Obama Not Serious About Immigration Reform

At least, Senator Marco Rubio, the Republican Cuban-American from Florida  --  who is leading in most of the 2016 Republican presidential national polls  --  is putting his political career on the line as a member of the Senate immigration reform group called the “Gang of Eight” which is routinely condemned by a lot of conservatives.  On the other hand, the president  --  who does not have to run for reelection again  --  is “hiding under his desk” (Bill O’Reilly’s description of those people unwilling to come on his Fox News show to debate him) with regards to serious immigration reform. 

It appears increasingly self-evident that this president wants to use the “failure of the Republicans” to pass an immigration reform bill as a campaign bludgeon in next year’s mid-term congressional elections which usually results in a loss of a lot of seats by the party of the president in the White House.  He seems determined to pull out all the stops with his non-stop campaigning  --  5 years and running now  --  and with his ceaseless fund-raising from left-coast and East-coast billionaires.  His thinking is that if his party wins back the House of Representatives in 2014, he can return to the heady days of passing “landmark” bills like ObamaCare and the one trillion dollar Obama “stimulus; both of which are dismal failures.

Even more evidence of Obama’s lack of seriousness about immigration reform was his budget which he introduced on Thursday with much fanfare.  Incidentally, the Obama budget increases taxes by a whopping $1.1 trillion (which follows his new $600 billion tax increase law he signed in January)  --  never mind the trillion tax increase (at a very minimum) in Obamacare   --  increases spending by an unthinkable $2 trillion; and increases the national debt by over $8 trillion over a 10 year period to an unbelievable $25 trillion. 

Contrary to what the president and his party seem to believe about the 2014 election  --  and indeed, the 2016 presidential election --  the American people are not going to punish the Republicans and reward the Democrats because of intransigence on their part over real immigration reform.

On seven Sunday news shows, Senator Rubio laid out the parameters of the only kind of bill which could pass the Republican-controlled House of Representatives   Rubio told Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace that anybody living illegally in the United States and attempting to get a visa would face a long list of qualifications, which includes paying taxes, a fine and an application fee as well as having a job and waiting for at least 10 years. 

Senator Rubio said, “This is not amnesty.  Amnesty is the forgiveness of something.  We’re going to create an alternative that says, ‘OK, you want to stay here, you’ll have to wait more than 10 years, you’ll have to pay this fine, you’ll have to pay your registration fee, you’ll have to be gainfully employed, you won’t qualify for any federal benefits, and then after all of that you don’t get to apply for anything until the enforcement mechanisms are in place.’”

On the other hand, in Obama’s budget, he cuts funding for states that try to help enforce immigration laws and his budget scales back the number of immigrants the federal government will detain while they await deportation.  “The Washington Times” front-page article last Friday headlined “Obama’s budget a blow to immigrant enforcers” reported that the president sent his proposed legislation to Capitol Hill last Wednesday “at a time when congressional lawmakers are trying to write a broad immigration bill to bolster border security and interior enforcement, and to screen millions of illegal immigrants who could gain legal status under the legislation.” 

The “Times” article goes on to report, “The president also proposed cutting money for states that hold immigrants in their prisons and jails under the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, striking all $240 million for which the program was budgeted last year.  The initiative covers about a fifth of the costs states incurred for holding illegal immigrants, but the Justice Department, which administers the money, said it wasn’t able to cover the full costs and might as well scrap the program.”

Senator Rubio calls the current system which America has now as “de facto amnesty,” and explaining that it is not reasonable to find and deport some 11 million people.  However, the Republicans are not going to be fooled by the president’s promises about border enforcement as President Ronald Reagan was fooled by the Democrats’ promises of no more massive numbers of illegal immigrants if the 1986 legislation was signed into law by President Reagan.  Since those 3 million illegal immigrants in 1986 were granted citizenship status, a gargantuan 11 million more illegals have flooded over the border.

Obama’s border enforcement funding cutbacks in his budget suggest that the president is not really serious about immigration reform.   He obviously is not willing to participate in the give and take negotiations with the Republicans  --  who care mostly about border enforcement  --  the kind which will enable major immigration reform to pass the Congress this year.  Until he gets serious about border enforcement, immigration reform is dead on arrival in Congress, or at least in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.