In re the President’s remarks last night – Part 2

Part 1 of this deconstruction can be found here.

We continue (the text of the President’s speech is boldfaced):

Now, let’s be clear about what it isn’t. This deal does not apply to anyone who has come to this country recently. It does not apply to anyone who might come to America illegally in the future. It does not grant citizenship, or the right to stay here permanently, or offer the same benefits that citizens receive -– only Congress can do that. All we’re saying is we’re not going to deport you.

Well I’m sure we’ll be able to vet who has come here recently and who hasn’t, right? We’ve done that before, right? From The New York Times (in 1989) comes this blast from the past:

In one of the most extensive immigration frauds ever perpetrated against the United States Government, thousands of people who falsified amnesty applications will begin to acquire permanent resident status next month under the 1986 immigration law.

More than 1.3 million illegal aliens applied to become legal immigrants under a one-time amnesty for farm workers. The program was expected to accommodate only 250,000 aliens when Congress enacted it as a politically critical part of a sweeping package of changes in immigration law.

Now a variety of estimates by Federal officials and immigration experts place the number of fraudulent applications at somewhere between 250,000 and 650,000.

(Charmingly low numbers back then, eh?)

But I’m sure things are better vis. document fraud more recently, right? Well, in 2007 “a cameraman for Telemundo — NBC’s Spanish language network — wore a hidden camera and was repeatedly offered fake drivers’ licenses and other documents which illegal immigrants need to find work. ‘In 30 minutes I was approached five times,’ says Abraham Villela.”

Presumably utility bills, and the like, used to confirm residency requirements, would be even easier to fake.

Also odd is the idea that an agency that is supposedly so overburdened and underfunded that it needs to be relieved of the responsibility of effectively enforcing all immigration laws on the books, is nevertheless capable of accurately and thoroughly vetting residency claims.

As to the reassurances regarding what the President’s rule by decree does not do, this is all of a piece of the ratcheting incrementalism so typical of the Left. It never, ever stops.

I know some of the critics of this action call it amnesty. Well, it’s not. Amnesty is the immigration system we have today -– millions of people who live here without paying their taxes or playing by the rules while politicians use the issue to scare people and whip up votes at election time.

Of the many risible claims the President makes, characterizing his actions as not-amnesty, and lack of enforcement of existing laws as amnesty, is a howler.

And isn’t it entertaining to hear a Democrat rail against scaring people to “whip up votes.”

That’s the real amnesty –- leaving this broken system the way it is. Mass amnesty would be unfair. Mass deportation would be both impossible and contrary to our character. What I’m describing is accountability –- a common-sense, middle-ground approach: If you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. If you’re a criminal, you’ll be deported. If you plan to enter the U.S. illegally, your chances of getting caught and sent back just went up.

Given the fact that Democrats, and their allies on the squishy Right, are the driving force behind breaking the system, the President exhibits a lot of chutzpah.

More empty promises–and empty promises that we hear every time we go through a similar process vis. illegal immigration. And a sizeable chunk of voters know it.

The actions I’m taking 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.

We already covered the false claim that the President’s partial-semi-sorta-amnesty has no historical precedent:

Well, actually, no, Mr. President, they did not take “the same kinds of actions” that you are about to. From the most important piece linked here, “No, Reagan Did Not Offer An Amnesty By Lawless Executive Order,” by Gabriel Malor at The Federalist: “Thus, Obama is clearly contravening both ordinary practice and the wishes of Congress—as expressed in statute—by declaring an amnesty himself. This is nothing like Reagan’s or Bush’s attempts to implement Congress’ amnesty. The progressive media’s claims otherwise are blatant lies, relying on their readers’ ignorance of events in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Such attempts should be rejected wherever they are found.” I strongly urge you to read the entire piece.

I want to work with both parties to pass a more permanent legislative solution. And the day I sign that bill into law, the actions I take will no longer be necessary. Meanwhile, don’t let a disagreement over a single issue be a dealbreaker on every issue. That’s not how our democracy works, and Congress certainly shouldn’t shut down our government again just because we disagree on this. Americans are tired of gridlock. What our country needs from us right now is a common purpose –- a higher purpose.

Mr. President, your actions have ensured that any bipartisan solution is DOA.

As for our “democracy,” it takes a substantial amount of gall to lecture us on how it works, even as you shitcan the Constitution.

Judging from the election results, Mr. President, Americans are more tired of your Presidency than gridlock. Also, whether you and your Leftist brethren like it or not, “gridlock”–or as the rest of us call it, “checks and balances”–is a feature of the Constitution, not a bug.

Straw man alert! Republicans have been quite clear that a “shutdown” of the Federal government is not planned–although you seem determined to cynically provoke one by the timing of your Constitutional overreach.

As for a higher purpose, I have no interest in any suchlike that claims a moral standing higher than the Constitution.

Most Americans support the types of reforms I’ve talked about tonight. But I understand the disagreements held by many of you at home. Millions of us, myself included, go back generations in this country, with ancestors who put in the painstaking work to become citizens. So we don’t like the notion that anyone might get a free pass to American citizenship.

And most of those who support such “reforms” are opposed to the manner in which you have attempted to accomplish yours.

“We”? Does that mean you disapprove of your own actions, Mr. President, or are you simply throwing those who balk at your actions a bone?

I know some worry immigration will change the very fabric of who we are, or take our jobs, or stick it to middle-class families at a time when they already feel like they’ve gotten the raw deal for over a decade. I hear these concerns. But that’s not what these steps would do. Our history and the facts show that immigrants are a net plus for our economy and our society. And I believe it’s important that all of us have this debate without impugning each other’s character.

You heard those concerns, condescended to them, and ignored them.

Again the conflation of legal and illegal immigration?

Mr. President, did you really expect us bitter clingers to keep a straight face when you advised against “impugning each other’s character”?

Because for all the back and forth of Washington, we have to remember that this debate is about something bigger. It’s about who we are as a country, and who we want to be for future generations.

Well, Mr. President, I’d rather not be the country that shitcanned the Constitution, if it’s alright with you.

Are we a nation that tolerates the hypocrisy of a system where workers who pick our fruit and make our beds never have a chance to get right with the law? Or are we a nation that gives them a chance to make amends, take responsibility, and give their kids a better future?

Is that what illegal immigrants want, to pick fruit and make beds and get right with the law? What a charming construction.

I’d rather we be a nation that puts the good of the nation first, not what’s good for immigrants, legal or illegal–and a nation that upholds and defends the Constitution, instead of gutting it as political expediency and ideological inclination requires.

Are we a nation that accepts the cruelty of ripping children from their parents’ arms? Or are we a nation that values families, and works together to keep them together?

While I am not comparing entering the country illegally with violent crime, keeping families together could be used as an excuse to not incarcerate violent felons. And if illegal aliens are so concerned with keeping their families together, perhaps they should reconsider counting on their unaccompanied minor or about-to-be-born children to serve as a focal point for chain migration.

Are we a nation that educates the world’s best and brightest in our universities, only to send them home to create businesses in countries that compete against us? Or are we a nation that encourages them to stay and create jobs here, create businesses here, create industries right here in America?

Again the conflation of legal and illegal immigration.

Are they picking fruit, Mr. President, or are they the “best and brightest in our universities”? Which is it?

That’s what this debate is all about. We need more than politics as usual when it comes to immigration. We need reasoned, thoughtful, compassionate debate that focuses on our hopes, not our fears. I know the politics of this issue are tough. But let me tell you why I have come to feel so strongly about it.

No, this debate is all about the Constitution, and your wholesale violation of your Oath to uphold, protect and defend it.

Translation: you racist, bitter clingers need to get over yourselves and get with the program.

I’ll spare you the remaining seven paragraphs of the President’s address.

Now, let’s make sure that Hillary Clinton’s sign-off of the President’s actions come back to haunt her.


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