As President Barack Obama promised when he was campaigning in 2008, he has “fundamentally transformed America.” He made it known during his November 20 televised speech when he announced he has chosen not to enforce the country’s illegal immigration laws.
“We’re going to offer the following deal: If you’ve with been in America more than five years. If you have children who are American citizens or illegal residents. If you register, pass a criminal background check and you’re willing to pay your fair share of taxes, you’ll be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily without fear of deportation. You can come out of the shadows and get right with the law.”
Obama, however, expects the American public to believe that Washington bureaucrats can successfully conduct such an effort. So far, they have not succeeded in winning the public’s confidence with their own health insurance exchange. This probably won’t go much better, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a worthy goal.
In the short-term, Obama has allowed for many, good people, who just want to raise families, work, learn, and pursue life, liberty and happiness to step forward and begin the legitimate, Americanization process. Trying to help immigrants avoid deportation can be good for the families that it would affect. Over 60 percent of Americans agree that deportation is not the best approach for over 5 million people.
Yet, the same amount disagree with how Obama is doing it. Nevertheless, he insisted he has the right to do it.
“The actions I’m taken are not only lawful, they’re the kinds of actions taken by every single Republican president and every single Democratic president for the past half century. And to those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill,” he said.
Obama did not remind viewers that from 2009-2011, Democrats controlled the Presidency, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the U.S. Senate. They could have passed an illegal immigration reform bill then, but they cowardly chose not to because Obama had to run for re-election. As a matter of fact, Obama has acknowledged at least 22 times that he does not have the authority to do what he just announced he’s going to do.
“This is something I’ve struggled with throughout my presidency,” Obama said. “The problem is that I’m the president of the United States, I’m not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed.”
In the long-term, Obama’s deciding not to execute laws that are passed will foster distrust between himself and Republicans, the public and even his own party. Many Democrats discouraged him from taking this extreme step. In addition, he is setting a precedent for future presidents to ignore laws that they don’t like, and he’s encouraging even more people to illegally enter the country.
After the mid-term elections, in which American voters overwhelming swept Republicans into office nationwide, Obama said, “I hear you,” to the voters who were sending him a message of dissatisfaction of his leadership.
But while he may have heard the voters, his questionable legal move on illegal immigration says he’s not listening.