Snap Fact #288
1.7 Million Youngsters affected by the President’s “Obamagration” Policy!

On August 15, 2012 President Obama’s bold executive order began a process to allow youngsters a 2 year reprieve from the threat of deportation hanging over them.

The move was bold for 2 reasons. First, after a couple of years of trying to get the Dream Act through Congress, the President finally had to take it upon himself and issue an executive order that began a process to bring some sanity to the mess that has become our broken immigration system. The other reason is political. The American public could have taken the President’s actions either positively or negatively – in true Trumanesque fashion he just went ahead and did the right thing regardless of the political consequences..

As with everything the President does there was much whining and gnashing of teeth from all quarters of the right wing. Some carped that the President did not go far enough – this said by the very people who blocked every attempt to do anything about immigration for the last 2 years. Others cried that it was a faulted program that would be unpopular among the very people it was trying to help. Of course it was faulted, but only because the President was again forced to act alone. Once implemented the President’s Rational program found immense popularity.

Back on April 13th the President was interview by “Noticiero Telemundo” News Anchor José Díaz-Balart . When asked about immigration reform, the President blamed Republicans for blocking it: “Somehow Republicans want to have it both ways, they want to vote against these laws and appeal to anti-immigrant sentiment when we have a nominee who said that Arizona laws, which allow those same kids with Latino surnames to potentially be picked up and asked for their papers, and then they come and say: ‘but we really care about getting this issue resolved once and for all.’ That looks like hypocrisy to me. What I want to see is folks to be serious about getting this issue resolved once and for all. I am prepared to do it. I am going to fight for it, I am going to push for it, and I think the vast majority of democrats are going to do so as well.”

Well, the proof is in the pudding. Anyone watching TV on August 15th could see by the huge lines of happy young people, and their parents, waiting to enroll in the program throughout the country. It turned out to be a huge success among those very young people it affected, as well as their families, thus quieting the critics and even encouraging Republicans like Marco Rubio to claim that they have a better plan.

The lines were long and the optimism was high that this is the first step to a more sane comprehensive immigration policy after the election gives us an Obama second term along with a Democratic Congress to partner in creating Rational programs without the obstructionism that currently exists in the “Do Nothing” Congress.
There are a number of important issues in this campaign that the opposition either uses old information, or simply makes up incorrect facts to make their points. Immigration is just one of those issues. Certainly there are millions of undocumented illegal immigrants living in this country. Surely there needs to be a national discussion to find win/win solutions so these people can make their contributions to America while not bumping legal immigrants from their rightful spots. It’s a thorny problem but it will need both sides to listen to one another, compromise, and implement the best solutions.

As with so many of today’s issues, the discussion has been shut down by the Republican Party under their strategy of not giving the President any wins in order to hopefully dislodge him from office. In the Hispanic community, at least, the wisdom of this bad behavior has been recognized. This has resulted in a large lead for the President in that community.
One of the obvious scare tactics that the Republicans have been using to discredit the President is their repeated claims about the porous Mexican border. The fact is that there has been a Zero net gain in illegal population. This is not new news and the Republicans know it, yet they persist in spreading this dis-information around. As far back as January of 2012 the San Antonio Express News commented thusly: “The idea of protecting the border has become the de rigueur for any conversation about immigration reform or about what we are to do with the 11 million persons who live and work within the borders of the United States and who have no legal permission to be here. Five years ago that was a valid argument, if only because the number of undocumented people who crossed the border back then propped-up the fear. Today, though, that argument has fallen flat.”

The article continued, “A collection of research organizations — the Pew Hispanic Center, the University of California and others — have all reached the same conclusion: undocumented immigration, from Mexico specifically, has declined to a net-zero. Immigration from other Latin American countries is rapidly declining.”

The bottom line is that the President has opened the door to working out a Rational, sustainable and fair immigration policy. Working in partnership with a cooperative Democratic 113th Congress this out-of-balance situation will be addressed in a sensible way resulting in a susstainable long term solution. For those who claim that the president does not have a plan for immigration reform, here it is – right from the Official White House web site.

President Obama recognizes that our current immigration system is broken and he is deeply committed to building a new 21st century immigration system that meets our nation’s important economic and security needs. In his State of the Union Address, the President laid out his vision for winning the future. To secure prosperity for all Americans, we must out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world, and fixing our immigration system plays an important part in that plan. As we work to rebuild our economy, our ability to thrive depends, in part on restoring responsibility and accountability to the immigration system.

President's Vision for Reform
The President plans to create a 21st century immigration system by:
  • Continuing to fulfill the federal government’s responsibility to securing our borders;
  • Demanding accountability for businesses that break the law by undermining American workers and exploiting undocumented workers;
  • Strengthening our economic competiveness by creating a legal immigration system that reflects our values and diverse needs; and
  • Requiring responsibility from people who are living in the United States illegally.

Building on Progress
During the last two years, the Obama Administration has taken important steps to improve our immigration system within the boundaries of existing laws. For example, the Administration has:
  • Dedicated unprecedented resources to secure the border;
  • Made interior and worksite enforcement smarter and more effective; and
  • Worked to improve our legal immigration system.