May 18, 2011
See also: Obama Speaks, VDARE.com Refutes! By Peter Brimelow
Previously by Preston Blair La Raza Starting To Sweat Over Patriotic Resistance To Open Borders Agenda
President Barack Obama's speech at El Paso, Texas last week wasn't exactly easy listening—he regurgitated just about every immigration cliché there is—but I endured it because I think it says something about where he wants to take America.
Obama opened up with a story about the commencement address he had delivered the week before at Miami Dade Community College. He gloated that the graduates "claim heritage from 181 countries around the world" and that, during the graduation ceremony, the flags of all were marched across the stage:
"So when the Haitian flag went by, all the Haitian kids—Haitian American kids shouted out. And when the Guatemalan flag went by, all the kids of Guatemalan heritage shouted out. And when the Ukrainian flag went by, I think one kid shouted out. [Laughter] This was down in Miami. [Laughter] If it had been in Chicago, there would have been more." [Remarks by the President on Comprehensive Immigration Reform in El Paso, Texas, May 10, 2011. VDARE.com links added to quotes throughout]
This anecdote, of course, shows how strongly immigrants (and their American-born children) still identify with their homelands. And Obama's jibe about the Ukrainian drove home, to his predominantly Hispanic audience, just how few people of European extraction there are left down there in the "Capital of Latin America".
The president did note that all the graduates cheered when the American flag (finally) appeared—which he called "a reminder of a simple idea, as old as America itself: E pluribus unum. Out of many, one".
But the historically literate among us know how misleading this is. The Great Seal's motto never had anything to do with immigration. It refers instead to the bond of union between the states.
Obama went on to talk about how past waves of immigration had enriched America and about how much he enjoys attending naturalization ceremonies at the White House. He also made sure to pledge his allegiance to the Proposition Nation:
"That's the promise of this country—that anyone can write the next chapter in our story. It doesn't matter where you come from—[applause]—it doesn't matter where you come from; it doesn't matter what you look like; it doesn't matter what faith you worship. What matters is that you believe in the ideals on which we were founded; that you believe that all of us are created equal, endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights. All of us deserve our freedoms and our pursuit of happiness. In embracing America, you can become American. That is what makes this country great."
That's right! As long as you can repeat some mumbo jumbo about equality, you can be just as much an American as someone whose family has been here for generations. It's interesting to note that for all their supposed differences, Obama and the neoconservatives pretty much see eye to eye when it comes to immigration.
After a little more happy talk, Obama abruptly turned to more immediate concerns: "We're here at the border because we also recognize that being a nation of laws goes hand in hand with being a nation of immigrants. This, too, is our heritage. This too is important".
However, just when it seemed that the president might say something substantive, he reverted to Politically Correct mush about how "we've seen a lot of blame and a lot of politics and a lot of ugly rhetoric around immigration".
Eventually, Obama got to the "estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants here in the United States", claiming of course that "the overwhelming majority of these folks are just trying to earn a living and provide for their families". But he admitted that "we have to acknowledge that they've broken the rules. They've cut in front of the line. And what is also true is that the presence of so many illegal immigrants makes a mockery of all those who are trying to immigrate legally".
At this point, Obama launched into some rather interesting economic reasoning.
He deplored the fact that illegal aliens "live in the shadows" where they can be exploited by businesses that don't pay them the minimum wage and "cut corners with health and safety laws", thereby putting pressure on companies that "follow the rules" and on American workers who demand fair treatment.
Obama thus concluded that:
"[O]ne way to strengthen the middle class in America is to reform the immigration system so that there is no longer a massive underground economy that exploits a cheap source of labor while depressing wages for everybody else. I want incomes for middle-class families to rise again. [Applause] I want prosperity in this country to be widely shared. [Applause] I want everybody to be able to reach that American dream. And that's why immigration reform is an economic imperative. It's an economic imperative [Applause].
WeWe at VDARE.com would endorse every word of this—see our added hyperlinks. Unfortunately, while the president seems to have done a surprisingly good job at diagnosis, he's horribly off when it comes to cure.
Obama's proposal for "reform" is, needless to say, not a moratorium but an amnesty for illegal aliens coupled with an increase in legal immigration.
Someone needs to tell Obama about Supply and Demand. When you increase the supply of something—in this case, labor—you're going to reduce its price, i.e., wages. You don't have to take our word for it either. Economist George Borjas has spent the last two decades proving this point to people who ought to know betterspan>.
Indeed, as if to make his economic ignorance even more apparent, Obama next went on to say that we need to make it easier for foreign students studying here to stay and join the workforce. This, in the face of graduate wage depression and unemployment—a slap in the face to American students who spend years studying science or engineering only to find that the job market in high tech isn't as rosy as they were led to believe.
Obama repeated another immigration enthusiast myth:
"Look at Intel, look at Google, look at Yahoo, look at eBay. All those great American companies, all the jobs they've created, everything that has helped us take leadership in the high-tech industry, every one of those was founded by, guess who, an immigrant. [Applause]"
This is not merely a myth but an insult to Americans. The founding fathers of Silicon Valley were mostly a bunch of boring, Mayflower-stock white guys like Frederick Terman, William Hewlett, David Packard, Robert Noyce, Gordon Moore, and of course, perhaps the most hated white guys of them all: William Shockley.
Even the examples that Obama cited are misleading. One of Google's cofounders, Sergey Brin, is an immigrant—but the other, Larry Page, is not. One of Yahoo's cofounders, Jerry Yang, is an immigrant—but the other, David Filo, is an American born in Wisconsin and raised in Louisiana. The founder of eBay, Pierre Omidyar, is an immigrant of French-Iranian extraction—but it was Meg Whitman, as president and CEO, who turned it into a major corporation.
Lamenting the collapse of the "bipartisan coalition" that failed to pass amnesties back in 2006-2007, he complained that "in the years since, 'borders first, borders first,' that's become the common refrain, even among those who were previously supportive of comprehensive immigration reform" (a.k.a. amnesty).
Then Obama proclaimed that, under his leadership, all concerns about the border had been answered. "They wanted more agents at the border. Well, we now have more boots on the ground on the southwest border than at any time in our history", he said.
But when he mentioned the border fence, things got a little tense. From the official White House transcript of the speech:
THE PRESIDENT: Then they wanted a fence. Well, the fence is —
THE PRESIDENT: The fence is now basically complete.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Tear it down!
Obama attack on his critics lead to another telling interjection from the audience:
THE PRESIDENT: We have gone above and beyond what was requested by the very Republicans who said they supported broader reform as long as we got serious about enforcement. All the stuff they asked for, we've done. But even though we've answered these concerns, I've got to say I suspect there are still going to be some who are trying to move the goal posts on us one more time.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: They're racist!
THE PRESIDENT: You know, they said we needed to triple the Border Patrol. Or now they're going to say we need to quadruple the Border Patrol. Or they'll want a higher fence. Maybe they'll need a moat. [Laughter] Maybe they want alligators in the moat. [Laughter]. They'll never be satisfied. And I understand that. That's politics.
Of course, Obama's claims of securing the border are simply absurd. A February 2011 report by the Government Accountability Office estimates that the Border Patrol has "operational control" over only about 44 percent of the border. The report concluded that "the southwest border continues to be vulnerable to cross-border illegal activity, including the smuggling of humans and illegal narcotics".
Obama's claim that "the fence is now basically complete" requires a bit more unpacking. PolitiFact.com does a good job: Essentially, back in 2006, Congress passed the Secure Fence Act which mandated a 700-mile double-layer fence along the Mexican border, like the one that protects San Diego. However the law was changed in 2007 to give DHS discretion over what sort of fencing to put up. So, instead of 700 miles of double-layer fencing, we wound up with 649 miles of vehicle barriers and pedestrian fencing, which won't keep much of anyone out. A mere 36.5 miles of double-layer fencing has been erected—a little over 5 percent of the 700 miles Americans were promised back in 2006.
Obama was more honest about deportation. Calling deportation a "tough issue" and "a source of controversy", he said that "as long as the current laws are on the books, it's not just hardened felons who are subjected to removal, but sometimes families who are just trying to earn a living, or bright, eager students, or decent people with the best of intentions".
So unless you're a "hardened felon", you've got nothing to fear from Obama's administration. All those millions of other illegal aliens can pretty much violate our immigration laws with impunity.
And once Obama manages to change those "current laws…on the books", they'll be on a path to citizenship with nothing to fear from ICE ever again.
Obama took a moment to give a shout-out to all his allies in the fight to destroy what's left of this country:
"There are Democrats and Republicans, people like former Republican Senator Mel Martinez; former Bush administration Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff; leaders like Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York; evangelical ministers like Leith Anderson and Bill Hybels; police chiefs from across the nation; educators; advocates; labor unions; chambers of commerce; small business owners; Fortune 500 CEOs."
Yes, there's simply no end to the powerful people screaming to open the floodgates to more cheap labor!
The president then laid out his plan. He emphasized that the "government has a threshold [PB: ???] responsibility to secure our borders and enforce the law" but claimed it was being met. He also said that employers should be "held accountable if they exploit undocumented workers". (N.b. the word "exploit" rather than "hire".)
As for the illegals themselves, Obama was clear:
"[T]hose who are here illegally, they have a responsibility as well. So they broke the law, and that means they've got to pay their taxes, they've got to pay a fine, they've got to learn English. And they've got to undergo background checks and a lengthy process before they get in line for legalization."
In other words, they get to stay and eventually become citizens, so they can vote Democrat.
Lastly, Obama said that "stopping illegal immigration also depends on reforming our outdated system of legal immigration. We should make it easier for the best and the brightest to not only stay here, but also to start businesses and create jobs here".
Yes, that's how we'll save the middle class in this country! We all know there aren't enough Americans with professional degrees out there who can't find work! We need to make the competition even fiercer!
Republican politicians eventually responded to Obama's speech. John McCain issued a joint press release with Jon Kyl that was surprisingly good (at least for McCain). Rep. Lamar Smith wrote a piece for FoxNews that pretty well demolished Obama's claims to have secured the border.
But the real response came from ordinary citizens. A group of border residents began handing around a petition protesting the president's speech. These victims of border violence didn't appreciate Obama's jokes about moats and alligators.
As always, it's the American people themselves who are leading the way when it comes to patriotic immigration reform.
Preston Blair (email him) is a former working stiff who recently dropped out of the immigrant-impacted workforce.