Monday, June 18, 2012

DREAMing Of Better Days

While Mitt Romney may have been avoiding immigration questions like the plague yesterday on CBS's "Face The Nation", many Americans are still talking about the Department of Homeland Security's official directive, announced by President Obama on Friday afternoon.

If you'd heard of the announcement at all, you may have only heard or read commentators talking about the new policy as Obama's own DREAM Act - which it really is not.

What the new policy is - in short - is a temporary easing of immigration policy towards younger undocumented immigrants, who were brought here by their parents as children and have basically grown up as Americans. These aren't new immigrants to America. They're kids who grew up here, and are now just becoming adults - young adults who aren't usually 'taking jobs from Americans' as anti-immigrant forces are crying about over their beers.

This new immigration policy isn't a "DREAM Act" - something the President stressed on Friday. It doesn't even put these immigrants-in-name-only on a path to full legal citizenship, as the initial bi-partisan DREAM Act attempted to do, or as the most recent Democratic version of the DREAM Act legislation proposed.

What the President's action does is give these young men and women a temporary reprieve, for a couple of years, so they don't have to worry about being deported. This also gives Congress time to figure out how to handle an issue they should have tackled long ago.

It was a near certainty that as soon as President Obama made his immigration announcement, the right-wing hacks and hyper-partisans would begin bashing and belittling him for it. This time, President Obama wasn't even finished giving his Rose Garden announcement when a right-wing wannabe journalist interrupted the President by shouting a biased question - one that the President did not have to answer, but did.

For now, we'll simply say that the guy who disrespected the office of the President so brazenly is an unprofessional hack - and we hope the White House Corespondent's Association bans him and his organization from the Press Corps immediately.

Other partisans followed close behind the interrupting fool - including Republican candidate Mitt Romney, who immediately claimed President Obama's actions on the immigration issue were politically motivated.

That claim is hard to see as anything other than sour grapes as the President's immigration action also mirrors closely the proposal of Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who praised the Obama plan on Friday. Further, Mr. Obama's action is supported by multiple legal scholars, including Republicans and conservatives, who say the President's action is well within the powers of his office.

This kind of bold action is exactly what many Americans - especially progressives - have been wanting to see from Obama for some time. It shows that if the Congress is not going to act, the President will, when he can.

This action may have been good policy - but it was also good politics, as it's now put Mr. Romney in a bit of a bind on the subject of immigration.

None of this back and forth will lessen the worries of the anti-immigration supporters, who continue to cry in their beers that illegals are taking over America.

It also won't solve the issue of young men and women who've never known another country other than America as their homes - and are in most ways, as American as you or I.

No comments:

Post a Comment