Richmond Times-Dispatch, June 24, 2012
President Obama's move to halt deportations and issue work permits to illegal immigrants age 30 and younger may fulfill a dream for upwards of 1.4 million to 2 million potential beneficiaries, but it's a nightmare for 20 million unemployed Americans.
In capitulating to special pleaders, the chief executive has done a gross disservice to African-Americans, Anglo-Americans and Hispanic-Americans who pay taxes, raise families, work hard and obey the law.
Pro-amnesty advocates argue that children should not be penalized because their parents sneaked across the border or overstayed their tourist, work or educational visas to remain unlawfully in the United States.
Special-interest PR machines, The Washington Post and The New York Times continually regale the public with touching, true articles about high-achieving "dreamers" who earn spectacular grades and perform heroic deeds in their communities.
However, these poignant tales are seldom balanced with coverage of foreign-born students who play hooky, resist learning and heap extra demands on teachers who already face overcrowded classrooms, pay freezes and uncertain retirement benefits.
Yet many of these teenagers snag a high school diploma thanks to the lethal combination of political correctness and social promotion. Americans must also accept the advantages and disadvantages of their parents' behavior.
The elitist media seldom if ever disseminate the plight of, say, a disabled Richmond firefighter whose wife works an extra job to make ends meet. Their children, who may deliver pizzas to supplement the household income, manage to overcome challenges to complete high school — only to find themselves competing with dreamers for scarce jobs or admission to underfunded, jam-packed universities.
Furthermore, why doesn't the White House publicly recognize that nearly one out of three young male veterans — able-bodied and disabled — was out of work last year?
In addition, champions of Obama's loophole-ridden, fraud-prone dream scheme fail to point out that Mexico, the sender of half of unlawful immigrants, abounds with oil, natural gas, gold, silver, archeological treasures, exotic resorts, fertile fishing grounds, the world 13th-largest industrial sector and hard-working men and women.
Yet, the establishment in our cornucopia-shaped neighbor doesn't give a tinker's dam about the 35 percent of their countrymen who live as rag-pickers in fetid slums or in squalor on postage-stamp sized plots of land. The well-to-do shirk the responsibility to ensure decent education, health care and employment to these "have nots," preferring that they emigrate so that Uncle Sam can picks up the tab for these services.
No matter the euphemism used, amnesties trigger more illegal entries by those who believe there will be yet another round of forgiveness.
The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 supposedly would "wipe the slate clean." This and subsequent statutes enabled 6 million foreigners to step out of the shadows en route to citizenship. Now there are 12 million to 15 million illegal aliens in the 50 states.
Rather than grant sweeping benefits to hundreds of thousands of individuals, compassionate consideration should be given to individual cases. For example, an El Salvadoran who served honorably in the military should be rewarded. The same would apply to a leader who helped break up gangs to make his neighborhoods safer.
How to block the "Obamamnesty," which House Judiciary Committee chairman Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican, believes "blatantly ignores the rule of law that is the foundation of our democracy"?
To begin with, our legislators should refuse to fund the Department of Homeland Security's implementation of this wrong-headed gambit.
At the same time, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor might use his considerable clout to gain passage of a national "E-Verify" program, remarkably effective at the state level, which requires employers to check the legal status of workers. A business that acts lawfully should not be disadvantaged by competitors who hire cheap, vulnerable workers.
To quote Smith again: "This huge policy shift has horrible consequences for unemployed Americans looking for jobs and violates President Obama's oath to uphold the laws of the land."