Monday, November 17, 2014

Immigration

I continue to be popular in Norway; 400 hits in the past week, more than from any other country by far.  No specific post is being hit more than others, and those being hit do not seem to have any common theme.  Not sure if America's immigration woes are shared with Norway, but I welcome any comments from a Norwegian if interested.


Before delving into the current immigration debate, I want to review the recent election results.  Clearly, the American people sent a clear message to the president and the democrats that they are not happy with the current state of the union.  With the stock market at record territory, unemployment back to pre-recession levels, GDP growth at its highest since 2004-2005, and very little loss of American life in overseas wars, its no wonder that the electorate is prime for a change.


Oh, that's right.  None of this news is broadcast on Fox channels.  Even Fox business news with Lou Dobbs glances over the actual state of business and talks politics and how bad the Obama Administration is handling, name your topic.  Crime is down, especially violent crime, yet we are told to be fearful on a daily basis.  More people have health insurance now, yet the Affordable Care Act is ruining America. 


The one true number that is troubling Americans, is take home pay.  While the top 1% has seen tremendous growth in their spending power, share of income, and actual wealth, the middle class has not yet felt that surge in spending power.  In real dollars, the average worker has barely kept even with inflation, if at all.  Fortunately, gas prices in specific, and energy prices in general have decreased - when they were up, Obama was blamed on FOX, but I guess that is a one-way street for them - but sadly, sales for trucks and cars with low mpg ratings have begun to rise -  Ugh. 


Fortunately, the GOP has many proposals in the pipeline to address low pay for Americans.  Debates about income inequality, minimum wage increases, equal pay for equal work are all hallmarks of the GOP economic platform, which is why they increased their majority in Washington, as well as in many states.  What, you say, they are against all those measures?  Well, then surely, a drive to limit tax breaks for the wealthiest individuals and corporations must be at the top of their agenda?  After all, when the wealthiest pay less, the rest of us have to pay more.  No, they are against those measures too?  So, what you are saying is that the one area where our economy is lagging, take home pay for the average worker, is the exact area where the newly elected majority has worked the hardest to keep the status quo, and to enhance the position of those with the most.  Hmm. 


Which brings us to immigration.  (Sorry it took so long).  The president has promised to use executive action to change immigration law in this country.  Understandably, the GOP controlled House and soon to be Senate are apoplectic.   The fact that a bipartisan immigration reform measure passed the Senate but died in the House doesn't seem to matter.  However, I do agree that the president should not act alone in this important area, just as I agree that the president should not be able to wage war without Congressional approval.  The problem is, since Obama is evil and everything he does, thinks and proposes reflects his hatred of America, the GOP has no other option but to either disagree with him, or do nothing when they agree, as you can't agree with the views of someone as vile as they have portrayed him. 


Common sense dictates that you can't round up the 11 million illegal immigrants now in America without creating some kind of paramilitary organization that would supersede local and state police jurisdiction, and most likely violate the fourth amendment regarding unlawful search and seizures.  Common sense also dictates that people who came to the United States illegally, should not be granted citizenship just because they are here now.  Therefore, it seems prudent for the president to stay within the boundaries of these two common sense tenants.  Remove the threat of deportation for those who have not committed a crime other than illegal entry while continuing to deport those deemed undesirable.  Make some type of registration necessary to avoid deportation, which should not only give the registrants some peace of mind, but help us track down those employers who have taken advantage of illegals via poor working conditions and meager pay while also circumventing their requirement to pay the appropriate taxes for these workers (or hire Americans).  Grant citizenship to those born in America (the Dream Act or some new version of it) but whose parents are illegal.  And, budget an agreeable increase in securing the border, via a larger barrier, more patrols, etc so that those attempting entry in the future are less apt to succeed.


Is this a perfect plan?  No.  Will it keep out all illegals forever?  No.  But is does give those here already, a chance to emerge from hiding, pay taxes, and participate in some of the advantages of America, without granting them citizenship which would reward their crime.  It also throws a bone to the far right in terms of making a better effort to close our borders more tightly.  And, if Obama is smart, he will make his executive order law only if nothing is passed in the House and Senate within a certain time table, say 6 months to a year.  The good news is that an executive order will movre the debate forward, allow the GOP to create their own bill, and give the American public some type of evidence that the GOP and the president can act as adults in attempting to resolve the issue.


Finally, for those of you unfamiliar with executive orders, feel free to click on the following link


http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/executive-orders/disposition.html


It will show you a summary of the presidents and the executive orders they have signed since Hoover.  You will notice that Obama has signed just under 200 such orders, Bush 2 just under 300 in his two terms.  Bush 1 and Ford were low instance users.  Reagan signed about twice as many as Obama, Hoover and Truman signed almost 1000 each, and Franklin Roosevelt was the king of the executive order signing over 3400 in his 3+ terms.  I would suggest that perhaps those arguing the loudest against Obama's use of the executive order should propose a law limiting or making illegal such orders but even the GOP is not that shortsighted in knowing that when a future Republican is elected president, they would not want to limit his/her power.        


 

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