June 20, 2012
As Americans process the significance of President Obama’s administrative amnesty, the question on everyone’s mind is: “Now what?”
Nearly two million deportable aliens and probably more have been granted a reprieve and, as a bonus, given work authorization. For the 20 million Americans who are unemployed or underemployed, their reaction is outrage. Internet demands for President Obama’s impeachment immediately popped up along with the hope that Republicans would take tangible measures to block the president’s unilateral and unconstitutional effrontery.
I’m sorry to bear bad news. Outside of Representative Steve King’s promise to sue Obama to suspend his executive order and House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith’s expressed dismay, immigration enforcement appears to be beyond the GOP.
First, Republican inaction on immigration after it won House control in 2010 must have convinced Obama that he could act with impunity and without fear of reprisal from the opposition party. Since September, House Speaker John Boehner stalled and effectively killed Smith’s Legal American Workforce Act that would require all employees to be processed through E-Verify to assure that they are U.S. work authorized. Smith’s bill would also eventually remove aliens who hold at least seven million payroll jobs American would eagerly do. That’s strike one against the useless Republicans.
Second, acting with Obama’s blessing, last year the Department of Homeland Security announced that it would remove “low priority” aliens from deportation proceedings. Few Republicans uttered a peep even though the DHS’s prosecutorial discretion program blatantly violated immigration law. Strike two.
Third, this weekend after Obama’s executive order bombshell, Republicans actively avoided comment. Presumptive presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who because of his timidity earned the nickname “Mittens” from one critic, refused three separate times to answer questions from Face the Nation’s Bob Schieffer whether he would rescind Obama’s executive order. Perhaps Romney feared he’d lose one of those “crucial Hispanic votes” which his advisors erroneously insist he must win to become president.
Instead, Romney offered up more gobbledygook about the importance of an immigration “long term solution” while decrying Obama’s “stop gap” measure. This is the same drivel that Americans have repeatedly rejected during dozens of earlier efforts to pass an amnesty including two promoted by Republican president George W. Bush. Strike three.
For all the mainstream media and administration handwringing about young immigrants who want to contribute, little is said about American youth and their plight. Here are a few facts conveniently overlooked: according to Census data, seven out of 10 teens are unemployed; 5.9 million Americans between 24-35 (25 percent with bachelor’s degrees) live with their parents, up from 4.7 million before the recession. As bad as the economy is for college graduates, it’s worse for those with only a high school diploma. The Economic Policy Institute found that the real entry level hourly wage for recent high school graduates fell to $11.68 from $15.64 in 1979. Most who are lucky enough to have those low paying jobs work less than 40 hours a week. Good luck trying to support yourself on $11.68 per hour.
A ray of sunshine, however, comes from Arizona where Republican Congressman David Schweikert introduced H.R. 5957 to block Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano from deferring deportations or from limiting the enforcement of immigration laws.
In the meantime, in exchange for a small handful of Hispanic votes that may not represent a total significant enough to return him to the White House, President Obama has sold out the jobless generation, the underemployed and the underpaid. No matter what you keep hearing, the important votes will be cast by angry U.S. citizens who see through anti-American actions.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. His columns have been syndicated since 1986. Contact him at email@example.com.