Obama at NCLR: "yes, but..." on immigration enforcement; promotes jobs for possible illegal alien construction workers; DREAM Act; comprehensive reform...
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Barack Obama appeared at the National Council of La Raza convention earlier today; see the last link for our extensive coverage of that group. His unremarkable remarks are at : he didn't really say anything that he hasn't said before. As he's done before, he misled, such as by using the system is broken canard. He also promoted the anti-American DREAM Act, a bill that would let the illegal aliens covered by it deprive some U.S. citizens of college. And, of course, he promoted comprehensive immigration reform and blamed the GOP for not cooperating with him on that and the DREAM Act.
Regarding jobs, he said:
...And we're still climbing out of a vicious recession, and that recession hit Latino families especially hard. I don't need to tell you Latino unemployment is painfully high. And there's no doubt that this economy has not recovered as fast as it needs to. The truth is it's going to take more time. And a lot of the problems we face right now, like slow job growth and stagnant wages, these were problems that were there even before the recession hit... ...And the hundreds of thousands of construction workers -- many of them Latino -- who lost their jobs when the housing bubble burst, I want to put them back to work rebuilding our roads and our bridges and new schools and airports all across the country. There is work to be done. These workers are ready to do it. (Applause.)
A large number of those Latino construction workers are here illegally. If Obama were concerned about finding jobs for American construction workers, he'd support much more immigration enforcement. Instead of doing that, he wants to throw money at public works projects where some (working through multiple layers of subcontractors) might be illegal aliens.
There's also the part where he admits a conflict between his job description and his implicit desire for race-based power:
Now, I swore an oath to uphold the laws on the books, but that doesn't mean I don't know very well the real pain and heartbreak that deportations cause. I share your concerns and I understand them. And I promise you, we are responding to your concerns and working every day to make sure we are enforcing flawed laws in the most humane and best possible way.
The NCLR and other far-left groups have made abundantly clear that they don't really support immigration enforcement and deportations. They even wanted to give a special break to illegal aliens charged with identity theft. A president who wanted to prevent the need for deportations in the first place would send the message that illegal aliens won't be able to find jobs and should just stay home. Everything Obama and the Democrats do is the opposite.
At the start of the speech, he gave shout outs to some Latinos he's hired; see each of these links:
Right off the bat, I should thank you because I have poached quite a few of your alumni to work in my administration. (Laughter.) They're all doing outstanding work. Raul Yzaguirre, my ambassador to the Dominican Republic -- (applause) -- Latinos serving at every level of my administration. We've got young people right out of college in the White House. We've got the first Latina Cabinet Secretary in history, Hilda Solis. (Applause.) So we couldn't be prouder of the work that so many folks who've been engaged with La Raza before, the handiwork that they're doing with our administration. And as Janet mentioned, obviously we're extraordinarily proud of someone who is doing outstanding work on the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor. (Applause.)
I want to sign trade deals so our businesses can sell more goods made in America to the rest of the world, especially to the Americas.
...We won credit card reform and financial reform, and protections for consumers and folks who use payday lenders or send remittances home from being exploited and being ripped off. (Applause.)
...We worked to secure health care for 4 million children, including the children of legal immigrants.
See SCHIP; whether that program can still be abused by illegal aliens isn't known.
Then, it was on to the education problems that have been caused by massive, especially illegal and low-skilled, immigration. Obama has a "solution" for the problem he and many others like him have enabled:
...We're keeping our promise to give our young people every opportunity to succeed. NCLR has always organized its work around the principle that the single most important investment we can make is in our children's education -– and that if we let our Latino students fall behind, we will all fall behind. I believe that. (Applause.) ...So we've tied giving more money to reform. And we're working with states to improve teacher recruitment and retraining and retention. We're making sure English Language Learners are a priority for educators across the country. We're holding schools with high dropout rates accountable so they start delivering for our kids. We're emphasizing math and science, and investing in community colleges so that all of our workers get the skills that today's companies want. And we've won new college grants for more than 100,000 Latino students. And as long as I am President, this country will always invest in its young people. (Applause.)
...Of course, that doesn't mean we don't have unfinished business. I promised you I would work tirelessly to fix our broken immigration system and make the DREAM Act a reality. (Applause.) And two months ago -- two months ago, I went down to the border of El Paso to reiterate -- (applause.) El Paso is in the house. (Laughter and applause.) To reiterate my vision for an immigration system that holds true to our values and our heritage, and meets our economic and security needs. And I argued this wasn't just the moral thing to do, it was an economic imperative.
Here's a discussion of Obama's El Paso speech, and as indicated above he's using the system is broken canard and promoting the anti-American DREAM Act and implicitly comprehensive immigration reform. Neither of those are the moral choice and both would have negative economic impacts when everything involved in them is considered; see those links and immigration economics.
In recent years, one in four high-tech startups in America –- companies like Google and Intel -– were founded on immigrants. One in six new small business owners are immigrants. These are job creators who came here to seek opportunity and now seek to share opportunity.
The possibility that Obama's statistics are misleading is high; see the post about Gary Locke and Carlos Gutierrez. And, note the perhaps intentionally ironic use of "job creators", a phrase the GOP uses as a euphemism for their billionaire and multimillionaire funders.
This country has always been made stronger by our immigrants. That what makes America special. We attract talented, dynamic, optimistic people who are continually refreshing our economy and our spirit. And you can see that in urban areas all across the country where communities that may have been hollowed out when manufacturing left, or were having problems because of an aging population, suddenly you see an influx of immigration, and you see streets that were full of boarded-up buildings, suddenly they're vibrant with life once again. And it's immigrant populations who are providing that energy and that drive.
Yes, like in Postville. Of course, whether the previous residents of those areas wanted that influx doesn't really matter to Obama and other elites. Search for articles in the "Crooked Towns" series, and not that Obama isn't acknowledging any of the downsides of that influx such as - to pick just one out of dozens of examples - this.
And we have a system right now that allows the best and the brightest to come study in America and then tells them to leave, set up the next great company someplace else. We have a system that tolerates immigrants and businesses that breaks the rules and punishes those that follow the rules. We have a system that separates families, and punishes innocent young people for their parents' actions by denying them the chance to earn an education or contribute to our economy or serve in our military. These are the laws on the books.
See skilled immigration for the first sentence. It's not clear exactly what the second sentence is referring to, but if Obama were stringently enforcing the immigration laws it wouldn't apply. Regarding separating families, he's implicitly supporting a system where those who come here illegally and have children have a greater chance of not being deported. The other part of that regards the DREAM Act, see the page linked above and note that any benefit those illegal aliens would confer on the U.S. they could instead be conferring on their own countries, the great majority of which need all the smart people they can get.
Obama also stated, as he's done before, that he won't use an executive order to push amnesty, but his various actions result in a de facto amnesty.