Disingenuous Adam Serwer spins Obama's mini-amnesty (immigration, DREAM Act)

Last month, Adam Serwer (now of Mother Jones) mightily spun Obama's mini-amnesty for up to 300,000 illegal aliens in a guest post on Greg Sargent's blog in the Washington Post ("Obama deserves enormous credit for immigration move", link, [1]). Let's take a look at his spinning.

He writes:

Since taking office, the Obama administration has implemented a far more aggressive immigration enforcement policy than the Bush administration - deporting close to 400,000 people a year. The idea was that aggressive enforcement would clear the way for comprehensive immigration reform, a plan that didn’t take the total opposition of the Republican Party into account. Despite the administration’s stated focus on deporting undocumented immigrants who pose a threat to public safety, the vast majority of those deported were convicted of minor offenses and many had no criminal record.

Nevertheless, Republicans have ignored this reality, instead accusing the administration for months of implementing a "stealth DREAM Act" through its enforcement priorities. Republicans are likely to revive these accusations given that the administration now says it will allow some "low-priority" undocumented immigrants in the system to apply for work permits. But make no mistake: No matter what conservatives say to the contrary, this is a temporary solution. It is not "amnesty" in that it does not grant a path to citizenship - it merely offers temporary relief to a select few.

Adam Serwer's trying to give Joe Isuzu a run for his money.

The administration of George W Bush was not exactly a model of immigration enforcement. Even Karl Rove admits Bush is responsible for six million new illegal aliens in the U.S., so using him as a starting point would make most people look good. Plus, the Obama administration appears to have cooked the books to obtain at least one deportation statistic.

And, what the administration is doing is probably as "temporary" as Temporary Protected Status: temporary programs that keep getting renewed year after year. Giving a pass to those illegal aliens who might be eligible for the DREAM Act would mean they could take advantage of that bill if it ever passes, and then they'd get their permanent legalization (i.e., amnesty [2]). And, giving such a pass means those illegal aliens will be able to take advantage of various state versions of the DREAM Act, including those versions that give in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens. It also means that those illegal aliens will further embed themselves in the U.S. and makes it more difficult to deport them later on.

For instance, some of those illegal aliens who'll be given a pass will have U.S. citizen children. That will further exacerbate the problem of mixed-status families, a group that the far-left uses as a way to oppose deportations. Obama has spoken out against family separation (also here) and Serwer himself uses mixed-status families to oppose deportations in the post:

Yesterday's decision by the Obama administration to forestall the deportations of undocumented immigrants who don’t pose a threat do public safety is a huge, huge deal. Not just for the hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who won’t be ripped away from their homes and families... ..."These groups stood up and put before the country of how these policies were tearing families apart, marriages being ripped apart, parents being torn away from their kids," says Jeffrey Parcher of the Center for Community Change...

Those granted "temporary relief" might have U.S. citizen children, and Serwer and far-left groups would then work night and day to see that they aren't deported so as to not to separate families. And, even if the DREAM Act doesn't pass, illegal aliens in some states will be able to take college discounts, slots, and/or educations away from Americans (see the last link).

Some of the illegal aliens who'll be given a pass will go on to commit crimes and will become a "threat to public safety". If they had simply been deported, those crimes would have never been committed, in the U.S. at least. (Would Serwer care to argue that we should import crimes from Mexico and other countries, or that it's better that a crime be committed in the U.S. rather than another country?)

But, the bulk of those getting a pass will simply be taking jobs away from Americans. They might not commit crimes, but they'll be an economic threat: with millions of Americans unemployed and with many of them able to do the jobs that illegal aliens are doing, it's a treacherous move to give illegal aliens work permits instead of deporting them. Just one quarter of black youth are in the labor market, down from around 40% during the 1970s to 1990s. Why is Serwer spinning for foreign citizens who are doing jobs unemployed Americans could and should be doing?

And, there are other, much less obvious threats involved too. Those given a pass might open up bank accounts and will send money home via remittances. That will further enrich corrupt banks and cause them to even more strongly support illegal immigration because they'll have even more of a profit motive (see immigration banks and Federal Reserve). Those given a pass will contribute to the power base of corrupt politicians who more or less represent foreign citizens rather than American citizens (see Gil Cedillo and many more). Those given a pass will further contribute to the power base that the Mexican government has inside the U.S. In general, they'll also further contribute to public and private corruption: those attempting to profit in one way or another from illegal activity.

Serwer is also seemingly unaware of just how crookedly the mainstream media covers immigration, referring to "DREAM-eligible undocumented immigrants [who] had outed themselves in an attempt to put a human face on the issue of illegal immigration." Isn't that what all those dozens of PIIPPs - cookie-cutter "human face on the issue of illegal immigration" articles that have appeared for years in newspapers from coast to coast - are for? The mainstream media has only very rarely put a human face on those victimized by illegal immigration, whether from a crime or jobs perspective.

Please send Adam Serwer a Twitter message and let him know what you think: @AdamSerwer.

[1] Serwer also quotes Frank Sharry of America's Voice: "I was pleasantly surprised by the boldness and breadth of Administration’s move."

[2] Serwer slips on a talking point with his definition of amnesty. He's supposed to point to the dictionary definition of amnesty and point out that "earned legalization" doesn't fit the definition because they'd have to pay a fine and so on. He does, however, get another talking point correct. He refers to "undocumented immigrants" rather than the legally-correct term illegal aliens.