On Obama’s Immigration Action
President Barrack Obama has ordered that all undocumented aliens who are parents of American born Citizens, therefore parents of children born in America, be given a three years work permit. This is about five million( or possibly even more) undocumented aliens who will now have the opportunity to work in the United States. They are expected to be free of any criminal records in order to receive this reprieve from deportation. This is a temporary reprieve and it should be noted by all as being subject to changes by future congresses or presidents on down the line.
Many have said this is wrong, especially in the Republican party. But in reality this is really a good first move on this problem for the nation.
By granting this three year work permit Obama has made these people visible to the law. Thus the law now will know who these people are, what they are doing, and at the same time expect that they pay taxes. This law will ,for a short while anyway, allow many of these same people who today live in the shadows to come out and contribute to the economy without fear of deportation. It will also allow them to receive decent wages and pay their fare share of taxes. It will also force those who have been hiring these people under the radar to report their hiring and be subject to whatever dues are required by law. All this is good for the moment.
The problem must be solved reasonably
Illegal Immigration is wrong. This much is quite clear and should not be disputed by anyone. A nation can only take so many immigrants during any interval of time and it is up to the nation to know and to monitor any immigration. This is a nation’s supreme right, to control its borders.
However, given that these people are already here, and given that it would be difficult both legally and practically to deport them-due to the fact that they have children here in this case-this action taken is about as good a move a president could make. At least from a practical point of view. At least for this particular group of aliens.
Those who might argue that this is a rash move, or that it will have negative consequences must understand that Obama’s argument as far as the congress’ inaction over the past few years on this issue is quite valid. The congress had ample time to do act if it wanted to, and it still does. This order is a limited action in scope and it gives the congress much room to decide finally what it intends to do with this issue.
There are some real limitations that can be put on this law by the congress, and the new Republican congress will be in session shortly at the start of January. They can tweak this order as they see fit at that time, and it is unlikely that the President would veto a reasonable adjustment to this order. What he would veto however is an attempt to stop this law, or negate it. And that veto would almost be impossible for a Republican congress to challenge since that would involve a two thirds majority to override any presidential veto, which the Republicans do not have at this time. Therefore a legislative assault on this order is probably not likely.
However, the congress can act and act decisively and act according to popular opinion in the new session. Making these undocumented aliens visible to the law is a needed step. It is the only possible way to begin processing them into the legal system. It would be impossible to enact mass deportations since that would cause great upheaval and quite a bit of economic damage, however, the option of controlling the steps needed to dissolve this difficult problem could easily be enacted by the new congress, and again it is unlikely that Obama and the Democrats would chance a veto if the legislation enacted were to be sound and in the interest of the nation.
The problem of illegal immigration is a serious and dangerous problem. As we have discussed the problem before, in another post, we don’t need to do it again. However, it should be said that in the end most of these people already here, are likely going to stay here and become citizens because it would be too destructive to force them out. Thus the vast majority of undocumented aliens who are here now must eventually be assimilated into the legal system. This process has begun with Obama making at least some of them visible to the law. Now the congress can take the next step and decide what must be done after the three year permit is expired and what must be done with all the other undocumented aliens now in the nation.
The most prudent course would be for the congress to make all illegal aliens now living in the nation a certain number of years, visible to the law, just as Obama did. This problem cannot be solved by merely making believe that these people are not here. Obviously they are here, and no one has done anything about it for decades. Most of these people are working in some way or other, and most of these people are creating lives here, one way or other, whether they are right or wrong to have entered illegally in the first place. The facts are that businesses, and institutions are hiring them, and many businesses are benefitting from the existence of illegal aliens. Therefore some visibility must be granted to them, and if they are ultimately assimilated properly into the fabric of the nation they can contribute quite well to its growth.
It is extremely important to understand that they must be assimilated some way or some time. Again it impractical for anyone to think that they can be peacefully deported. Thus, of necessity, they are here to stay no matter what the Democrats or the Republicans are going to say.
That the surge in illegal immigration should have never happened goes without saying. What well governed nation would allow its borders to be breached at will? But it happened because congress after congress, and president after president did not rightly act to correct it. To say that deportations are taking place is quite frankly nonsense. The number of aliens deported is only a tiny fraction of the whole, and the consequences of these deportations are extensive. and expensive. Besides this there are many times more undocumented aliens entering the nation than the small number leaving it at any time. There is even good evidence that many of those deported, often return again.
For this reason the congress must act come January. They can easily establish a very broad scheme which ends the problem once and for all. They can decide how exactly to deal with those people already here by making them visible to the law and the constitution, and at the same time they can in effect shut down the border forever by insisting that anyone without papers after a certain date cannot ever be granted the right to work or live in the United States, save but for exceptional reasons. They can enforce these laws on all businesses or building owners who violate these laws. This would in effect end illegal immigration forever, and the border would once again belong to the American people.
In effect, the number of aliens here is quite large-perhaps even as high as forty million- and these people need to be acknowledged, and assimilated slowly into the nation’s fabric since there is little possibility of getting them to leave. At least those who qualify may begin to normalize their existence and be fully accounted for when it comes to providing resources, and paying for them as well. The congress can easily set down the laws required to regulate this number according to what is good and just for the nation, while at the same time granting the wish of the majority of Americans which is to end this once and for all; by legislating strict laws which prevents any future surge of illegal immigration.
What would not be desirable for the American people is for the Republican congress to wave flags, flash guns, spit, and growl and in the end do nothing. That’s why Obama acted because the congress did nothing. Had they passed legislation it would have been impossible for any president to reject it without great liability to his party since it is the majority will of the American people to end this problem once and for all. The congress now will have that chance. It can pass powerful laws that both assimilate all qualifying candidates into the constitutional law of the nation, and at once exchange that act, and sacrifice for a definitive sealing of the border, and ending this phenomenon going forward permanently. This would most likely be acceptable to the American people.
Is what Obama did Legal?
As for the legality of Obama’s actions we can only say that the courts can answer this question. Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky has suggested that the congress take this case to court and challenge the president’s legal authority. If in fact there are obvious legal grounds of dispute then the Republicans can do so, and should do so in good conscience. The courts will decide if Obama overreached his authority or not.
However, that’s not what is really needed here in practice.
Obama’s actions are reasonable now it’s time for Congress to act reasonably
Obama’s actions are reasonable, and they are restrained in scope. The new congress will have, in a short while, time to respond with sweeping legislation in answer to this presidential order. But the only answer that is practical and possible is to acknowledge that there are millions of undocumented aliens, to make them visible, and to assimilate these people slowly and carefully into some legal status, while at the same time permanently sealing the border with strict laws that punish anyone who hires those who are not authorized to work here, or cannot prove that they have a legal existence here.
This will effectively end this saga in American history once and for all. In the end its a deal that will be brokered on behalf of the American people and which they will in the long run probably accept. Ending this phenomenon would be a great accomplishment for the nation. However, failing to end this phenomenon reasonably, may result in catastrophic consequences.
In summary it’s clear that Obama slapped the ball into the Republican’s side of the court. They now have the chance to slap it back hard, and it better be inbounds if they want any credibility with their voters. The future of the Republican party may depend on the actions of the next congress. Representation means action. Failing to act because it doesn’t look good is not representation. The congress has a sworn duty to act for the sake of what is good and just for the nation, and it must do so.
For all that, just to tell the truth, it appears President Obama took a necessary first step, and he did well to take it. A large number of undocumented aliens are now for the first time acknowledged as being here by our government. They are “legal” and the new congress can decide what must be done for them from this point on. Now it’s time for the congress to finish this illegal alien saga, and solve a problem that has become one of the most difficult ordeals in American history, having compromised both the nation, and its constitution in the interim.