Obama lies about Arizona law, misleads on immigration, uses one of Bush's lines

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Barack Obama spoke at a townhall meeting in Ottumwa, Iowa yesterday and was asked the following extremely bad question:

And I was just wondering what your plan was for our undocumented workers who have established our country?

The White House transcript is at [1] and the video is at peekurl.com/vlxqpg5 It's unclear whether the questioner meant "established themselves in our country" or not; if she meant what she said that's straight out of MEChA 101 (El Plan de Aztlan: "Aztlan belongs to those who plant the seeds, water the fields, and gather the crops and not to the foreign Europeans")

Needless to say, that setup question allowed Obama to mislead about immigration and promote comprehensive immigration reform. And, in so doing, he used several lines that were spouted by George W Bush when he was president. Here's Bush in 2004:

If you can make fifty cents in the interior of Mexico and five dollars in the interior of the United States, you're comin' for the five bucks

And, here's Obama yesterday:

the fact is if folks are making $2 a day back home, and they can make $10 an hour here, they’re going to come here

Apparently there was a COLA increase, or something.

He also said:

I mean, you can -- this law that just passed in Arizona -- which I think is a poorly conceived law -- (applause) -- you can try to make it really tough on people who look like they, “might be illegal immigrants.” One of the things that the law says is local officials are allowed to ask somebody who they have a suspicion might be an illegal immigrant for their papers. But you can imagine, if you are a Hispanic American in Arizona -- your great-grandparents may have been there before Arizona was even a state. But now, suddenly, if you don’t have your papers and you took your kid out to get ice cream, you’re going to be harassed. That’s something that could potentially happen. That’s not the right way to go.

Note the use of "papers", a slightly subtle playing of Godwin's Law. Even more importantly, he's outright lying about the Arizona law: that law requires first "lawful contact", and someone going out for ice cream isn't going to generate that contact. Then, it requires "reasonable suspicion", and someone whose family has been here as long as Obama describes isn't going to generate that suspicion. That could "potentially happen", but so too could lots of other fantastical scenarios.

He also uses another stock talking point:

Very few of you -- (applause) -- very few of you are Native Americans, which means most of you came here from someplace else -- or your families came here, your great-great-great grandparents came here from somewhere else. So we are a nation of immigrants. We were founded on immigration. That’s what that whole Plymouth Rock thing was about -- immigration. So we’re a nation of immigrants.... But we’re also a nation of laws. And we expect people to follow the rules if they want to immigrate to this country. That’s only fair, right?

In addition to the misleading nation of immigrants talking point, he's also implying that somehow Native Americans are the only true Americans, and that due to something that happened decades or centuries ago present-day Americans have to keep accepting new immigrants. Instead of recognizing that we're a nation of citizens, he's chiding us for trying to control immigration as we see fit. And, of course, the salesman-style last sentence. See also his pre-election reconquista-style comments.

So the challenge we have now is how do we set up a system where, yes, we’re welcoming new people to our country -- which by the way, makes us stronger. One of the things that is a huge advantage for America, compared to countries like Europe, is actually we constantly are replenishing ourselves with hungry, driven people who are coming here and they want to work, and they start a business, and our population is younger and more dynamic. And that's a good thing. So we want immigration, but how do we do it in a lawful way so that people who are waiting in line back in their home countries, doing it the right way, aren’t being punished, and we’ve got some basic control of our borders? And the problem is we don't have that right now. The system is broken.

We already have such a system; the system itself is not broken simply the implementation of it. See also immigration line.

So ever since I was campaigning here in Iowa, I’ve been saying the same thing. What I want is a system in which we secure our borders -- and by the way, this administration has made significant progress securing our borders -- we start cracking down on companies that are purposely hiring undocumented workers to undercut the wages of U.S. workers -- (applause) -- because the truth is as long as there are employers who want to exploit undocumented workers, pay them lower wages, no benefits, no overtime, et cetera, people are going to continue to come. I mean, we can try to build as many fences as we want at the border, but the fact is if folks are making $2 a day back home, and they can make $10 an hour here, they’re going to come here -- unless we make sure that employers are doing what’s lawful. So we’ve got to take that seriously.

See secure the border, and note that the Obama administration has allowed illegal aliens to remain in the labor pool, harming U.S. workers.

the truth is that 11 to 12 million folks, we’re going to have to make them take responsibility for what they did. And the way to do that is to actually make them register, make them pay a fine, make them learn English -- (applause) -- make them take responsibility for the fact that they broke the law. You make them get in the back of the line. But you also say, okay, if you do it the right way then you have a chance to become an American citizen. (Applause.) And if we have that kind of comprehensive approach, then we can once again be a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.

See amnesty require for where his "tough" talk originated, see the immigration line page, and note once again that the system really isn't broken: it's just being monkeywrenched by crooked politicians like Obama and many others.

[1] whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/