Nathan Martin spoke up at the MTV town-hall forum to ask President Obama why he has intervened to stop Arizona from enforcing immigration law but has yet to intervene to stop California from flouting federal law on marijuana. Martin is actually a member of the Salem family; he works as an associate producer on Bill Bennett’s nationally-syndicated Morning in America radio show. Nathan probably walked away rather disappointed, because he didn’t actually get an answer to his question. Instead, Obama delivered a talking-points defense of Amnesty Lite:
Here’s what Obama didn’t answer. He didn’t answer why, if he wants to “work with states,” he’s suing Arizona for enforcing the existing law and claiming federal pre-emption. Obama also didn’t answer why his administration has yet to claim federal pre-emption in drug enforcement while California and other states actually help violate federal laws. Whether or not the latter is good policy, it’s entirely contradictory. The federal government has a much clearer case on pre-emption for states with medical-marijuana laws than it does with a state trying to enforce laws.
That wasn’t the end of the misdirection, either. Conservatives who want border control have no problem going after employers who “exploit” illegal immigrants. No one is saying that enforcement should exclude employment verification. That’s why conservatives pushed the e-Verify system, which got opposition from open-borders advocates. And Obama may be spending more money on border enforcement in general — deportations are up, for instance — but he and his party blocked the funding for the common-sense solution of a border barrier, which proved so effective in California that it shifted the problems of illegal entry and violence to Arizona.
Martin asked a good question. All he got in response was sloganeering.