As anyone who reads me knows, I agree with this. But I don’t agree with an executive order to do it. This President loves bypassing the constitution, and doing what he wishes with executive order. Democrats will not be happy when a future Republican does the same with controversial issues. This is not how we should do things, and we all know that.
Marco Rubio, who has been working on a GOP type Dream Act (which probably had a lot to do with today’s announcement), had this to say:
“Today’s announcement will be welcome news for many of these kids desperate for an answer, but it is a short-term answer to a long-term problem,” Rubio said in a statement. “And by once again ignoring the Constitution and going around Congress, this short-term policy will make it harder to find a balanced and responsible long-term one.”
The article goes on:
The move comes in an election year in which the Hispanic vote could be critical in swing states like Colorado, Nevada and Florida. While Obama enjoys support from a majority of Hispanic voters, Latino enthusiasm for the president has been tempered by the slow economic recovery, his inability to win congressional support for a broad overhaul of immigration laws and by his administration’s aggressive deportation policy. Activists opposing his deportation policies last week mounted a hunger strike at an Obama campaign office in Denver, and other protests were planned for this weekend.
“President Obama and his administration once again have put partisan politics and illegal immigrants ahead of the rule of law and the American people,” Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, GOP chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said in a statement.
Another reason Pres. Obama may have come out with this now is what the Texas GOP is doing.
Texas Republicans are touting their success in bringing the factions of their party together last week in Fort Worth to approve a new plank in the party platform aimed at effective changes in immigration policy.
They call their guest worker program the “Texas solution” and say it offers answers instead of “another litany of problems,” said Brad Bailey, a member of the platform subcommittee that drafted the plan.
The proposal would provide a way for illegal immigrants to have legal status — and possibly more important to the party right now, it could pull into Republican ranks conservative Hispanic voters who could not abide the harsh deportation policies of former Republican state platforms.
Under the new, gentler proposal, “We no longer call it ‘illegal immigration,'” said Norman Adams, a Houston insurance broker who co-founded Texans for Sensible Immigration Policy a decade ago. “For the first time, the Republican Party actually offers a solution. In the past our only solution was for them to leave.”
The plank offers conditions immigrants would have to satisfy to participate: pass a criminal background check, pay any immigration fine, carry private or workplace health insurance, waive government assistance, know English, pass a civics class and be subject to payroll taxes. But Adams said the requirements would not discourage illegal immigrants from applying.
I guess it will take election year politics in a close election to finally force both parties to seriously look at our immigration problems. For too long we have let the extremes of both parties define our positions. It’s time for calm rational compromise.
“Illegal immigration is a problem of our own making. We ignored the laws, we ignored the consequences, because we liked having a cheap work force. Now, we have children of illegal immigrants, not born here, but brought here very young, going to college, in the only country they have ever known. This has created a different part of the illegal immigration issue. These are not people who snuck in this country of their own volition illegally. They were brought here by their parents. They were educated here. They are, for all intent and purposes, Americans, just as the children born here of illegal immigrants. Now, many of them have graduated college and are still not legal. What should we do? Deport them? Where? To a country they have never known? We have to face this issue. It’s an important one to the Hispanic community. I think Rubio is doing what he knows to be right, and whether you completely agree with him as a conservative, you need to support him here.”
Marco Rubio had been meeting with activist on both sides to hammer out a compromise. I wrote this as well, and it has turned out to prophetic:
“Of course, senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, has met with the activists Rubio has talked with, and encouraged them to not deal with Rubio. We can’t have the Democrats not having that wedge issue for the election, right?
The GOP allowed loud anti immigrant voices to turn the public against George Bush’s perfectly reasonable compromise on illegal immigration when he was President. I can only hope they don’t make the same mistake again.”
“The bottom line is if the GOP doesn’t deal with the millions of illegal immigrants in this country in a humane and compassionate way, we will lose generations of voters. But we shouldn’t do it just for that reason. We should do it because it’s what is right. Seal the borders. Deal with illegal immigrants that are here now once and for all. This is our window of opportunity.”
Finally, I posted this 1980 debate between George Bush 41 and Ronald Reagan on the illegal immigration issue. I wrote then, that “if only we had listened to either one of them, or if they had found a way to achieve those things while they were President, we wouldn’t find ourselves in the mess we are in now. But I think you will see in the passion of George Bush’s voice, his love and understanding for the Hispanic culture. We could use a bit more of that understanding in the GOP right now.”
I know many conservatives disagree with me. I understand their arguments and their concerns, but I also know that it’s time for some solutions, way past time.