It is true; the pen is mightier than the sword. With unemployment at 8.3 percent, the economy - according to the Congressional Budget Office - sliding toward the edge of a cliff, and American citizens struggling to pay their mortgages and keep their heads above water, the president has granted amnesty for nearly 2 million illegal immigrants. What is wrong with this picture?
I am not against legal immigration. And I admit that it is sad when parents come to this country illegally and bring minor children with them. But for the president of the United States to ignore the Constitution and sign an executive order for what can be reasonably argued as purely political, is obscene. Does one have to be illegal now in order to get another entitlement for which they won't have to pay? If an executive order can be signed to allow amnesty - relief from deportation for undocumented immigrants - why do we need a legislative body or a constitution?
When the governor of California refused to allow illegal immigrants a state driver license, there were protests and near riots. When Republican presidential candidate, Rick Perry, announced that he was in favor of allowing illegal immigrants to be eligible for state college funds, there was outrage. Now, however, illegal immigrants are given amnesty, made eligible for "free to them" college grants, sign up for social security cards, obtain a driver license, and register to vote - imagine that! Just what is it about the word 'illegal' that is so confusing?
A CNN reporter interviewed several illegal immigrants showing up to register for amnesty. One of the illegal immigrants stated, "I feel like a citizen, the only thing that is stopping me now is just a little piece of paper." When she received her documentation, Maria held it above her head and screamed, "I have found form!" Don't get me wrong, I don't want to deny anyone form, but where is the justice here?
Many governors find this "Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" just one more thing that the taxpayers will have to pay for. According to Jan Brewer, governor of Arizona, "The program does not provide for any additional public benefit to unlawfully present aliens beyond the delayed enforcement of United States immigration laws and the possible provision of employment authorization." She went on to explain that there would be "significant and lasting impacts" on Arizona's budget, health care system and other taxpayer-funded benefits when granting public benefits to deferred action recipients. She has issued an executive order directing state agencies to deny benefits - including driver's licenses - to deferred action recipients. Brewer has received praise for her actions from other governors, as well as criticism from supporters of immigration reform and the DREAM Act. The Arizona DREAM Act Coalition said she was, " ... attacking children and immigrant youth, who with no fault of their own, were brought to the United States."
While some governors are in agreement with Brewer, New York's Gov. Andrew Cuomo is not one of them; he knows which side of his bread is buttered. "I support it," said Cuomo. "I think it was a good thing. I think immigration is a big positive for this country. Anyone who has a question, they should look at this state. We're all about immigration, and it is a tremendous advantage to our residents." Just as a reminder, governor, New York taxpayers also pay some of the highest taxes in the country due to this "welfare state of mind."
It is no secret that Latinos make up the fastest-growing immigrant population in the country, this group of people is considered to be vital for the upcoming presidential election, and that fact does not go without notice from the Latino community. Laura Vazquez, a spokeswoman for the National Council of La Raza, said, "In light of the congressional inaction on immigration reform, this is the right step for the administration to take at this time." Three key words here, "at this time." There is no argument that immigration is a problem, and it needs to be fixed. As president, Romney said he "would seek to provide certainty and clarity for people who come into this country through no fault of their own by virtue of the actions of their parents."
Is the president's stroke of a pen in the best interest of the country, or of his effort toward garnering the Latino vote? If he is re-elected, will the policy continue to be "temporary" as he has stated? If Mitt Romney is elected, what changes will take place? What happens to those who came forward wide-eyed and believing in hope and change, but no longer protected by the "shadows" with their personal information now in a government database?
Where is the hope and change we were promised in 2008? Was it only for illegal immigrants? What about the rest of us? What about the middle class that is shrinking due to fewer jobs, a suffering economy and a failed government? Richard is right, "illegal is still illegal" dream act or not. And if the immigration issue can be fixed with the stroke of a pen, why not create jobs, improve the economy and maybe we just need a change.
Have a great day.
Vicki D. Westling is a Dunkirk resident, a published author and an advocate for children and freedom. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org