Americans who think that the Constitution is the nation's highest law got a rude awakening last week. As it turns out, an even loftier lawmaking level governs the land: President Barack Obama's personal opinion. Laws Obama doesn't like, like those that enforce immigration, he ignores.
In a demonstration of naked disregard, last week Obama announced that his administration would stop deporting illegal immigrants between the ages of 16 and 31. Of course, there wasn't much deportation going on, but now it's officially dead. The administration conservatively estimates that 800,000 immigrants could be affected; the Pew Hispanic Center more realistically puts the total at 1.4 million. Factor in the inevitable fraud that always goes hand-in-hand with immigration legislation and the final number will be much larger.
Immigration law is set by the Legislative Branch and is not subject to Executive Branch whims. Nevertheless, Obama's edict realizes many of the DREAM Act's objectives — never mind that Congress defeated the DREAM Act in all of its manifestations multiple times during the last decade.
Not only won't DREAMers be deported but — jackpot! — they instead will be given work permits allowing them to immediately compete in a job market where 20 million Americans are either unemployed or underemployed. Many have been jobless for more than six months. From a knee-deep statistical pile of data that underline Obama's callous disregard for non-working Americans, I offer the following. Caution, strong stomach required.
Unemployment for older than 55-year-olds has risen 330 percent in 10 years; 53 percent of college graduates since 2006 cannot find full employment; unemployment among returning African-American vets exceeds 40 percent; and 8 million aliens already hold payroll jobs. Teenagers with or without high school diplomas, and including Hispanics and blacks, have had sustained unemployment levels above 30 percent.
In his Rose Garden speech, Obama ludicrously claimed that his executive order would make immigration policy "more fair, more efficient and more just." But when a reporter asked Obama to explain exactly how his new immigration law is fair to American citizens, Obama turned his back and walked away. The president, knowing that his mandate is the opposite of how he described it — that is, it's unfair, inefficient and unjust — took no questions.
If I were the president, I'd ignore questions, too. Consider this: On the same day Obama exposed his American betrayal, the Bureau of Labor statistics released its latest non-seasonally adjusted data that showed the unemployment rate for foreign-born workers in the United States is lower (7.4 percent) than for native-born workers (8.0 percent).
Obama knows but doesn't care that he's violated the Constitution. Just a few months ago, explaining to a Hispanic audience why he had been unable to fulfill his 2008 campaign promises to deliver comprehensive immigration reform, he said: "I cannot do this alone because there are laws on the books." By end-running Congress, Obama has set out on his own totalitarian and anti-American path.
I'll answer the reporter's question about fairness that Obama brushed off. The only beneficiaries are those who get green cards and their Beltway ethnic identity advocates whose lobbying salaries depend on their successes in subverting U.S. law. Americans — no fairness for them — be damned
Whether Obama will realize his obvious goal of garnering enough Hispanic votes to gain re-election remains to be seen. As his unprecedented executive order receives more publicity and analysis, a backlash from outraged Americans may ultimately undermine Obama's craven pandering.
Joe Guzzardi retired from the Lodi Adult School in 2008. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.