Picking Apart Obama’s Duplicitous Immigration Address

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

November 21, 2014

Watching President Obama’s immigration speech last night was a tough slog. Americans who have been following the president’s steadfast refusal to enforce immigration laws since his inauguration can be forgiven if they spent most of the evening slack-jawed. Obama’s speech defied logic and contradicted fact.

Obama's amnesty breaks jobs promise made in 2011 to Virginia's Greenville County High School students.

Here are but a few examples. First, in his 2,200-word address, Obama never mentioned the work permits which would be given to 5 million aliens even though millions of Americans are struggling to find full-time employment that pays a living salary. U.S. wages have been stagnant for decades. Obama rewarded unlawful immigrants and punished blue collar Americans.

Second, Obama’s references to the 2013 Senate bill were, at best, misleading. The border security provision which Obama claimed would deter future illegal immigration would have come, if it ever did, years after the legislation legalized 12 million aliens. Obama said that the bill would also have required aliens to pay a fine and back taxes, conditions that history has proven would never be satisfied.

Third, Obama said that had the Senate bill been brought to the House floor for a vote, “It would have passed.” However, preliminary head counts consistently showed that the bill would have been defeated.

Fourth, Obama promised to reinforce the border, a tough one to swallow coming from a president who allowed a flood of illegal Central American aliens to enter last summer without consequences and who has consistently urged the Department of Homeland Security to implement a “catch and release” policy that allows illegal immigrants to enter mainstream America.

Fifth, Obama’s pledge to focus on deporting criminal aliens is cruelly cynical. Suddenly, we’re expected to believe, Obama will make deporting criminals a high priority when in 2013 Immigration and Customs Enforcement released 36,000 aliens convicted of homicide, sexual assault, kidnapping and drug-related charges. Maybe if Obama had his awakening a few years ago, the thousands of Americans who have been killed by illegal aliens would still be alive.

Six, Obama said: “Tracking down, rounding up and deporting millions of people isn’t realistic.” While that may be true, incentivizing more illegal immigration, as Obama’s executive order will do, makes a bad situation worse. Mandatory E-Verify, which never came up in Obama’s speech, would assure that only citizens or legal immigrants hold scarce U.S. jobs, and would serve as a deterrent for would-be illegal immigrants.

Seventh, Obama’s repeated references to “our broken immigration system” were disingenuous. If the federal government enforced existing immigration laws, the “system” would work just fine.

The battle is just beginning. U.S. Customs and Immigration Services will not accept applications until late in the first quarter of 2015. Please go to the CAPS Action Alert page here to tell Congress that to cut off funding for Obama’s amnesty.

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