After spending nearly $2 million of taxpayer money on a trip out to Las Vegas yesterday where he delivered a 25-minute speech, President Obama told a crowd of supporters that now is the time to reform our immigration system, outlining many of the same goals uttered 4 years ago.
Why is it now, almost 1500 days into his presidency, would so-called “common sense” immigration reform suddenly become an immediate concern? After riding into office on the backs of immigrants and accomplishing virtually nothing in his first term, “now is the time”, he said. “This time, action must follow”.
The president will not be up for re-election again. Now certainly is the time.
Among the more controversial portions of the Obama immigration plan includes a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants currently in the country – although the president cleverly calls it a pathway to “earned” citizenship. Although details are sketchy, Obama’s plan supposedly includes new punishments for businesses who knowingly hire illegal labor and “tighter security at the border”, whatever that means.
While the government gets bogged down with details unrelated to a true solution, actual immigration reform needs to include the elimination of laws, not the enactment of more. Our nation has enough laws, more than most Americans know what to do with. More rules and regulations are not the solution.
As author Daniel Griswold so aptly wrote, “When large numbers of otherwise decent people routinely violate a law, the law itself is probably the problem.” Our government has a choice: it can either reform immigration law by observing how immigrants live in our country, or it can spend months debating the merits of politically-charged provisions of proposed new laws that do nothing to address the true problem of immigration.
It will likely choose the latter.