Obama’s views on immigration are divisive and irresponsible

Reno Gazette Journal July 10, 2016


Last month the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against President Obama in the United States v. Texas lawsuit. The suit challenged a Department of Homeland Security program to provide undocumented immigrant parents of U.S. citizen children temporary protection against involuntary removal.

In addition to his executive orders being confirmed to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, the president’s views on immigration are irresponsible. What he advocates is complete amnesty to illegal immigrants, hoping that Americans have amnesia of an identical approach that was taken in 1986 when 2.7 million illegal immigrants were granted blanket amnesty. The result: We have 12 million more illegal immigrants in the country today. Reward certain behavior and you are sure to get more of it.

Let’s face it: Given a choice, half the world would like to live in America. We have neither the room to fit that many residents nor the economy to support them. Millions around the world are denied American visas when they apply legally. Granting amnesty to those who are here illegally is nothing more than rewarding them for breaking the laws. Furthermore, it is prejudicial against those who respect the laws of this great country by applying for a visa. Amnesty is nothing more than pure political pandering and is fundamentally wrong, morally unfair, and – while it may help the president’s party – it will divide America. We witnessed such a division play itself out when Britain exited the European Union, due in no small part to the refugee crisis precipitated by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the preceding year.

Immigration should be legal, controlled and based on the needs of the United States. This country, like most other countries, should have the right to choose who comes here and who gets to stay here. Illegal immigration costs government money at all levels. According to 2010 data from the Heritage Foundation, an average illegal immigrant receives $46,582 in government benefits while paying $11,469 in taxes. This essentially results in the taxpayer footing a bill (benefits received minus taxes paid) of $35,113 for every illegal immigrant household every year. If the president succeeds, the taxpayers of Reno (and all Americans) will pay the price. This price includes higher taxes, crowded roads, higher welfare payouts, overcrowded schools (with language challenges not tolerated in other countries) and retirement benefits, among other things.

One final point: Calling those who disagree with illegal immigration xenophobes, bigots and racists merely suppresses honest discussion that should be part of any democratic society, and does significant injustice. Obama’s former Attorney General Eric Holder called us a nation of cowards when it comes to race. He is right, except that it is his (and his political allies’) name-calling and accusations that continues to suppress an honest debate on race and other important topics.