Obama’s Empty Amnesty Pivot
Yesterday, President Obama officially tried to pivot away (again) from the failings of his signature legislative achievement – Obamacare. This time, he attempted to score a few political points by renewing his push for immigration reform. Of course, this is the same promise he’s made since 2009 and follows the same comprehensive approach he and his congressional allies took with Obamacare.
In the midst of soaring rhetoric, the obvious pitfalls are lost on the President.
Everybody knows that our current immigration system is broken. Across the political spectrum, people understand that. We’ve known it for years.
Now, the good news is, this year the Senate has already passed an immigration reform bill by a wide, bipartisan majority that addressed all of these issues. It’s a bill that would continue to strengthen our borders.
Our immigration system is definitely flawed, but that is in large part due to the failure to enforce current law. In 1986, Americans were promised that an amnesty-first immigration bill would solve all our immigration problems. Now we find ourselves in the same predicament.
There are also many concerns surrounding the Senate bill expressed by those who stand guard on our nation’s border. Through its illegal and unilateral actions pertaining to Obamacare, this administration has undercut its credibility when it comes to enforcing the law. There is a correct way forward.
I’m not running for office again. I just believe this is the right thing to do. (Applause) I just believe this is the right thing to do.
During his first 15 months in office, the President rammed through the stimulus, Dodd-Frank, Obamacare and a plethora of smaller bills all on nearly party-line votes. Had amnesty-first immigration reform been a priority for him, he could have achieved it during that time.
Instead, it now serves as a political gambit. He sees the unpopularity of Obamacare and has now turned to something else that he thinks may save his legacy, or at the very least distract from his failures.
Now, obviously, just because something is smart and fair and good for the economy and fiscally responsible and supported by business and labor — (laughter) — and the evangelical community and many Democrats and many Republicans, that does not mean that it will actually get done. (Laughter.) This is Washington, after all.
Granting special privileges to one group over another is the antithesis of fair. There are an estimated 4.5 million people waiting in line for the opportunity to come to America legally. The Senate-passed bill advocated by the President would allow those here illegally to cut the front of the line. Almost immediately, they would be allowed to live and work in the United States legally, while millions are still waiting outside the country.
America deserves more than presidential pandering. Our country faces serious challenges – skyrocketing insurance premiums, stagnant wages, and anemic job growth, just to name a few – and the President’s amnesty pivot will do nothing of substance.