Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Obama’s speech, point-by-point

When the president spoke in El Paso on May 10, 2011, he began with the story of a community college in Florida.  He talked of the 181 nations represented at that one school and how proud they were of their own lands.  But in the end they were most proud to be Americans.

He weaved into that speech the linguistic sleight-of-hand trick; indiscriminately mixing illegal aliens into the pool of immigrants.

Obama said, “Many of the students were immigrants themselves, coming to America with little more than the dream of their parents and the clothes on their back.  A handful had discovered only in adolescence or adulthood that they were undocumented.

Illegal aliens, or “undocumented” as they like to be called, are not immigrants.  The undocumented have not been recognized by our government as immigrants.  That’s the issue at hand.

He goes on to talk about the swearing-in ceremonies held at the White House for those who have naturalized.  One must respect those who have followed the rules to come here in the first place, then taken the steps necessary to become a citizen.  But what does that quaint story have to do with illegal aliens or quotas or enforcement?

Then he talks about immigrants who have served in the military.  That’s wonderful, but again, off-topic.

He then quotes from the Declaration of Independence those words of hope.
“…that all of us are created equal, endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights.  All of us deserve our freedoms and our pursuit of happiness.”

Now hold the phone.  Is Obama implying that everyone has the right to come to America to pursue life, liberty and happiness?  Is he telling us that everyone has claim on presence here?  Can he really believe that?  That is an extreme open borders mentality.

Then for the first time during the speech, he’s on topic.  “…we also recognize that being a nation of laws goes hand in hand with being a nation of immigrants.  This, too, is our heritage.  This, too, is important.  And the truth is, we’ve often wrestled with the politics of who is and who isn’t allowed to come into this country.  This debate is not new.

“At times, there has been fear and resentment directed towards newcomers, especially in hard economic times.”

He speaks the truth, but gets the conclusion wrong when he says, “And because these issues touch deeply on what we believe, touch deeply on our convictions -- about who we are as a people, about what it means to be an American -- these debates often elicit strong emotions.

“That’s one reason it’s been so difficult to reform our broken immigration system.  When an issue is this complex, when it raises such strong feelings, it’s easier for politicians to defer until the problem the next election.  And there’s always a next election.

“So we’ve seen a lot of blame and a lot of politics and a lot of ugly rhetoric around immigration.”

His conclusion, or at least the conclusion he WANTS US to believe, is that the fear and resentment of illegal aliens comes from emotions and political rhetoric.

The fear and resentment come because our government has failed to enforce the laws and now one third of all foreign-born in this country are here illegally!  Worse, our elected leaders are actually fighting enforcement of those immigration laws!

Indeed there is confusion and some misplaced anger, but Bill Clinton’s adviser on immigration, Barbara Jordan, put the blame squarely where it belongs back in 1994.  She told Congress:  “Unlawful immigration is unacceptable. Enforcement measures have not sufficiently stemmed these movements. Failure to develop more effective strategies to curb unlawful immigration has blurred distinctions between legal and illegal immigrants.”

Look in the mirror, Mr. President.  When we fail to enforce the law on such a large scale and create a fugitive underground class in the process, we are creating the very ethnic tension you are complaining about.

Obama is fighting “ugly rhetoric” with rhetoric of his own.  What we need is substance here.

More to come on Obama’s speech.

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