Their Obama and the Real Obama

By: Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryIn an article in the Washington Times (note: I have nothing against this newspaper), U.S. Senator Lamar Smith (Republican-Texas) basically writes that U.S. President Barack Obama has been “soft” on the undocumented. Among the accusations made by Smith is that Obama seems to be trying to give “amnesty” to “lawbreakers” and have “illegals” take American jobs while 23 million Americans are out of work. The article was almost an hysterical diatribe against Obama. Fine, I am sure that Senator Smith sees Obama as virtually betraying the United States. For those who are advocates for immigrants—both legal and for the undocumented—Obama comes across as anything but a man who “coddles” the undocumented.

Smith cites Obama as supporting the Dream Act, which gives undocumented high ability high school students the chance to become temporary legal residents for going to college or joining the U.S. military, as proof that Obama is for giving the undocumented “amnesty.” Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, this legislation was first proposed as far back as 2001, and has been supported by both Democrats and Republicans. This legislation only gives a small certain group temporary legal status in exchange for contributing to this country. Hardly an amnesty. What Smith fails to say is that Obama has in fact deported more undocumented from this country than former U.S. President George W. Bush did in his last few years in office. Further, Obama has provided more funding for border enforcement at the U.S.-Mexico border. This includes more U.S. Border Patrol, the U.S. military, and even surveillance drones.

Additionally, Obama has provided more money for building the virtual double fence wall between the United States and Mexico. Whatever Obama has said about reforming the immigration system, he has not done this. To put it mildly he has greatly disappointed civil and immigration rights organizations and advocates who really wanted him to keep his promises of significantly changing the immigration system. Going into his final year, and unless Obama gets reelected, this is not likely to happen. If one takes into account the above, the picture we see is of Obama as a law enforcement-only president trying to deal with a complex issue like immigration using one measure only. Obama certainly does not look like a “radical” who will do anything and everything to help the “illegals.” Sadly, going into an election year, one of the first casualties in political mud-slinging is the truth.

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