The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

June 19, 2012

Don Ray, guest columnist: Obama's concern is politics, not young people

JOPLIN, Mo. — Once again, the Obama administration has shown its disregard for the Constitution and the law in regard to immigration.

On Friday, Obama ordered a rule change through the Department of Homeland Security that allows young illegal immigrants to stay in the United States and legally obtain work permits.

Obama and his administration have refused to enforce many of our immigration laws. They have also sought to prevent states and local authorities from enforcing the laws.

What Obama is doing is ordering his executive branch to carry out a policy that is in direct violation of constitutionally passed federal law.

This president has failed to uphold the oath of office upon which he swore when he took office. Just because a president says “it’s the right thing to do” when issuing such a rule change, it should not violate the laws that exist. If he doesn’t like the current laws, then he should go through the proper channels to change them.

There is no doubt that many in our country sympathize with this situation, but we are a country that is governed by our Constitution and congressionally passed laws.

Obama, in his speech on Friday announcing this decision, once again put the blame on the Republicans for their failure to pass the DREAM Act. The sad thing is, many believe him because he has said it over and over, and the liberal press never calls him on it. The truth is, the failure of the DREAM Act is due to Democrats who controlled the Senate in December of 2010. The bill was defeated by a 55-41 vote, needing 60 votes to pass. Five Democratic senators voted no, and one Democratic senator failed to vote. So the truth is, the Democrats, who continue to hold the majority in the Senate, could not get their fellow Democrats to vote for it. Yet this president continues to say it’s the fault of the Republicans. Some say that’s just politics. I say it’s being untruthful.

Now for some truth. It’s obvious to many of us that this move by Obama is totally political. For the past year, there’s been a growing anger among many Latino voters and activists over Obama’s immigration record. U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., one of the first elected Latino officials to endorse Obama in 2008, has twice been arrested outside the White House demanding action on behalf of the DREAM Act. He and Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, a pro-immigration reform group, have warned Obama of an enthusiasm gap among Latino voters that could prove fatal to Obama’s re-election. Latino voters are likely to prove crucial to the outcome of the 2012 election in many swing states.

Politics are the real reason behind this decision, not because “it’s the right thing to do.”

Politics were the real reason for Obama’s recent decision to publicly support gay marriage.

The political left and others have said that this immigration decision was politically smart. Politically speaking it may be, but I prefer to have a president who will uphold the Constitution and the rule of law — a president with integrity, who honors his oath of office.

Obama has shown me that he puts politics above all that. He is more interested in being re-elected than doing the job the president is supposed to do. And it seems he will do and say whatever it takes to get re-elected.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for American citizens ages 16-24 who are not in school was 17.5 percent as of October 2011. Why hasn’t the president made an issue of this?

I’m sure we all understand why.

His action on Friday was a political move, not a sincere concern for young people in this country, legal or not.

Don Ray lives in Joplin.

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