Jewish World Review June 28, 2012/ 8 Tamuz, 5772
Legal illegal immigration
By Victor Davis Hanson
President Obama recently issued an edict exempting an estimated 800,000 to 1 million illegal aliens from the consequences of federal immigration law. Ostensibly that blanket amnesty applies to those who arrived before the age of 16 and are younger than 30; who are in, or graduated from, high school or have served in the military; and who have not been convicted of a felony or multiple misdemeanors. And while most Americans sympathize with helping those who were brought into
First was the cynical timing. In 2009 and 2010, Democrats had a supermajority in the
Then there is a problem of constitutionality, an especially serious issue for former constitutional law lecturer
The move contradicts Obama's earlier claim that a de facto amnesty "would not conform with my appropriate role as president." He later reiterated that "some people want me to bypass
In theory, the federal government currently treats illegal aliens on a case-by-case basis, as it allots limited resources to determine who most urgently should be deported and who need not be. The president has added some vague qualifiers to his blanket proclamation concerning schooling and criminal activity. But given that in a state like
Not long ago, the president, in explaining his personal desire for some sort of amnesty, lamented to Hispanic leaders that they needed to "punish our enemies" at the polls. But is illegal immigration always the single most important issue for Hispanics? Some polls show the Latino community divided almost evenly over open borders. That is understandable, given that the presence of 11 million to 15 million illegal aliens masks the national profile of Latino success. In terms of the rates of assimilation, integration, intermarriage and economic ascendency, Latino Americans who legally immigrated to
In Southwestern states, American citizens of Hispanic ancestry share in the increased costs associated with spiraling incarceration rates, plummeting test scores and overtaxed social services, which at least in part reflect the difficult efforts to accommodate those who arrived illegally from the poorest regions of
Finally, is it wise to tie our immigration policy so intimately to race and ethnicity, rather than individual merit and circumstances? Presently we equate massive influxes with
The president's decision is politically tainted, constitutionally suspect, cynically timed and poorly thought out. But it did result in one unintended consequence: We are reminded once again that there are millions of foreign nationals dying to reach
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Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and military historian, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. Comment by clicking here.
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