President Obama and his fellow “Progressives” (or Liberals or whatever the Democrats are calling themselves these days to avoid the negative connotations associated with their policies) are once again involved in word games. Obama once lectured the voting public that “words mattered” citing famous quotes from figures such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Pres. John Kennedy.
But for Obama, it is not the substance of words that matters; it is the emotions that words can invoke.
Thus when Obama advanced the notion of socialized medicine he spoke of it in terms of “healthcare reform.” He promised that everyone would be covered, that the cost of healthcare would be reduced, that everyone could retain their current healthcare insurance and that everyone could choose their own physicians – and, oh by the way, not a single taxpayer dollar would be used to fund abortions. In fact, premiums are going up, doctors are abandoning Medicare patients and companies providing healthcare insurance are opting to abandon them in favor of paying the “penalty.”
All words, all designed to spur emotions of a perfect world of healthcare.
Of course none of those words were true, but then they weren’t supposed to be. They were said to elicit emotional support for a government takeover of the healthcare industry. But it really didn’t matter if the “takeover” resulted from the government providing healthcare services or simply regulating to the point of financial control.
The three-quarters of a trillion dollar Troubled Asset Recovery Program (TARP) was said to be in response to the looming mortgage foreclosures and the subsequent effect on homeowners and the building industry. Of course, none of that was true. The bailout was limited to the nation’s largest financial institutions and investment houses who sowed their own seeds of destruction by leveraging and speculating in loans to people who never could afford to actually repay them. Little if any of the funds trickled down to homeowners who defaulted in record numbers flooding an already over-supplied housing market and causing the collapse of well over half of the small businesses actually engaged in home building. The banks and investment houses, most of who contributed substantially to Obama’s presidential campaign, were protected while homeowners and small businesses suffered.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) was sold as a means of stabilizing a plunging employment picture. Pres. Obama guaranteed that unemployment would not exceed eight percent and that the nearly one trillion dollars would speed the economic recovery by creating 3.5 Million jobs over a two year period. Of course, none of that happened but it stirred the emotions necessary to garner public support for more government spending.
Instead of creating 3.5 Million jobs, nearly 2.5 Million private sector jobs have been lost. Unemployment zoomed past eight percent and has remained stubbornly at between 9.5 and 10.0 percent. (We are now told by administration officials that we should not only get used to it, but embrace it because “it could have been worse.”) The nearly one trillion dollars simply became a slush fund for Obama and was used primarily to secure and reward his political supporters including those in the public employees unions. (Most of the jobs “saved” by ARRA were government jobs that never were in jeopardy and the money was spent primarily to fund raises and enhanced benefits for public employees rather than to hire productive people.)
And now, President Obama has turned his attention to “immigration reform.” But in reality there is no need for “immigration reform.” The current immigration laws provide for an orderly and diverse entry from most nations using verifiable information and demonstrable actions.
What is needed is action to secure the borders and enforce the current immigration laws. Calls for “immigration reform” are simply a cover for amnesty along with the callous belief by Democrats that it will create a new voting bloc – fifteen to twenty million strong – for them.
The flood of illegal aliens and the increasing border violence caused by lax enforcement of immigration policies begun under Pres. Clinton, accelerated under Pres. Bush, and now manipulated by Pres. Obama have caused a real problem for those in the border states. Arizona has become the “kidnap capitol of America” as human traffickers prey on the poor by charging them to smuggle them into the country and then, upon arrival, ransom them to relatives, force them into prostitution, or the drug trade. Ranchers along the borders of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona have been robbed, vandalized and, in some instances, killed; federal lands have been posted advising citizens to stay out for fear of illegals, and gunfire is routinely exchanged primarily between rival smugglers and drug gangs.
This is not a problem of antiquated immigration laws. Rather it is a problem with state and federal governments making a conscientious decision not to enforce existing law.
On the federal level, government officials, including at least three successive presidents, have decided not to secure or effectively police a border so porous now that a half-day’s walk through the desert is all that is required. A federal government that declines to pursue, detain or prosecute illegals and sues state governments who choose to enforce federal law when the federal government refuses to so.
On a state level, government officials, including those in Oregon provide government assistance, healthcare and education to illegals. It makes little difference that state laws limit many of these services to those lawfully here. Illegals and their advocates know that these states, including Oregon, have invoked a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy of their own and they routinely abuse a system and, in doing so, effectively deny or limit services to those who should legitimately receive them.
And finally, private employers exploit the services of illegals, paying them less than minimum wage, imposing hours and conditions of employment intolerable under state and federal law for other workers, and resting in the assurance that, because of their status, they will not complain.
All of these acts or omissions have a common theme. They have created an “invitation” to citizens of other countries to ignore our laws and enter our country illegally and without much fear of consequences.
No, we don’t need “immigration reform” what we need is minor adjustments to current law and the resolve to enforce them. Most of the illegal alien problem could be dealt with by undertaking these four steps:
1. Secure the borders. In the words of Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, “build the dang fence” and then patrol it using all resources – manpower, electronics and avionics.
2. Adopt state law prohibiting employment of those not lawfully here and enforce them with stiff penalties requiring business license forfeiture similar to those in Arizona.
3. Enforce current laws prohibiting welfare payments to illegals, and change and enforce laws to extend such prohibitions to educational and healthcare benefits.
4. Require deportation of all illegals entering the justice system – even for misdemeanors and traffic violations.
Secure borders and the lack of inducements to enter illegally (no jobs, no benefits) should substantially reduce the influx of new illegals. The lack of jobs and benefits for those already here will create voluntary outward migration. (Voluntary deportation should be without penalty and paid for once by the government.) And certainty of deportation for all others will provide the final deterrent.
Once we have dealt with the current problem by enforcing existing laws, we can return to an orderly immigration process which was designed to provide a balanced inflow from all countries with exceptions for political asylum and other hardship cases.
As we learned from Pres. Ronald Reagan’s amnesty program, we did not solve the problem of illegal entry; we simply created an additional inducement. Let’s not make the same mistake again.