Sacrificing Immigration Reform on the Altar of Cynical Politics

In February 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama said this about immigration: “Number one, it is important that we fix the legal immigration system, because right now we’ve got a backlog that means years for people to apply legally. And what’s worse is we keep on increasing the fees, so that if you’ve got a hard-working immigrant family, they’ve got to hire a lawyer; they’ve got to pay thousands of dollars in fees. They just can’t afford it, and it’s discriminatory against people, who have good character, we should want in this country, but don’t have the money. So we’ve got to fix that.”

This was President Obama last week during an NBC interview: “The truth of the matter is that the politics did shift mid-summer because of that problem,” referring to the surge of immigrant children who illegally crossed into the United States.

So there it was for the world to see. Obama had no intention of “fixing” immigration. It was a political ploy in 2008, and it’s still a political ploy six years later.

For all the Hispanic immigrants who believed Obama had their best interests at heart, this is a slap in the face.

All along, Republicans were being blamed as the roadblock to immigration reform, but the truth is the president was all bluster and no action. His support for immigration was simply a political maneuver, as he just admitted.

It’s clear that Obama cannot risk appearing to condone amnesty while members of his own party are begging him to back off, as they fear getting pilloried by voters in their fight to save their seats. It’s the height of hypocrisy

I think that the real amnesty program in this country is the amnesty Hispanic voters are giving the Democrats. Pro-amnesty Hispanic groups are now suggesting their constituents withhold their votes and sit this election out.

But the president has done Republicans a favor. Hispanic voters, and even some progressives, will discover what most of us have known for years — that Democrats are using the immigration issue as a wedge to grow their voter base.

Many people believe that Mitt Romney lost the 2012 election because voters didn’t think that he cared about immigrants. In fact, it was the Obama camp that didn’t really care about Hispanic immigrants.

Look how hollow this Obama quote sounds in light of his recent comments: “We’re not going to be able to deal with the 12 million people who are living in the shadows and give them a way of getting out of the shadows if we don’t also deal with the problem of this constant influx of undocumented workers. And that’s why I think comprehensive reform is so important.”

Immigration is so important that he’s not willing to talk about it until after mid-term elections?
Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, caught Obama with his hand in the cookie jar when he chastised Obama for his deportation policies. He told Fox News:

“That will make it almost impossible to ever do immigration reform, because he will spoil the well to the point where no one will trust him by giving him a new law that he will implement it the way the Congress intended.”

Hispanic voters in states like Nevada, Texas, Colorado and California are going to start questioning whether their loyalty to Democrats is paying dividends.

In the past, Republicans have not always said things that Hispanic voters wanted to hear. But now Democrats are saying things that they don’t want to hear either.

To me, this looks like an opportunity for Republicans to put forth an immigration policy that makes sense.

If you’re not willing to stand up for your principles without considering the political risks, you have no right leading this country.

Leaders don’t run away from problems, they seek solutions. Doing nothing is not a choice. We’ve seen too much of that already.

We have at least 12 million illegal immigrants in this country and that number is growing.

Putting our head in the sand isn’t going to make it go away.

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