Friday, November 21, 2014

Immigration Action: Immigration Nation

"You can come out of the shadows." 
 President Obama, speech on his Executive Order on Immigration 
Photo by Jim Bourg/Getty Image, in Washington Post, 20 November 2014.
President Obama did the right thing. He did the smart thing, too.   He came out and addressed the long-simmering immigration issue because Congress hasn't. He took charge. He's not going to play dead because angry Republicans, powerless against his initiative, continue to pummel him beyond reason.

Obama's plan is simple, straightforward, and timely--all he can do legally in an Executive Order.  As he himself said in his speech, it is not a substitute for real change to a broken immigration system. That's in the hands of the US Congress.

He threw the ball into their court: "Pass a Bill."  Do your job. 

As far as I am concerned, however, the Boehner-led House of Representatives has flunked every test of accountability and responsibility. The Republican Obama haters have stalled on the immigration issue for 500 days. Now they are talking about talking! Now they are talking about "King" Obama. "Emperor" Obama.  It's almost funny. Because they have been one-upped. Because the President has been talking with them, consulting with them, prodding them, for 500 days  To no avail. The truth is that Boehner has sat on a Senate-passed compromise bill for over a year, and for no apparent or transparent reason.

So, okay, let's hammer the president about the legality of his Executive Order (and throw in a lawsuit against Obamacare at the same time).  Good lord. Boehner is frothing at the mouth, and most other Rs are joining him.  But the Appropriations Committee has already addressed the issue:
"The primary agency for implementing the President’s new immigration executive order is the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This agency is entirely self-funded through the fees it collects on various immigration applications. Congress does not appropriate funds for any of its operations, including the issuance of immigration status or work permits, with the exception of the ‘E-Verify’ program. Therefore, the Appropriations process cannot be used to ‘de-fund’ the agency. The agency has the ability to continue to collect and use fees to continue current operations, and to expand operations as under a new Executive Order, without needing legislative approval by the Appropriations Committee or the Congress, even under a continuing resolution or a government shutdown.”

Boehner and his cronies are lying to the American people.  They are making up ridiculous scenarios.  They are spewing forth propaganda that almost matches Putin's propaganda about his invasion of Ukraine.  It's plain wrong.  It's disinformation. Dishonest. Untruthful.  I think most people will see through it.

I hope all immigrants affected by Obama's Executive Order, mostly parents and children, "come out of the shadows" and vote in 2016.  The Latino vote.  The Asian vote.  The immigrant vote.  And, afterall, we are ALL immigrants.  It will matter.  That will be the best action Americans can take against this hateful do-nothing Congress out to get Obama.

With thanks to the Latin Grammy Awards for stopping their award show in LA to listen to Obama's speech, and wildly applauding it afterward!

And to CNN for a report, "Obama Echoes Bush," that juxtaposes George W. Bush's 2006 speech urging Congressional action on immigration with President Obama's speech last night. Totally in sync.   "We are and always will be a nation of immigrants."

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