing Americans try to sneak over into Mexico.

The problem with that, of course, is that Mexico has an extremely harsh illegal immigration policy that includes instant imprisonment or worse. Go figure, huh?

Jim Geraghty, in a recent issue of his NRO newsletter, offered the following synopsis and analysis:

I think it's safe to say that Obama's post-OBL kill bump turned out to be pretty modest on his overall approval rating. One poll had it as little as a point, the New York Times one had it as large as 11 percentage points, and most had it in the significant-but-not-overwhelming single digits. There was little or no spillover effect on Obama's approval rating on the economy.

At some point, Obama was going to have to move from celebrating the bin Laden kill to some other issue, and I wondered what policy agenda item he would try to push. The surprising answer: Immigration.

Dan Foster summarizes
: "The president just concluded what was billed as a major policy speech on immigration in El Paso. In fact there was little news in it. Obama reaffirmed his support for the DREAM Act and for a path to citizenship for large numbers of illegal aliens, while touting his efforts to increase deportations and improve border enforcement. Perhaps the most colorful bit of rhetoric was his dinging of Republicans for being unsatisfied with border security. 'All the stuff they've asked for, we've done,' he said, and the fence along the Mexican border 'is now basically complete.' (That's not true, by the bye). But Republicans want still more, he said. 'Maybe they'll need a moat, maybe they'll need alligators.'"

Was he serious? Because that sounds a lot better than what we've got now. It's revealing that Obama's idea of a laugh line is probably actually appealing to a majority of the American people.

Jill at Pundit & Pundette thinks we'll be hearing a lot of that "punchline
": "I hope you enjoyed that one; you'll be hearing it at least thirty more times as candidate Obama travels the country, cynically using amnesty as a reelection tool. I fear the 'moat with alligators' is the new sippin'-on-a-Slurpy line. Sigh. I suddenly feel the urge to go have a little lie-down; it's going to be a long, long summer/fall/winter/spring/summer/fall."

Kevin Williamson
just flays Obama's muddy priorities:

In case you've missed it, Texas has seen about 3,400 square miles of land -- an area about the size of Puerto Rico -- destroyed by wildfires. Pres. Barack Obama hit Texas to do some political fund-raising and give some speeches about immigration; Gov. Rick Perry suggested that he take a gubernatorially guided tour of some of the damage. The president couldn't be bothered, but asked the governor to come to El Paso to act as a prop at a political event. Governor Perry declined.

Governor Perry often complains that the federal government simultaneously fails to do its real work and involves itself in things that are not real national priorities. The last time the president visited Texas, Governor Perry greeted him with a letter in hand demanding that the federal government execute its border-security duties. (It still won't.) The governor is asking for a federal emergency declaration that will make additional firefighting resources available. The Obama administration is not budging. Never mind that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has seen fit to declare a snowstorm -- in Connecticut, in the winter -- a federal disaster this year, along with "severe winter storms" in Oklahoma and Missouri. . . .

In Texas, President Obama has more important things to do, such as raising money and pandering to Hispanic voters by dangling the promise of "comprehensive" immigration reform before them, knowing that it's a go-nowhere proposition. He'll visit a city on a border that his government controls about as well as President Zardari controls his, and which is at times about as dangerous.

The BlogProf asks
, "How about just enforcing immigration law? Is that too much to ask since 1) it's the feds responsibility via the US Constitution, 2) it's the law as passed by the Congress pursuant to said responsibility, and 3) you swore an oath to uphold the US Constitution and those those laws you smug illegal alien-enabling community organizer!"

People who live and work on the border -- and are thus intimately familiar with the reality of the dangerous nature of the situation -- are disappointed with Obama's belittling of the opposition into the imagery of moats and alligators, especially in the wake of a devastating fire most likely started by illegal immigrant criminals:
"It is with great wonderment and sadness that we listened to your May 10 speech on immigration issues. All of the joking about moats and alligators cut residents of Portal, AZ, to the core as we sheltered with friends or at a Red Cross evacuation site, to survive a terrible fire that still threatens our lives and property, as well as our ecotourism-based economy," ...

“I’m really disappointed at current border security, I’m really disappointed at the president’s speech saying that people like me wants moats with alligators, but moats with alligators might work..."

Because at least that would be something - right now, most of the border is an unobserved stretch of sandy ground, so even a moat with alligators would be an improvement. They, unlike Obama and liberals like him, recognize that crime, drugs, and violence threaten the border states and cities, but also spill over into other states and cities, as well. Too bad those in charge are either too stupid or too politically correct to recognize genuine danger when it's staring them in the face. Or they don't care...

Anyway, let's look at some other illegal immigration-related subjects, like the Arizona law that mirrored the federal law that Obama and the Democrats blasted loudly, and that the DOJ took to court. The short update is that Arizona is taking it to the Supreme Court. At the same time, since the federal government is failing its responsibility to protect Americans close to the border, Arizona is also taking private donations to build their own fence. I very much look forward to hearing how that works out, and how much money they raise. I'm guessing it'll be a lot!

Speaking of border security, only 30% think that the border is even minimally secure, while a whopping 64% disagree. Most voters think that it's more important to address border security before dealing with the illegals already here. I think it's also interesting to note that 59% of Americans think that federal funding should be cut off from sanctuary cities (cities where they deliberately publicize the fact that they won't ask about immigration status, or do anything about it even if they accidentally find out).

Georgia is the latest state to adopt tough new immigration laws in the vacuum caused by federal failures on the issue. I'm sure it won't be the last.
Kansas recently adopted a more stringent voter ID law, a no-brainer if there ever was one.

You see, every day Americans like you and me understand that illegal immigration is a massive, massive problem. With the federal government consistently failing or refusing to protect American citizens from this problem -- like with the idiot Clinton-appointed judge in Connecticut who ruled that illegal immigrants can sue border agents for abuse -- it is left to the states and individual citizens to protect themselves.

It's a tragedy when states and citizens have to protect themselves not only from the enemy, but from our own federal government, as well.

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