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Blogging: Will Obama's cynical and shortsighted anti-immigrant policies cost him re-election? By Roger Algase

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By deporting a million people, according to current estimates, most of whom have no criminal record or have been convicted only of minor crimes, Obama may pick up a handful of votes next year from immigration opponents, at least those who are comfortable with an African-American president and who accept the fact that he is not a Muslim. How many voters are there like that?


Well, I said a handful. I count ten fingers on my hands, and that may be as good an estimate as any of the total number of white "centrist" voters in America who would otherwise have opposed Obama, but might be persuaded to give him another four years to show what more he can do as America's Deporter in Chief.  In return for this microscopic trickle of potential "centrist" or "independent" white votes, what is Obama almost certainly giving up? Only a few tens of millions of Latino votes, in all probability, plus maybe another couple of million, or at least a few hundred thousand, Asian and other minority votes.


For the past thre years, Obama's immigration strategy has been based on the assumption that the Republicans have a monopoly on populating America's lunatic asylums with their attempts to criminalize the entire immigration system beginning in late 2005 with House bill H.R. 3447, followed by only slightly less insane measures at the state level such as the ones in Arizona, Georgia and Alabama. (And yes, the House bill was even worse than the draconian state laws, at least as I read it - the valiant fight in court to uphold federal pre-emption over immigration may come back to haunt us one day quite soon.)


As if the above measures were not already conclusive proof of derangement on their part, the Republicans also want to overturn the 14th Amendment's guarantee of birthright US citizenship for all American-born children, not just those who are white and have parents who speak English as their first language. So the president has America's Latino and Asian communities in his back pocket and can deport as many hundreds of thousands, or millions, of immigrants as he needs in order to gain a couple of hoped-for white votes here and there. At least. so the thinking, if that word can be used at all for White House immigration strategy, has been.


Finally, in the face of strong protests from DREAMers and other immigrant advocates, the president has evidently begun to have a few second thoughts. Hence the flurry of ICE memos about electorial - ooops! I meant prosecutorial, discretion to decide not to go ahead with removal proceedings in certain cases involving people with no criminal records. While this is certainly welcome, and hopefully may help a few people (which is why we also have toes to count on, not just fingers), it may just turn out to be a classic example of too little, too late - at least as far as Oabama's chances of gaining back the trust of Latinos and other minority immigrants are concerned.


So what have the Republicans been up to in the meantime? First, we should remember that George W. Bush was elected - ooops again! -  sorry for another typo  -  I meant selected -  as president only with the help of Latinos whom he had taken great care to cultivate as governor of Texas. But now along comes another Texas Republican governor, Rick Perry, who has also won the support of many Latino voters in his state with some surprisingly reasonable stances on immigration, at least compared to anti-immigrant fanatics such as Michele Bachmann, who seems convinced that the road to the White House is paved with hatred of immigrants, gays and religious minorities.


Let us make no mistake about it. A moderate on most issues Perry is not. He thinks that the head of the Federal reserve is a traitor and has threatened to have him lynched if he ever sets foot in Texas. Perry also doubts whether the president loves America (a doubt which white bigots often raised about Martin Luther King as well, for those of us who are old enough to remember).  As far as economics and the social safety net are concerned, Perry wants to repeal the entire 20th century, and on science, most of the 19th as well (at least as far as Darwin is concerned). 


But on immigration, Perry has been more reasonable. In an August 24 article in TIME, entitled "Rick Perry's Complicated Relationship with Latinos",  Steven Gray writes that Perry won his third term with 38 per cent of Laitino votes, has supported making unauthorized immigrants eligible for in-state tuition fees, and has also has spoken out against Arizona's immigration law and the Mexican border fence. While Perry's record on immigration is mixed - he is against sanctuary cites, for example, it at least shows a willingness to respond to practical considerations and a respect for reality, especially compared to most other leading Republican presidential candidates.


Will President Obama finally wake up to the reality that he has no possible chance of winning a second term without the support of American voters in Latino and other immigrant communities Will there be enough time for him to overcome the terrible damage that he has inflicted on himself by three years of cynical pandering to anti-immigrant bigotry to try to gain a very small number of additional white votes?  


There will be two ways of telling the answers to these questions. One will be to look at the deportation numbers during the year between now and the 2012 election. The other will be to look at the number of RFE's and denials for immigrant and "non-immigrant" petitions and visas during the same period. If there are not immediate and drastic reductions in these numbers, accompanied by the rolling of at least a respectable number of heads among the officials who have been responsible for keeping them so obscenely high, no matter what happens with the economy or any other issues, Barack Obama will probably wind up as a one-term president. 


 

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  1. Backlogged's Avatar
    From the famed James Tiberius Kirk of Star Trek or any renowned leader in the multitude pages of history, a true leader has been the one who was able to rise above the mundane and lead the group with "actions", not pompous talk. I am sure anyone who just can talk but not do their duty is promptly shown the door in American corporate within a week.This president has had four long years of time.Long time to illustrate the meaning of karma.
  2. Roger Algase's Avatar
    I agree with Backlogged. The best that could be said about Obamas leadership on immigration is that whatever leadership he has shown has been in the wrong direction.
  3. Matthew Kolken's Avatar
    Here are Obama's actions:

    1. He broke every campaign promise he made regarding immigration reform, and the DREAM Act. He squandered the first two years of his Presidency when he had a super-majority in Congress. He also lied to the Hispanic Caucus during the HCR fight saying that he would turn his attention to immigration reform if they voted for Obamacare, which contains patently racist exclusionary provisions in it.

    2. He has deported more people than any President in history over a similar span.

    3. He has criminally prosecuted more people for immigration related immigration crimes (unlawful reentry) than Bush. In fact, 48% of all federal criminal prosecutions are for unlawful re-entry.

    4. He has failed to clean up and has covered-up abuses in his immigration detention system.

    5. His condones the use of racial profiling as the primary tool of immigration enforcement.

    6. The Attorney General has provided no leadership on the unconstitutionality of the DOMA.

    7. And Obama has mislead the country by issuing a prosecutorial discretion memorandum that is being universally ignored by government attorneys, except in a select few cases so that the administration can claim that it is being utilized.

    Here is the bottom line: This President is not worthy of reelection. His actions speak volumes as to his true intentions, which are to deport as many people as humanly possible.

    Not "Change" I can believe in.
  4. Roger Algase's Avatar
    I agree 100 per cent with Matthew Kolken. Obama is cynically exploiting a well justified fear of what the Republican crazies would do - no - WILL do, if they retake the Senate and the White House. There will be no more family or employment based immigration, except perhaps for a couple of white Nobel Prize winners each year (as long as their Nobel Prizes were not related to evolution or Global warming).


    Each day out of status in the US will be a separate felony punishable by five years in prison (read the Republican passed HR 3447 bill from 2005) and any American who tips a waiter or busboy without running his or her own E-verify check first (In English, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Korean, Hindi, Urdu, Vietnamese, Arabic, Amharic or Swahili) will also get a mandatory 5 years for assisting an illegal immigrant. The US - Mexican border will become one of the richest plant and wild life zones in the world, rivaling the border border between North and South Korea, and deportations will double or triple from the current record setting rate.



    A law abolishing US birthright citizenship, including retroactively, for any child, one of whose parents violates the nationwide ban on speaking Spanish in public any time before the childs 14th birthday, will be enacted, and will be upheld by the Supreme Court because the current 14th Amendment protection depends on an 1898 decision Wong Kim Ark which Scalito, Thomas, et al, will find easy to overturn.*



    The why do I plan to vote ABO (Anyone But Obama) next year? Simple. Better the devil we know than the one that lies to us.


    Roger Algase
  5. Aklilu's Avatar
    To All,This to let you know that this web-site has begun to censor your ceonmmts if they don't comport with their with ideologies. In fact I've noticed that they've done that to others as well.I posted the following comment several days ago and it was conveniently removed. As you'll see, there's nothing in it that's inflammatory or derogative. It just runs counter to their mission of helping what they like to refer as undocumented immigrants or victims of ICE raids. Let's call a spade a spade. They're I-L-L-E-G-A-L A-L-I-E-N-S.I've notified Bill O'Reilly of the Fox News Network's O'Reilly Factor to let him know. Perhaps FIRM will get some air time out of this. They'll probably remove this one as well so you better read it quick!!!! **************The idea that our immigration laws were somehow designed to protect the United States against terrorists is a canard. Quite simply, our immigration laws were promulgated to prevent foreign nationals ( a nice way of saying "illegal aliens") from immigrating to the United States without proper consent from the United States government. I repeat. OUR IMMIGRATION LAWS WERE PROMULGATED TO PREVENT FOREIGN NATIONALS FROM IMMIGRATING TO THE UNITED STATES WITHOUT PROPER CONSENT FROM THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT. If you don't have permission from the United States government to be here- terrorist or otherwise, then you're here illegally in violation of Federal Law. Indeed, the mere presence of illegal aliens in this country speaks volumes about the moral and ethical constitution of these individuals, not to mention their willingness (or unwillingness) to abide by the other laws and regulations of this Great Country. Simply put, they don't care. If they did, we wouldn't be on this web-site bantering this hotly-debated issue around. Believe me, I would much rather be in my wood shop making fine furniture. But I for one cannot let go of this and won't until it's resolved. And by that I don't mean the reformation of our immigration laws. Here's a few factiods: - The population of illegal aliens in the United States is currently estimated to be about 11 million people. You read that right- ELEVEN MILLION PEOPLE!- It is estimated that 57% are immigrants from Mexico, 24% are from other Latin American countries, 9% are from Asia, 6% are from Europe and Canada and 4% are from the rest of the world. In other words, 8 out of every 1o illegal aliens in this country are hispanic. You don't need a calculator to figure out that equates to nearly 9 million hispanics are in this country illegally. You read that right- NEARLY NINE MILLION ILLEGAL ALIENS ARE HISPANICS!- Illegal aliens continue to outpace the number of legal immigrants- a trend that has held steady since the 1990s. - The majority of hispanics that are here illegally continue to concentrate in places with large communities of the same already exist. However, they are now settling in both urban and rural areas througout the rest of the country, thereby adding to the ever increasing economic burden of this country. And there seems to be no end in sight. To add fuel to the fire, now comes the Catholic Church that condones the continued illegal entry of hispanics into this country, then cries foul when our government enforces our immigration laws by deporting and/or incarcerating them. To that end, the notion that ICE raids of American businesses are tearing the families of illegal aliens apart is laughable. Hello! Did it ever occur to anyone that if these people weren't here illegally to begin with, their familes wouldn't be torn apart? Of course it did. But they conveniently side-step that part of the issue and attempt to tug at your soft side by playing on your sympathy.Indeed, this storyline is remarkably similar to one involving a former neighbor of mine that decided to start up an auto repair business in our neighborhood; this despite the fact that he was violating our neighborhood covenants, not to mention a city ordinance which forbid such businesses from being operated in residential areas. This guy thought that his neighbors were complacent and would tolerate his illegal activities. Well, he thought wrong. He was shut down quicker than a grease monkey removing lug nuts with an air ratchet.But here's the kicker. Rather than accept the fact that what he did was illegal and disrespectful to his neighbors, he decided to turn it around and play the "You're Not Being Very Neighborly" card. No one bought it and he moved out of the neighbohood within 2 years. The moral of the story: Stick to the facts and the issue at hand. Don't let anyone- the illegal alien community, Catholic Church or even Auntie Em attempt to side-step the fact that what they're doing is not only wrong, its illegal. I repeat: IT'S ILLEGAL. Accept it and move on.
  6. Roger Algase's Avatar
    Certainly, there is no reason to delete Akilu's ranting comment. It is not only on topic, but actually very useful, because it illustrates perfectly how sheer hate, irrational almost to the point of being borderline (no pun intended), is at the root of the anti-immigrant movement in America.
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