Last week, Barack Obama spoke before the National Council of La Raza. [Remarks by the President to the National Council of La Raza, July 25, 2011] For the most part his comments were predictable. He stated his support for the DREAM Act, while opposing the "patchwork" of state laws like Arizona. It was also predictable that he would tell a few half-truths and falsehoods. With no further ado, here are Obama’s La Raza Lies.
Lie # 1: Hispanics are Hit Harder during the Recession:
According to Obama, "we’re still climbing out of a vicious recession, and that recession hit Latino families especially hard." A meme has gone across the internet for years with the mock headline "World Ends, Women and Minorities Hardest Hit" or some variant. (Ironically, the day after Obama’s speech, there really was an article in the New York Times under the headline, Recession Study Finds Hispanics Hit the Hardest.[By Sabrina Tavernise, July 26, 2011].
The Study in question dealt with decline in net worth. But the primary problem with recessions is, by its definition, job loss. And in this case, Hispanics are doing quite well in the recession compared to whites, and blacks for that matter. As VDARE.com’s Ed Rubenstein has reported:
"Since the recession hit in December 2007 non-Hispanics have lost jobs at more than three-times the rate of Hispanics (-5.3 percent versus -1.7 percent.) And since the start of the ‘recovery’ in June 2009 Hispanics have gained 416,000 jobs while non-Hispanics have lost 675,000 positions."
If we are to put race aside (which of course Obama, the New York Times, and La Raza don’t want to,) then it is clear that immigrants are gaining jobs while Americans are losing them. The Pew Hispanic Center reported that by the "official end of the Great Recession in June 2009, foreign-born workers gained 656,000 jobs while native-born workers lost 1.2 million" [After the Great Recession: Foreign Born Gain Jobs; Native Born Lose Jobs, By Rakesh Kochar, Pew Hispanic Center, October 29, 2010.]
Lie # 2. Those Immigrant Entrepreneurs:
According to Obama passing the DREAM Act "wasn’t just the moral thing to do, it was an economic imperative" because " In recent years, one in four high-tech startups in America –- companies like Google and Intel—were founded on immigrants. One in six new small business owners are immigrants. These are job creators who came here to seek opportunity and now seek to share opportunity."
This is more of a lie by omission. It may be true that immigrants are more likely to start businesses than Americans. It is also true that one of the three founders (Andy Grove) of Intel was a Hungarian born immigrant, and one of the two founders of Google (Sergey Brin) was the son of Russian Math Professor. However, with Obama speaking to La Raza and mentioning this fact after discussing the DREAM Act, which almost exclusively benefits Hispanics, there is a clear impression that there are illegal and/or Hispanic Immigrant entrepreneurs who will create jobs if just given the chance.
The Associated Press published a list of top US companies founded or partially founded by immigrants. They are:
Intel Corp. – Andy Grove (Hungary)
Solectron Corp. – Winston Chen (Taiwan)
Sanmina-SCI Corp. – Jule Sola/Milan Mandaric (Bosnia/Croatia)
eBay Inc. – Pierre Omidyar (France)
Yahoo Inc. – Jerry Yang (Taiwan)
Life Time Fitness Inc. – Bahram Akradi (Iran)
Tetra Tech Inc. – Henri Hodara (France)
UTStarcom Inc. – Ying Wu (China)
Nor are Hispanics likely to be small business owners. The most recent census data on Hispanic businesses comes from 2007, when they made 15.1% of the population (it’s now at 16.3) At that time, Hispanics made up 8.3% of all business owners, barely half their share of the population. The census also reported that those businesses made $345 billion in revenuehttp://www.dallasnews.com/business/headlines/20100919-This-week-Dallas-will-host-U-1238.ece, which is only over 1.1% of the 30 trillion dollars in revenues by all businesses that year. Keep in mind, this is in spite of the fact that Hispanic owned businesses get various tax breaks and affirmative action for government contracts.
All this being said, the importance of immigrant entrepreneurs from Europe and Asia is grossly over stated, but that’s another story. (I’d recommend reading Steve Sailer’s article Immigrant Entrepreneurs Less Benefit than They're Cracked Up to Be and Steve Camarota’s detailed report for the Center for Immigration Studies, Reconsidering Immigrant Entrepreneurship: An Examination of Self-Employment Among Natives and Foreign-Born, if you want more information.
Lie # 3 Obama Won’t Pass An Administrative Amnesty:
After bemoaning how terrible our current immigration system is for actually deporting people here illegally, Obama said
“I swore an oath to uphold the laws on the books, but that doesn't mean I don't know very well the real pain and heartbreak that deportations cause… And I promise you, we are responding to your concerns and working every day to make sure we are enforcing flawed laws in the most humane and best possible way. Now, I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own.”
At this point the La Raza broke into applause. Obama said "And believe me, right now dealing with Congress" and was interrupted again by chants of "Yes, you can" Obama continued, "Believe me—believe me, the idea of doing things on my own is very tempting. (Laughter.) I promise you. Not just on immigration reform. (Laughter.) But that's not how—that's not how our system works."
Then an audience member yelled " Change it!" and Obama replied, "That’s not how our democracy functions. That's not how our Constitution is written."
That La Raza crowd is screaming for Obama to bypass congress to enact laws that don’t exist should tell you just how much they respect the rule of law, Constitutional separation of powers, and the democratic process.
But is Obama standing firm against La Raza, what I will call "Hermana Souljah moment”? Hardly.
Obama is already enacting an administrative amnesty. The Obama Administration has been issuing numerous memos expressing their desire to "bypass congress" and not enforce our immigration laws.
As the FAIR’s Bob Dane notes,
"For the past two years, a steady stream of leaked memos reveal how the administration has expanded its amnesty-granting powers. The title of one United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) memo says it all, Administrative Alternatives to Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Not surprisingly, the memo suggests ways the government can delay or even prevent the removal of illegal aliens." [Illegal Alien Amnesty Already Happening: Get used to it or HALT it, Fox News, July 29, 2011]
These memos call for granting "deferred action", "parole", or simply cancelling the deportation of entire classes of illegal aliens—including all who would be eligible for the DREAM Act. You know, the same DREAM Act that Congress blocked last year. If this is not bypassing congress, I don’t know what is.
Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) introduced the "Hinder the Administration’s Legalization Temptation Act" or HALT Act to prevent the president from trying to use what his administration called "Administrative Alternatives to Comprehensive Immigration Reform" [PDF]to stop deportations and grant amnesty by executive fiat.
If Obama truly does not want to "bypass congress" then he should endorse the bill.
If there is a silver lining to take from this last lie, it is that Obama knows that the American people absolutely will not stand for his amnesty—-if they knew about it.
What is more disturbing is the fact that the crowd at La Raza has no shame in letting him know they want him to act like a Latin American dictator.
Obama claimed "Our American family will only be as strong as our growing Latino community."
But it’s pretty clear that growing community simply wants to strong-arm the rest of the country.
"Washington Watcher" [email him] is an anonymous source Inside The Beltway.