President Obama has this odd sense of his authority and what his leadership focus should be at this moment, especially considering the recent midterm election.
For the first two years of his presidency, the Democrats controlled the House, Senate and the Oval Office, yet they did nothing on immigration. Next the Senate passed a poorly crafted bill in 2013 that did absolutely nothing to strengthen our immigration system (http://tinyurl.com/nt52da8). Apparently hoping for what Obama adviser Jonathan Gruber recently referred to as the “stupidity” of the American people, the 2013 immigration bill has been fortunately passed over by the U.S. House of Representatives.
Falling flat on their faces on almost every major legislative initiative, or playing politics instead of governing (as with the recently announced Keystone pipeline vote), all the president and Democrats have is to scream “obstructionist,” ignoring the more than 500 bills passed by the U.S. House sitting in the bottom drawer of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s desk. For all the chest-pounding and finger-pointing, one very important detail is being ignored: America does not have an immigration problem, it has an enforcement problem.
President Obama cited inaction on the part of Congress, while ignoring his own inaction on immigration, and is now threatening illegal executive action to solve the immigration single-handedly. Without waiting to see what the new Congress may propose, when the time is right, Obama seems more determined than ever to aggravate the gridlock in Washington. The president was right when he said on March 28, 2011, “with respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case, because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed.” Obama was also correct when he said on May 10, 2011, “sometimes when I talk to immigration advocates, they wish I could just bypass Congress and change the law myself. But that’s not how a democracy works.” That may be how a democracy works, but it is definitely how our Constitutional-Republic works. Obama would be wise to heed his own advice.
White House aides have described Obama as a president who can walk and chew gum at the same time. Great, but clearly Obama can’t handle more than one crisis at a time without tripping over his own incompetence. With all the issues facing our country, Obama has decided on an issue that in many ways is manufactured due to the inability for some in Congress to honor their own laws, and the failure of Obama to “faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States.” Immigration is a problem because the Democrats don’t like the current rules, the rules they created and promised to abide by. Obama’s threatened action has nothing to do with the false narrative of a broken immigration system or a complacent Congress, but everything to do with political ideology.
Let’s also dispel the myth that we need a “pathway to citizenship.” We already have one. From the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), here are the 10 simple steps (not including naturalization and excluding green card status):
Step 1: Find out if you are eligible
Step 2: Complete an application and collect the necessary documents
Step 3: Get photographed
Step 4: Send your application, documents, and fee to the Service Center
Step 5: Get fingerprinted
Step 6: Be interviewed
Step 7: Receive a decision
Step 8: Take the oath and become a citizen
This is neither rocket science nor a broken system. The steps are simple, but only if you have integrity and respect for our laws; neither of which are virtues that many of our politicians possess in D.C. Here is a novel thought: Enforce the laws we currently have on the books. Punish states and local municipalities that flaunt their sanctuary policies in violation of the will of the people and the U.S. Constitution. We have politicians who can’t be trusted and a system that very few in Washington want enforced. Any new omnibus legislation that is passed will be nothing more than a ruse, laden with nonsensical components to curry political favor and prop up an unenforced immigration system. This madness will continue unless the American people demand simple, common-sense measures:
1. Secure the borders. First and foremost, before anything else is committed to.
2. Allow the proper agencies to strictly enforce our immigration laws.
3. Simplify and fast track the deportation process. Return violators immediately to their home country.
4. Overhaul the USCIS to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
5. Stop all social services to criminal aliens.
6. Prosecute with prejudice all employers that hire criminal aliens.
7. Outlaw the practice of automatic citizenship to those born to criminal aliens illegally present in our country.
8. Use all the diplomatic measures and punitive actions at our disposal to castigate other nations that actively or through passive indifference permit our immigration laws to be exploited or ignored.
9. Create a simple method of transparency and verification to ensure that our laws are being enforced.
10. Involve the states as active members of the solution, active partners.
Follow these 10 steps with integrity and clarity, as most modern nations already do, and there is no immigration issue. The day of the omnibus legislation and the lack of transparency are dead. Citizens want small, easy to interpret bills. Bills that are transparent, address an individual issue, and are created with integrity. No bribes, no pork, no “Washington speak.”
As for President Obama, stop your nonsense and political shenanigans. On Nov. 4, the people of this country spoke loud and clear. Stop playing politics, listen to the people, and start being a leader.