By Joe Guzzardi
May 8, 2015
In 2005, President George W. Bush wanted to privatize social security. But when Bush realized he couldn’t sell it, he dropped his idea and moved on to other priorities. He heard and responded to Americans’ wishes.
Such is not the case with President Obama and immigration. Despite Americans’ overwhelming disapproval, Obama acted without congressional approval and issued two executive action amnesties, one for childhood arrivals that moved forward, and another for their parents, currently stalled in federal courts.
No matter how many times Americans beat back Capitol Hill efforts to pass bills to expand immigration or give legal status to unlawful immigrants, the victories are temporary. The same legislators reintroduce the same bad bills and, in their defense of those bills, make the same discredited arguments.
The Dream Act is a good example. Originally introduced in 2001, the Dream Act failed in the House and the Senate multiple times. Finally in 2012 Obama’s went around Congress, ignored the Constitution and ordered U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to begin accepting applications to grant certain minors work permits and social security numbers, the president’s version of the Dream Act.
Now that speculation about the 2016 presidential race leads the news, immigration advocates and journalists who cover them remain tone deaf and eagerly rehash old business.
Would be Republican candidates are rushing to outdo each other on their amnesty platforms, and leading Democrat Hillary Clinton recently vowed to be more vigorous than President Obama in her willingness to give unlawful immigrants citizenship, an effort critics called an inducement to bring out the “crucial” Hispanic vote. Lost in the Clinton coverage is that New York Times exit interviews after the 2012 election showed that the determining factor in challenger Mitt Romney’s defeat was not Hispanics but no-show white voters.
The latest bad penny to resurface is a proposal that would allow illegal aliens to serve in the military. Earlier this week, the House Armed Services Committee with some Republican support passed two amendments that might be attached to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and which could pave the way for alien enlistment. Additionally, U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham, (R-Calif.) plans to resubmit his ENLIST Act which would allow aliens who serve in the military to receive permanent legal status. Last year, House leadership denied Denham a vote on the ENLIST Act amendment on the grounds that must-pass defense legislation is not an appropriate place for immigration-related issues.
Despite his rebuke, Rep. Denham said he would again push for a vote on ENLIST “every opportunity I get,” including as an amendment to NDAA. Denham unconvincingly argued that “kids who want to serve in a patriotic fashion” should be allowed to do so, but without mentioning that rewarding law breaking with the honor of serving in the U.S. military insults veterans.
One such veteran is Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain who stated flatly that NDAA will not include immigration provisions. McCain: “The defense bill is for defense, not Dreamers.”
Critics worry that allowing aliens to serve would lead to a broader amnesty. Last year, a letter to Congress signed by sixteen retired generals and admirals expressed grave concerns that bills permitting aliens to enlist in the U.S. military are part of a broader amnesty agenda that would not help secure the nation but would instead encourage more illegal immigration.
Americans should put their trust in the generals and admirals who have the nation’s best interests at heart, and not politically motivated, vote-seeking Congressmen.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. Contact him at [email protected]