By now practically every person in America of Hispanic heritage is more than well aware of President Obamas recent executive order that allows 5 million undocumented immigrants to stay in this country, the majority of whom are Latino.
The stories range from those of human sacrifices and bondage to those whose dreams to finish college will finally come true, to those barely escaping gang violence and sexual assaults, to families at long last being reunited.
The stories go on and on and all of those of us sitting on the sidelines whether we are of Hispanic heritage or not, cannot overlook their meaning.
Recent polls suggest that almost 48% percent of America approve of allowing these millions of undocumented immigrants to come out of the shadows and join the rest of society for them to have the opportunity to make a better life for themselves.
But at the same time, the majority of those polled dont approve of the way Obama went about securing the freedom of those affected by his Presidential decree. Certainly, the first person to acknowledge that he isnt a ruling authoritarian royal is the president himself. He has said this in past speeches when he made his case against the President making a unilateral decision to take the scarlet letter of immigration off of those here illegally. But he did just that rather than waiting to attempt to act with the new Congress.
With a wave of his presidential magic wand he removed the threat of deportation for about 5 million people here illegally. Again the majority of Americans agree with the decree but they disagree with unilateral Presidential action in this case. And one must ask themselves what drove him to take this action, what drove him to contradict himself?
Answers are widely varied depending upon who one asks.
The Republicans overwhelmingly reject President Obamas decision to go it alone and issue an executive order to legalize 5 millions illegals. Supposedly a lot of Democrats feel the same way. Talks of threatening to shut down the government, to defunding his efforts, to suing the president are just that, talk. It would be political suicide to shut down the government, never mind defunding federal programs.
Its up to the states to sue the president if they feel his executive order in some way is causing them an unnecessary and unfair burden but it’s certainly not the role of the congress to go after the president in such a way. Rather than complain and whine about Obamas decision, which is now a done deal, Republican Party leaders should find a solution to truly reform immigration. Lets face it, President Obama got them on this one and he did so because the loyal opposition wouldnt act on immigration reform. He felt he had no choice but to go it alone.
It would behoove the Republican Party to stop complaining and step up to the plate and offer sound legislation to cure our broken down immigration laws. They could also show some warmth and offer comforting words to those now in the process of being legal.
It’s not just so theyll get their vote one day, but its to show to the world, the Republican Party is welcoming and tolerant of those that dont look like them.
To this day, I have yet to hear one member of the party say words such as, We dont agree with Obamas form of governing, but nonetheless, we want those millions affected by his executive order to know that we welcome them. Hispanics have done this country proud and we know these new immigrants will follow.
Latinos who emigrate here do it to seek a better life, plain and simple. They work hard to accomplish their dreams and they are proud to be a part of our founding fathers principles and constitutional demands. Certainly, not all immigrants from south of the border are exemplary characters, and the GOP has the right to call out the criminals among them and insist that these individuals be jailed or deported. They also have the right to call for a tighter border security, which Americans overwhelmingly support.
Call them the party of no, or the party of all of white men, or the party of intolerance, whatever the terms the Republican Party has been labeled over the years, I know they have kinder hearts towards all those coming to seek a better life. But it simply doesnt show.
Their communication skills are going to have to be revved up when they take over the Congress next year, their kind hearts can be revealed, and their will and determination to improve immigration laws has to become tangible. The Republicans must propose immigration legislation that is both sound and humane and they must do it sooner than later. If they do this, they stand to gain the trust of millions of Hispanics, legal and illegal that could paint the Republican Party with a kinder brush for years to come.