Green Room

Obamigration: Walls, Windows, and Empty Words

posted at 6:03 am on May 12, 2011 by

We start Sgt. Friday style, with just the facts, ma’am. President Barack H. Obama has suddenly discovered that the United States shares a longish border with Mexico on the south. Or at least this is the first time he has visited there; so if he knew about it before yesterday, it didn’t make much of an impression.

The president, during his 2008 campaign, assured activists for the illegales that he would find a way to extend amnesty to the estimated twelve to twenty million illegal aliens. But of much greater weight than merely keeping his word, he evidently is sniffing wavering support among American Hispanics for the perpetuation of his atrocity administration: Perhaps the formerly steadfast Obamic Hispanic cadre has grown perturbed by the lousy economy, unconscionable unemployment, staggering spending, metastasizing debt — and the daily assaults by his administration on the small businesses that might raise Mexican and other Hispanic immigrants from hardship to ownership.

American Hispanics could even decide, God forbid, that the very socialism and “Progressivism” they fled from in Latin America might still be just as wicked and unacceptable here in the land of the fee and home of the rave. Therefore, the AHs might conclude that Barack Obama has had his innings; and now it’s time to return to fiscal sanity by voting for Tea-Party Republicans.

Or at least, so President B.O. appears to fear; for he has marched to the border to proclaim border-security utopia:

[Obama] made the case that with more Border Patrol agents, a border fence and falling crime rates, he has checked border security off the to-do list, and it’s time for Congress to write a legalization bill — an issue that has stalled since 2007, when it failed in a dramatic bipartisan filibuster on the Senate floor.

“We have gone above and beyond what was requested by the very Republicans who said they supported broader reform as long as we got serious about enforcement. All the stuff they asked for, we’ve done,” he said.

“But even though we’ve answered these concerns, I’ve got to say I suspect there are still going to be some who are trying to move the goal posts on us.”

Yes… move them back where they were a couple of years ago. (This source shall hereafter be known as “the story.”)

Out of 1,969 miles of border between the United States and Mexico, some 873 miles — 44.3% — are under “operational control,” according to the Border Patrol. Operational control means “the Border Patrol has the capacity to deter illegal crossers and pursue them when they’re spotted;” of course, under that definition, violent crime in Juarez is likewise under operational control, because the cops are free to chase suspects through the streets. (Whether they catch them is another question.)

(This source shall hereafter be known as “the editorial”.)

But it seems that even such a loose standard is too tight for the Obamanistas, as Homeland Security Secretary Janet “Bonaparte” Napolitano was dispatched to Congress to enunciate a new measuring stick for border security; from the story:

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano last week told Congress that she is scrapping the “operational control” yardstick and will come up with a new definition to measure border security that does not require the border to be entirely sealed – something she said is not achievable.

The editorial goes into somewhat more detail:

The Obama administration has cooked up a novel way to calculate what a great job his Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has been doing in stemming the flow of aliens flooding over the border from Mexico. In March, Ms. Napolitano stood on a bridge connecting El Paso to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, and proclaimed border security to be “better than ever.” In testimony before the Senate Homeland Security Committee last week, Ms. Napolitano claimed that the meaning of “operational control” of the border is “archaic” and that she intends to devise a “more quantitative and qualitative way to reflect what actually is occurring at the border.” She said she wants an index that would include a measure of how many persons have been deterred from even attempting to jump the border.

By counting these theoretical illegals – as opposed to real ones – Ms. Napolitano’s border-security mission becomes much easier. While hundreds of thousands actually cross over annually, compared to, say, Mexico’s entire population of 112 million, they represent a tiny fraction. Preventing border crossing in a computer model or a spreadsheet allows Ms. Napolitano to proclaim “mission accomplished” without having to actually crack down in a way that would offend left-wing open-border advocacy groups.

Describing the projected deterence of millions of phantom Mexicans who might (or might not) have contemplated entering the U.S. illegally, but who chose in any event not to do so, as a great “success” of Obamic border control — and then using that suspicion of success to argue for immediate legalization of illegals — takes a proud place among the miraculous verbal confabulations of this administration:

  • “Leading from behind.” (Not to be confused with bleeding from the behind.)
  • “Spending reductions in the tax code.” (Not to be confused with reductions in spending.)
  • And of course, who could forget the most obvious parallel: all those jobs that were “created or saved” during the period that crass Republicans refer to as a recession: Sure unemployment skyrocketed when Obama took the oath of office; but imagine how many millions, billions, of fictional jobs would have been lost had Canal-Zone immigrant John McCain won!

Take Obama at his word: He has achieved a stellar but imaginary victory over invisible lawbreakers who didn’t jump the border when they very well could have, had they actually existed. Perhaps those phantom illegals just stood in bed because, with our current 9% unemployment, not enough jobs have been created or saved for them.

So those are the facts: Mohammed came to the mountain, lest the mountain vote Republican. But what’s the real issue here beyond mere fact-mongering? Only this; here are the elements of Barack Obama’s dream immigration bill — or so he claims:

While the president was speaking, the White House released a blueprint for a four-part plan to address immigration: maintain border security enhancements; phase in mandatory electronic checks for all employees; revamp the legal immigration system; and grant a pathway to citizenship to illegal immigrants who go through a background check, haven’t committed crimes, pay fines and back taxes and wait at least eight years before getting a green card.

Sound familiar? It should: The “blueprint” appears to have been essentially Xeroxed from McCain’s Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006, which George W. Bush pushed heavily (as the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007).

Of the blueprint items above, the most important was the least discussed: “Revamp the legal immigration system.” I have written extensively about this issue; alert readers will discover that I fall into precisely none of the usual categories.

I am guided by two aphorisms that I have eructated over the years:

  1. First, there is no wall so strong that a million people cannot knock it down.
  2. But equally true, invited guests don’t sneak through the window; they knock on the front door.

The corollary to (2) above is that anyone who is trying to sneak through the window is crashing the party, and he deserves everything he’s got coming to him. He’s a no-goodnik.

Link them together and you get this: Enforcement alone cannot solve our problem with illegal immigration; there simply are too many illegals entering daily for the beleagured Border Patrol to find and process. The only real and lasting solution includes both enforcement and also drastic reform of the legal immigration system, so to accomplish two main goals:

  • Giving would-be legal immigrants a path to citizenship that is predictable, just, and biased in favor of those immigrants who already have American values.
  • Thus relieving the pressure on the enforcement policies.

We have no great interest in keeping out immigrants who want to come to America because they believe in the American creed of liberty, Capitalism, “In God we trust,” and “E pluribus unum;” in fact, those are precisely the immigrants we want, because they add to the melting pot of assimilation, rather than the salad bowl of “diversity.”

Right now, the vast, vast majority of those crossing over illegally are thoroughly Americanized, and would pose no threat and violate no laws, but for the arbitrary, arcane, and insane rules of the USCIS and the INS before them. But because we treat those illegals the same way we treat mules for Chihuahuan drug cartels, slave traders, and radical Islamist terrorists, we have no resources left to catch the real bad guys sneaking in among the sea of desperate good guys just trying to do what’s best for their families.

And because the legal immigration system is unjust, unpredictable, and arbitrary, we drive into the desert those who would ordinarily be invited guests — whence they do their best to sneak through the window, after the front door is slammed in their faces without a word of explanation, a morsel of consistency, an inch of a safe pathway, or a shred of hope.

So far, no politician for or against an immigration reform bill has told me exactly what reforms would make us safer and what would make us more vulnerable; and until that communications task is complete, none of us can have any idea whether the bill du jour is worth buying or not.

Alas, I do not believe the Obamunist really gives a rat’s hoot about immigrants, legal or il-; he cares only about the people who choose to vote for Obama come 2012. Legally or il-.

Cross-posted on Big Lizards

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The Won was lying about this just like he’ll lie about our health care. ‘You’re not sick, you have a doctors appointment’, is what we’ll be told. This reminds me of Juan Williams telling the Pima County sheriff that everything’s ok on the border because Big Sis said so.

Kissmygrits on May 12, 2011 at 8:42 AM

We have a “path to citizenship” already. To say we need one is to imply that we don’t have one, and that is patently false. The real question at-stake here is, do we need to make it easier to become a citizen legally? Or harder? Or should we keep things the same?

And don’t get me started on “enforcement-only” policies. We’re not enforcing the law at all now. Maybe we should try before we declare our enforcement policies DOA.

gryphon202 on May 12, 2011 at 9:22 AM

One assumption in this discussion is that ALL illegal aliens wish to stay in the US permanently, but I’ve had many individuals claim that they are just here long enough to earn money to send home, etc. If that were the case (and I know people freak on this part of the discussion) a guest worker program that is user friendly, efficient and has easy to follow enforceable time limits would go a long way to dealing with the illegal status problem. If you take away then incentive to sneak across the border or to work off the books, then you go a long way to solving the problem. One of our main problems right now is that we are not following up on those who overstay their current student and work visas.

2nd Ammendment Mother on May 12, 2011 at 11:26 AM

The real question at-stake here is, do we need to make it easier to become a citizen legally?

The current system does need some “overhaul” from the ground up to be more efficient and user friendly, but not to make it easier to qualify. I’ve had friends go through the current system and they describe it as chaos with one department providing contradictory instructions to another area and loaded with pitfalls. Many of the steps just don’t make sense. To make matters worse, there are a number of predatory types out there that claim to do the paperwork for you for an exorbitant fee, but just like a bad accountant can make your situation worse. And I do think that Republicans could make a lot of political hay by making a big deal about those who immigrate by following the rules (as horrible as they are) rather than attempt to cheat.

2nd Ammendment Mother on May 12, 2011 at 11:36 AM

I want a moat with alligators, dammit.

J.E. Dyer on May 12, 2011 at 2:58 PM

One of our main problems right now is that we are not following up on those who overstay their current student and work visas.

2nd Ammendment Mother on May 12, 2011 at 11:26 AM

There’s no way to know how many that overstay their student/work visas ever have any intention of leaving, but in the end, it doesn’t matter. We have laws. Those laws include rules for securing work visas, student visas, and other forms of lawful residency. Those rules are simply not being enforced and it’s a slap in the face to those that do voluntarily follow them.

gryphon202 on May 12, 2011 at 5:14 PM

I’ve had friends go through the current system and they describe it as chaos with one department providing contradictory instructions to another area and loaded with pitfalls. Many of the steps just don’t make sense. To make matters worse, there are a number of predatory types out there that claim to do the paperwork for you for an exorbitant fee, but just like a bad accountant can make your situation worse. And I do think that Republicans could make a lot of political hay by making a big deal about those who immigrate by following the rules (as horrible as they are) rather than attempt to cheat.

2nd Ammendment Mother on May 12, 2011 at 11:36 AM

Chalk up another item in the laundry list of things that government is piss-poor at. Funny, isn’t it? They say “we can’t deport all these people,” but we’ve never tried. They say enforcing current law is unreasonable, but when have we ever done that? It disgusts me to no end. Worms.

gryphon202 on May 12, 2011 at 5:16 PM

I want a moat with alligators, dammit.

J.E. Dyer on May 12, 2011 at 2:58 PM

That’s what I thought when I heard that pathetic excuse for a speech. WTF is wrong with an alligator moat? I’d settle for that.

gryphon202 on May 12, 2011 at 5:17 PM