Friday, December 9, 2011

Obama’s Christmas list rewards illegals

President’s policies favor border-jumpers over unemployed Americans

This holiday season, it seems President Obama is making a list and checking twice to find out who’s been naughty and nice. But unlike Santa’s list, Mr. Obama’s list is not based on merit. The president and administration officials are determined to make their own list that rewards lawbreakers and penalizes American workers.

There are an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants living in the United States and about 7 million of them work here illegally. At the same time, 23 million Americans are unemployed or cannot find full-time work. Jobs should be protected for legal workers.But the Obama administration places illegal immigrants ahead of the interests of American workers.

For example, last Christmas the Obama administration and then-Democrat-controlled Congress pushed for the enactment of the Dream Act. This bill is essentially a gift-wrapped jobs package for illegal immigrants. The Dream Act would prevent Americans from getting jobs since millions of illegal immigrants would have become eligible to work legally in the United States.

Under some Dream Act proposals, amnesty would be given to individuals under the age of 30 who supposedly were brought to the United States as children, though the government does not have the resources to check. This means an estimated 2 million illegal immigrants would be eligible for amnesty, according to the Migration Policy Institute.

The Dream Act penalizes American workers and forces them to compete with illegal immigrants for scarce jobs. It also encourages more illegal immigration and is a magnet for fraud. Fortunately, the Dream Act faced bipartisan opposition and was defeated. But this has not stopped the Obama administration from giving amnesty to illegal immigrants.

Recently, political appointees at the Department of Homeland Security issued new deportation guidelines that amount to backdoor amnesty and strike another blow at the 14 million unemployed U.S. workers.

This stocking stuffer could allow illegal immigrants to receive work authorization and could put even more U.S. citizens on the unemployment rolls. In fact, when illegal immigrants are allowed to stay in the United States and apply for work authorization, the Obama administration grants it 90 percent of the time.

Christmas has also come early for illegal immigrants through the Obama administration’s inaction. Under this administration, work site enforcement has plummeted 70 percent. This means there have been fewer arrests of illegal workers, fewer criminal arrests, fewer indictments and fewer convictions.

Without work site enforcement, we can’t stop employers from hiring illegal workers. If we don’t stop employers from hiring illegal immigrants, we can’t put a stop to the jobs magnet. And as long as the jobs magnet exists, millions of illegal immigrants will come to the U.S. and take jobs from lawful workers.

The Obama administration also hurts American workers by suing states that seek to enforce immigration laws instead of focusing on their duty to carry out all of our laws. In fact, the administration has sued Arizona, Alabama, South Carolina and Utah for their laws designed to reduce illegal immigration and protect American workers.

But at the same time, the Obama administration looks the other way when states and localities undermine federal immigration laws. The administration has ignored efforts by Illinois, Massachusetts and New York to stop participating in Secure Communities. This common-sense program keeps our neighborhoods safe by identifying illegal and criminal immigrants in police custody who have been arrested and fingerprinted. The administration also has refused to penalize sanctuary cities that blatantly defy federal immigration laws.

Mr. Obama and his administration are on the wrong side of the American people. According to a recent poll, two-thirds of the American people want to see immigration laws enforced.

This holiday season, Mr. Obama should give American workers the gift they want. He could give unemployed American workers an opportunity to go back to work if he simply enforced all immigration laws. But it seems he is determined to reward illegal immigrants instead.


Immigration Revisited

Armstrong Williams

Is it possible to be pro-immigration in this country and still support the principles of the State of Alabama’s immigration laws, dubbed some of the strictest in the nation? Absolutely. Sound paradoxical?

Not at all.

Being pro-immigration shouldn’t mean that you are an advocate of illegal immigration. It just means that you are sympathetic to the needs, dreams, and goals of those who come to our country to make better lives for themselves and their families. Try looking at it from their perspective, imagine if all you were trying to do was make a better life for you and your family? You too would do whatever it takes to make that a reality, and that’s all they wish to achieve. People can have these dreams and come into our country the right way, coming up with solutions to stop or slow the influx of illegal’s will help allay the belief that illegal immigrants are stealing American jobs and degrading our society.

Yes, the state’s laws are tough and in some cases, questionable, as in one provision that requires students to document their immigration status before enrolling in school. The fact that less than 10 percent of Hispanics failed to do so in recent weeks shouldn’t come as any surprise, if you believe that close to 10 percent of Alabama’s Hispanic population is here illegally. I don’t know the exact number in the state, but it’s not as if no one of Hispanic origin showed to school that day.

I hate to continue laying America’s toughest social problems – the economy, moral compass, immigration, etc. – at the feet of this president and Congress, but it’s their fault.

Alabama’s laws are based on a simple principle: If you’re in the state in such a manner that wantonly violates the laws of the land, then they’re going to do what the Feds are unwilling to do – step up and call you out. If you don’t like the current immigration policies, then change the law! Don’t just complain about more responsible governments like Alabama’s who step up and actually enforce the laws on the books. And listen, there is a role here for pro-immigration groups, both Hispanic and non – to play. It’s in everyone’s best interests to step up and clean up the immigration policies of the United States. Let’s end the confusion and the suspicious glances. Let’s end the mindless accusations such as one Alabama lawmaker, when he said he sponsored the bill because, “They were coming in here like thieves in the night and taking our jobs and tax revenue.” That’s a little over the top. Immigration violators are deserving of justice, not hatred. And when one slams into the other, problems arise.

Congress and the president have a responsibility to address this issue, not bat it around every two or four years to score political points. Easier said than done? It shouldn’t be. Just look at states such as Arizona, South Carolina, Utah and Georgia.

South Carolina is requiring all employers to register new hires with the Department of Homeland Security’s E-Verify system within three days of their employment or risk suspension, or revocation, of their business licenses. Arizona passed a bill making it a misdemeanor for an alien to be in the state without carrying the required documents while also requiring residency status to be checked for any legal violation, misdemeanor or otherwise. Utah’s laws were to be much more comprehensive and sympathetic. Under Utah’s laws undocumented non-criminal immigrants that were working would receive documents making them legal residents, police would only be required to check immigration status for felonies and serious misdemeanors, and illegal immigrants working before May of 2011 could obtain residency documents if they passed a background check and paid a fine up to $2500. Georgia also tried to pass a comprehensive, though significantly less sympathetic, set of laws that did nothing but thoroughly confuse the many employers in the state, and confusion does nothing but to lead to more problems.

Alabama isn’t even a border state, they just know the effect of illegal immigrants on their state and on their bottom line, and they’re just tired of waiting for the Feds to act. Aren’t we all?


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