Saturday, June 16, 2012

Because he's President, that's why.

Friday's announcement that the Obama Administration would stop deporting many young illegal immigrants and would instead provide them the opportunity to obtain work visas was met with the sort of respectful challenge you would expect from the right:



I kid the right wing, but really, I don't.  In Obama's own words regarding this move:


Obama said the change would become effective immediately to "lift the shadow of deportation from these young people." 
"Let's be clear, this is not amnesty, this is not immunity, this is not a path to citizenship, this is not a permanent fix," Obama said from the White House Rose Garden. "This is the right thing to do."
The most annoying part of the Rose Garden exchange was the obvious "not-paying-attention" to what this change means and who it effects. Neil Munroe of the Daily Caller, asked one dumb question and made a rather dumb follow-up, which unfortunately may get some play: to wit, he asked why Obama was favoring immigrants over Americans, and as his follow-up, asked "What about American workers who are unemployed while you import foreigners?” 


Sigh. So much "not getting it" in so brief a span. The young people in question are undocumented illegal immigrants who entered this country before the age of 16 and are under the age of 30. They are not being imported--they are already here, they did not have much of a choice about coming here, everyone they they know and just about the only life they know is here--in the US. They are a part of the fabric of America--just without the paperwork. So obviously, they are not being "imported". And they are not being given jobs, only the opportunity to have them, and in the meanwhile, by being given the opportunity to get work permits (renewable after two years, etc.) they are being documented, and having the fear of being deported removed from their ability to have productive lives. 


This is a good thing--this isn't taking anything away from anyone, and it's removing an unfair stigma from young people who haven't done anything wrong and who will benefit our society. Obama has already weighed that this is an incomplete solution: "this is not a path to citizenship, this is not a permanent fix"--but I know he's at least willing to work on a solution, and can not get Congress to do the same right now. The DREAM Act has been something tried again and again in Congress for the past decade, and even George Bush tried to get a comprehensive immigration reform through--and could not. So if Obama has this one chance while he's President to make some change--why shouldn't he?


And I get that there is a complaint that he's only doing this because it's an election year and he might hope to shore up especially Latino support with it--but my contention is: So? When isn't it right to do what's right? 



As a political calculation, I suppose timing is key. If it's the right thing to do--why not ever do it before? I dunno, maybe his administration wanted to think through the legality of the thing, and do it right. But even if this is an election-year calculation--this is the prerogative of being president, no? Does it raise the stakes for Congress and his challenger on this subject? Ya think?  Is this a game? No. Not with people's lives it isn't.


Here's my unvarnished "think" on the matter: I simply do not give a ripe shit why Obama decided to bow to the fierce urgency of now in regards to the future of promising young adults who might credit this country by proving we still have something to offer by way of the old "American Dream". If this gives them a better start in their adult lives to make a go of things, well, that's what I think this country should stand for, "e pluribus unum" and all that.  I think it does credit to his office that he did decide to do the right thing by them by making them nearly legal to the best of his ability and at the end of the day, it's results, isn't it?


I know the other guy, Mitt Romney, wouldn't have done the same, he of the "self-deportation" and "I'm running for office for Pete's sake" I know no other president did. I know my president is a political operator and a pragmatist, and I expected him to be. That was what I hoped for. That was my hope, and how I thought we'd get change--because I watched the motherfuckers impeach Clinton, and knew he would not have it easy, and for all the right-wing Kool-Aid juice-box drinking trash-talkers who want to pretend that Obama's foray into national politics has been one long mainstream media handjob--seriously? The man who had to cough up his birth certificate? Who has been called a foreigner, an atheist, a communist, a Muslim, a socialist, and everything up to and including the word I don't say--and has had his wife and children called the same?


He's still the President. And with respect to Neil "Also an Immigrant" Munro and Joe "You lie!" Wilson, and to John Yoo and Alberto Gonzales, and Justice Alito and a host of other, trifling, "Can't you at least figure out how to respect the office?" players--


This here is the sort of thing that makes me not only want to vote for him, but send my money, call my neighbors, and bore my relatives on Facebook about him.  And your pouty-mouths? Make it rewarding for me to do so. Cheers.


(Drops mic, exits building. And such.)

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/06/15/2850827/ap-sources-immunity-offered-to.html#storylink=cpy




1 comment:

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Back in ought-six, I heard McCain speak to a pro-immigration rally in the auditorium of St Barnabas' Church in the Bronx. The guy got a sustained, heartfelt ovation.

That guy doesn't exist anymore.