President Obama may think he got on the right side of Hispanic voters with the Dream Act, but I find him cowardly repulsive. He had more than three years to use his vaunted persuasive ability on immigration reform, but did not.
In the 1960s we didn't trust anyone over 30. Now my president urges us to continue discriminating against hard-working middle-aged and seniors who, against all sorts of barriers, work toward their dream of citizenship.
Millions of undocumented people add their spending, income and sweat investments to our GNP. As Newt Gingrich told Mitt Romney, it is silly to believe this large, diverse, widely dispersed group of people, working for their families and homes, would ever "self deport." Remember, it was President Ronald Reagan who had the common sense to sign the bill granting amnesty when nothing else could work.
As the Supreme Court recently observed, states cannot regulate immigration and naturalization; in this field the federal government has supremacy. Yet we have neither the ability to detain and deport these millions nor to close our borders.
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Sen. John McCain, author of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act, unforgivably abandoned his signature issue to please the anti-immigrants. As the Russians learned at the Berlin Wall and in Afghanistan, you cannot stop capitalism. Unfortunately, until we stop illegal drug use, enterprising mobsters will invade our borders with near impunity.
The solution to our immigration problem starts with scrapping most of our laws and starting afresh. Our ancestors were obsessed with discouraging those they believed to be the less civilized, first Asians, then Irish, Italian, Eastern Europeans. Now it's Hispanics, limited to a ridiculously small number of about 100,000 work permits a year.
Among undocumented immigrants, there are a few welfare chiselers and criminals but, on balance, new immigrants improve our country. We need their demographics (young, family-oriented) and their hard work.
Productive people should not be forced to live in constant fear of being separated from their families, friends, jobs and homes. In 2008, I studied the issue and made it the cornerstone of my candidacy for Congress. I won the Republican primary over a much better funded, anti-immigrant opponent. A national study shows most Republicans oppose removing undocumented immigrants.
The message we must evangelize is a contractual agreement: We would love to assimilate you, not just your kids, into our society. We know you fear our government will use any information you give us to deport you. In return for being allowed to stay and eventually become naturalized citizens, you must help us remove lawbreakers from your community. For some, that may not be easy.
Please join me on the right side of history.