After Prosecutorial Discretion, Can Alien Voting Rights Be Far Behind?

Published on December 17th, 2012

By Joe Guzzardi
October 18, 2012

Talk about your disappointing trends, here’s one that takes the cake. Since his inauguration in 2009, President Obama has steadily become more pro-active in his efforts to curry favor with illegal immigrants and their advocates.

During his 2008 campaign, Obama repeatedly promised aliens an amnesty. Then, after Obama took office, he hosted a series of meetings with Hispanic leaders to assure them that he was a man of his word and that comprehensive immigration reform would be right around the corner. After the 2010 Republican landslide, it became clear that Congress would not cooperate. Obama then set out independently to create the amnesty that the Legislative Branch would not.

First, in the summer of 2011 and using ICE director John Morton as his cover, Obama authorized what has became known as the prosecutorial discretion memorandum. Under prosecutorial discretion, the Department of Homeland Security focuses its efforts on criminal deportations and ignores cases it considers low priority even though the subjects are illegally residing in the United States and therefore removable. The ICE guidelines to identify low priority cases are purposely vague and apparently include everyone without a lengthy rap sheet.

Second, about a year later, Obama issued an executive order giving deferred action to a specific alien classification, childhood arrivals age 16-31. Again, the qualifying requirements are hazy. Most that can prove that as young children they unknowingly accompanied their parents during an illegal crossing into the United States are eligible.

As further proof of Obama’s affinity for illegal immigrants, he granted work permits to all aliens who receive deferred action. Naturally, these newly minted workers compete head to head with unemployed/underemployed Americans for scarce jobs, a grim reality of little interest to Obama.

Third, Obama invited an illegal alien to speak onstage at the August Democratic National Convention. Benita Veliz, a beneficiary of Obama’s prosecutorial discretion program, had a prominent position on the dais as she addressed Democratic delegates.

Finally, during his second debate with Republican challenger Mitt Romney, Obama openly and unashamedly advocated on behalf of illegal immigrants. Repeatedly referring to aliens as “folks,” Obama lied about the language in Arizona’s SB 1070. According to Obama, the law allows enforcement officers to stop anyone who looks Hispanic and may not “have papers.” In truth, only Arizona residents detained for possible criminal activity can be asked about their immigration status.

Then, Obama attacked Romney for supporting the concept of alien self deportation which, translated, means that when illegal immigrants can’t find jobs they will eventually return home. Obama wrongly defined self deportation as “making life so miserable on folks that they’ll leave.” Again, Obama thinks that illegal immigrants’ presence and their status as existing or prospective employees in a nation that has 23 million unemployed or underplayed Americans is fine and dandy.

As I charted Obama’s evolution into America’s leading alien advocate, I wondered what could be next. Then, suddenly, a light went on. Why not give voting rights to illegal immigrants? Knowing how pliable Obama is, the relentless, nothing-is-ever-enough Hispanic lobby could start a full court press for alien voting rights any day.

After all, as the too familiar argument will go, illegal immigrants contribute to society, pay taxes, have children in school and want a better life. In return, aliens should have the right to vote. As New Haven, Connecticut Mayor John Destefano summed it up: “I actually think it [voting] is very consistent with this core virtue and strength of America, of always broadening the meaning of citizenship.”

As inconceivable as giving aliens a vote may seem, when it comes to illegal immigrant entitlements, nothing is too farfetched.


Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986. Contact him at [email protected]

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