America has always been the land of opportunity, a society built on the backs of hard working immigrants, men and women who left their respective homelands in search of a better life, political stability, and financial advancement. As a result of this tradition, the United States has become the most diverse country on earth comprised of literally every ethnicity, religion, and belief system known to man congealed into the unique and widely envied nationality that we now refer to as “American”. Such a varied assortment of individuals has proven to be a mighty strength; every civilization in the world has spawned people who have become interwoven into the fabric of our country, a wondrous feat that no other society can reasonably claim.
For centuries, this immigration, conducted through legal channels and pre-set protocols, has helped improve the quality of life for countless families and the country as a whole, assuring that those who worked hard enough to come to the United States were rewarded with citizenship and all the legal protections therein. Unfortunately, over the past several decades the value of our cherished citizenship has declined exponentially, the victim of politicians’ unwillingness to enforce existing immigration laws or secure the country’s weakened borders.
Since at least the early 1980s, Republicans and Democrats alike have turned a blind eye towards those who disrespected the laws of the country they hoped to enter. Immigrants who entered the country subversively have been allowed to utilize every facet of American life without much opposition, including the rights and privileges that were intended only for law-abiding citizens. As the years passed and the number of illegal residents grew, the likelihood of anyone taking a stand against this practice was reduced, meaning those that had entered the country through illicit channels could rest assured they would not be punished for their crime nor for the subsequent burden their presence placed upon the rest of the country.
Additionally, while law enforcement struggled to curb this catastrophe, the hope that the government would eventually take a stand and solve the problem remained a feasible, albeit unlikely, scenario. After decades of disappointment, the American people should have known better than to believe their government would ever do anything to secure their well-being. Earlier this month, Barack Obama followed in the footsteps of every president dating back to at least Ronald Reagan and issued an executive order to alter current immigration policy, in this case prohibiting the deportation of large segments of the illegal community. Critics have attacked the new policy as a watered down version of amnesty, but also a blatant disregard for the country’s laws, Constitution, and the well-being of its citizenry.
Why do illegal immigrants deserve to stay in the country when they have, by default, started their relationship with the United States on a sour note, breaking laws that are meant to protect the public from potential harm? And how is it wise, in a time when jobs are scarce, to increase the competition American college graduates will face by flooding the market with aspiring illegal employees, many of whom are willing to work at the same jobs for less financial compensation? This will prove to be particularly devastating to working class and low-income families, particularly those in urban areas, who will never be able to find employment given that their citizenship puts them at a strategic disadvantage. And why should our aspiring college students have to have their dreams crushed so that an individual who has already broken the country’s laws, and in turn jeopardized the public’s well-being, can be admitted to college?
All of the above should be of great concern to the American people, but so should Obama’s callous display of backhandedness. By issuing an executive order, he was able to implement his desired policies, many of which were recently struck down when they were included in the “DREAM Act”, without the approval of Congress. He has continued the expansion of executive power, a door that has slowly opened over the past century, by consolidating further authority in the hands of the president while diminishing Congressional impact. The argument that conservatives can not reasonably criticize the president because Republicans like George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan issued similar decrees does not hold water, however; it was wrong when they did it, and it is equally unforgivable now.
The true motive behind Obama’s actions, however, is likely not a desire to amass considerably power of his own, but rather to diminish Mitt Romney’s ability to run an effective campaign. In a frightening display of political strategy, the Democrats recognized that they could back the Republicans into a corner; an immediate condemnation of the policy would isolate large segments of the population, primarily those who have some connection to, or affinity for, illegal residents. During an election, every person’s opinion counts, and an attack on Obama’s pseudo-amnesty could potentially cost Republican front-runner Mitt Romney in the voting booth.
Meanwhile, the Democrats have solidified themselves as the party of choice in the eyes of those who favor amnesty above deportation. This is why Mitt Romney did not immediately rebuke the executive order, nor promise to reverse the decision if elected. It was a dishearteningly display of his own lack of conservative principles, but Romney knows that the Democrats will benefit from Obama’s action, and he is merely trying to minimize the damage this fiasco will have upon his own campaign. While Romney refused to voice immediate opposition, several third party presidential candidates, including Representative Virgil Goode of the Constitution Party and Andre Barnett, the Reform Party’s front-runner, have made their disapproval clear.
“President Obama means to circumvent the laws of this nation,” said Barnett. “To make what is illegal legal by executive order shows his blatant disregard for America’s core values. This is an underhanded tactic to swindle votes from the Latino community.” Barnett also pointed out that it was no coincidence the order came only five months before the election.
For the last three decades, America’s presidents have refused to defend the country from external threats that seek to become internal problems. The willingness of every so-called leader to overlook such a great problem, and in many instances even exacerbate its severity, stands as a testament to how corrupt and ineffective American politicians have become. Perhaps it is time we build a fence around Washington to keep our lawmakers away from the populace as a whole; it seems as though they represent the gravest threat to the country’s survival.