“If I ever get real rich I hope I’m not real mean to poor people like I am now” – Jack Handey
The president kicked up some dust over the weekend with a proposal for backdoor amnesty for certain illegal immigrants. Much of the new “policy” defaults to the standard liberal “no fault of their own” thinking about illegal immigration. That is, kids who were brought here “through no fault of their own” won’t be deported. They’re still here illegally, only Congress can change that, but we won’t enforce any laws regarding their illegal presence.
It’s one of those cases where on a broad policy scope I find that I agree with the president, though not with “policy in a vacuum” as most folks would understand it; and yet I obviously can’t support the approach being used.
Where I Agree with Obama …
I prefer, as I have stated time and again, open and fair immigration policies. Hard-working folks hungry for a shot at a better future are exactly the kind of people we need in America … I think just about every conservative out there would agree with that notion. Isn’t the conservative gripe always folks who don’t work but still draw a check from the government, which is to say they draw a part of my paycheck? So don’t we want hard workers who are not here for a handout?
Besides, as a Christian I can point you to scads of scriptures (I think that’s the first time I’ve ever used “scads” in reference to scripture) describing how we ought to behave with benevolence and justice toward what the Old Testament calls “the resident aliens.” Probably my most-used reference would be Malachi 3:5:
“So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me,” says the Lord Almighty.
I really don’t think the current conservative mindset of slamming the door shut at the border and tracking down those who jumped the fence fits within the confines of being kind to the resident aliens.
Policy in a Vacuum …
The logic itself draws a distinction between my policy preferences and those of most liberals. I honestly can’t remember who first used the term “undocumented democrats” but I think it fits. Most liberals look at the immigration situation in this country and see a massive untapped pool of voters. “Hey, come to America, we’ll give you stuff – stuff that we take from rich people (who are mean) – make sure you vote for us though.” It is the standard liberal card of pride and envy, jealously after stuff, and serving the false god of earthly wealth. They do it time, and time, and time again.
My policy preferences have nothing to do with that. I don’t support open immigration “in a vacuum” but rather as a part of a larger overhaul of government. We should first get rid of (yes, fundamentally get rid of) all federal entitlement programs … every last one of them. Then we can open the doors. “If you want to come here and work, then come on in, but if you want to come here and take from somebody else, perhaps this isn’t the place for you.”
Also, we don’t have to let everybody in. The citizenship border is the last step where we don’t have to offer presumption of innocence. If somebody has an inkling of criminal history or intent then we can say “no” without having to prove anything.
Not a Valid Approach …
Even though I might actually like certain aspects of the direction of this policy, I still can’t support this approach. For the president to say “I didn’t get the laws I wanted, so I’m only going to enforce the current laws in a manner consistent with the laws that I actually wanted” is untenable. Yes, Congress sucks. Yes, Congress can’t hardly tie its own shoes much less work comprehensive policies. Tough. Take the matter to the people and get the votes necessary to make the changes you want (i.e., the DREAM act). Don’t usurp the legislative process with a backdoor play outside of the legislature … that is the stuff of tyrants and dictators.
By the way, one does have to wonder where these policy preferences were in 2009 and 2010 when the Democrats held a massive majority in the House and a filibuster-proof 60 votes in the Senate. Couldn’t get this passed then? I guess we were too busy passing Obamacare, which is also not a valid policy approach and may well get scuttled by the Supreme Court … perhaps as soon as today.