November 21, 2014

A few thoughts on reading the transcript of the President's immigration speech.

1. What, if anything, is really changing? Here's the deal:
If you’ve been in America for more than five years; if you have children who are American citizens or legal residents; if you register, pass a criminal background check, and you’re willing to pay your fair share of taxes – you’ll be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily...
You have to register and the protection from deportation is only temporary? Who even wants this deal? The alternative is to continue as before, knowing that the government lacks the resources and will to deport you as long as you don't commit a crime other than the violation of immigration law. We, the citizens of the United States of America, are urged to picture this as "living in the shadows." But that "shadows" rhetoric — which appears 4 times in the speech — is aimed at us citizens. And I'm trying to think of a comparably dramatic replacement for "if you register." The word "register" appears in the speech once. Isn't there something ominous and oppressive about a government registry?

2. Overstated reactions to Obama's announcement of his pragmatic continuation of immigration enforcement make his opponents look extreme, and I think that was the idea. Didn't his party lose the elections earlier this month because the GOP had managed to mute its immoderate voices? The Democratic Party needs the Tea Party/Ted Cruz element to speak up, and Obama's speech built a nice stage upon which they can strut, declaim, and chew scenery.

3. Obama got to sound elevated and aspirational: "[O]ur tradition of welcoming immigrants... [has] kept us youthful, dynamic, and entrepreneurial... And whether our forebears were strangers who crossed the Atlantic, or the Pacific, or the Rio Grande, we are here only because this country welcomed them in, and taught them that to be an American is about something more than what we look like..."

4. The speech is studded with conservative themes — not rewarding bad behavior, requiring people to take responsibility, keeping families together: Give people who want to "play by the rules" a way to "embrace... responsibilities."

5. On mentioning law, Obama proceeds to a double sleight of hand. Obama presents his independent action as a last resort, a temporary fix, while he waits on needed congressional action:
But until that happens, there are actions I have the legal authority to take as President – the same kinds of actions taken by Democratic and Republican Presidents before me.
Almost immediately after that statement, he intones the big generality "we are... a nation of laws," but that does not come in the context of explaining how he himself is following law that binds him. It's about the problem that "Undocumented workers broke our immigration laws, and I believe that they must be held accountable – especially those who may be dangerous." See the 2 moves in that sleight of hand? First, he shifted away from presidential power to the law that the "undocumented workers" are violating, and second, he broke that group in two, separating the whole law-violating category into those who are only violating immigration law and those who are "dangerous" for some other reason. The next bit is:
That’s why, over the past six years, deportations of criminals are up 80 percent. And that’s why we’re going to keep focusing enforcement resources on actual threats to our security. Felons, not families. Criminals, not children. Gang members, not a mother who’s working hard to provide for her kids. We’ll prioritize, just like law enforcement does every day. 
So, those law-violating people who are not "dangerous" are completely good people who deserve our compassion. How does that fit with the idea that "they must be held accountable"? We're supposed to lose track of who's supposed to be held accountable and think that only the dangerous subgroup needs to be held to account.

6. Does the President ever return to the topic of his legal authority? No, but he does seem to refer back to the (nonexistent!) place in the speech that maybe listeners will blame themselves for forgetting:
The actions I’m taking are not only lawful, they’re the kinds of actions taken by every single Republican President and every single Democratic President for the past half century. 
Now, there is a legal argument for presidential power that is premised on "a systematic, unbroken, executive practice, long pursued to the knowledge of the Congress and never before questioned, engaged in by Presidents who have also sworn to uphold the Constitution." (That's a quote — from the famous steel seizure case — that I discussed here a few days ago). But Obama doesn't say he's using that argument. He doesn't say "The actions I’m taking are lawful because they’re the kinds of actions taken by every single Republican President and every single Democratic President for the past half century." He says "not only" are his actions lawful, but they are also the kinds of actions that other Presidents have taken. The past practice of other Presidents comes as a reason to be persuaded that it's a good, practical, not immoderate policy.

7. Do past presidential actions establish either the legal authority or the good politics and policy of the President's proposed actions? I don't know! Obama only states a conclusion that there are all these other examples of the same kind of thing, but to assess any legal/political argument he might intend to be making, we'd need to study each example and make a sound judgment about whether it's parallel to what Obama is doing now. Let's say you buy into the proposition in that quote (in point #6) from the steel seizure case. That quote is from Felix Frankfurter's concurring opinion, and he took the trouble to examine past actions and decided that — other than 3 things FDR did in 1941 — they were not comparable.

8. Obama seems to claim a power to do what must be done even in a nonemergency.
And to those Members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill.
First, we — and he — should always question a government official's authority, and it's absurd to accept the idea that Congress's only way to object to the abuse of power is through the passage of a law. Second, Obama's claim of power doesn't include the premise that we are in a position where it is necessary for action to be taken. He just wants "to make our immigration system work better"! That doesn't sound like an emergency, just a policy tweaking. And, as I said in point #1, I don't see how what he's doing changes things that much, not enough to be characterized as a fix to get us through an emergency until Congress gets its gears in motion. If I'm wrong, and Obama is doing a lot, creating a substantial new policy, that weakens his argument for legal power. But if I'm right, and he's not doing much, then what's all the prime-time to-do about? For an answer to that question, please refer to point #2.

9. He acknowledges the objections of some Americans, then insults them: "... I understand the disagreements held by many of you at home," but this is "about who we are as a country." You people are not who we are.

10. Religion! "Scripture tells us that we shall not oppress a stranger, for we know the heart of a stranger – we were strangers once, too." What scripture is that? I assume it's Matthew 25:35-40.

201 comments:

1 – 200 of 201   Newer›   Newest»
Michael K said...

First, nobody watched the speech but the true believers and reporters/bloggers.

Two, nobody believes a word he says, not even his supporters anymore.

Three, any bill that the Republican Congress passes will be unsatisfactory to him.

Jason said...

Didn't his party lose the elections earlier this month because the GOP had managed to mute its immoderate voices?

Are you on crack?

Or have you just spent too long on a Madison college campus. Seriously, if that's your takeaway you've run off the rails of reality.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

"If you’ve been in America for more than five years; if you have children who are American citizens or legal residents; if you register, pass a criminal background check, and you’re willing to pay your fair share of taxes – you’ll be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily..."

Except no one, most certainly not Democrat activists, actually believes these illegal aliens will be held to these standards or obligations.

Ann Althouse said...

"Except no one, most certainly not Democrat activists, actually believes these illegal aliens will be held to these standards or obligations."

If the announced new policy is not the policy, what is the significance of the announcement?

MikeR said...

Exodus 23(9)

carrie said...

I agree that nothing is changed. Why isn't this considered a type of imperialism. We are stealing these countries' most important resource, their youth.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Enh. I didn't watch the speech, because broadcast TV didn't carry it. I heard it on Oregon Public Radio.

This --

Felons, not families. Criminals, not children. Gang members, not a mother who’s working hard to provide for her kids.

-- seems suspect to me. Are these mutually exclusive categories? I don't find it difficult to imagine felons who are family guys, criminals who are underage, or "hard-working moms" who are also gang members.

Then there was the bit about the people who pick our fruit and make our beds. I have no fruit to pick (tomato season being over), but I damn well make my own bed, thank you very much. Obama's case might be different, but I imagine that the WH staff are vetted and legal.

Franklin said...

You can argue about the soundness of the policy and politics of Obama's actions. But not about the illegality and unconstitutionality of the actions. Clearly an unconstitutional Executive Branch power grab.

Hopefully SCOTUS strikes it down.

rhhardin said...

Isn't he giving them social security cards and work permits?

Greg Hlatky said...

"The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul producing holy witness
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
A goodly apple rotten at the heart:
O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!" - The Merchant of Venice

rhhardin said...

Congress decides immigration, not the president.

In fact it has, and Obama isn't enforcing it.

Until 1965 or something we had zero immigration quotas and did okay.

traditionalguy said...

In Exodus 22:21 Moses told Hebrews not to oppress strangers since they were once strangers in the Land of Egypt.

I for one am glad to see Obama now wants Moses's Commandments enforced here.

James Pawlak said...

An "Act Of War" against the Constitution and the USA. It is treason.

rhhardin said...

We stay youthful by importing populations that breed like rabbits.

Keith said...

There's a better way: #Obamagration

gerry said...


If the announced new policy is not the policy, what is the significance of the announcement?


Obama is a liar. What he says cannot be believed. The new policy is not what he will do.

The announcement is pure political lies, designed to boost illegal immigration, since illegals will do work Americans no longer wish to do...vote Democrat.

Achilles said...

Iowahawk puts it best:

"LOL at all of those Latin American immigrants who came here to escape tin pot dictatorships."

And note how he actually did it is far less popular than the policy even among Hispanics.

There really isn't much you could say about this that would sound too extreme.

Owen said...

Very useful analysis, Professor Althouse. Your Point 5 is one that, as I watched and listened to his speech, made me reach RLO (Rage Lift-Off). I sensed more than parsed the legerdemain and bare-faced hypocrisy with which he asserted he was acting lawfully to go after lawbreakers but only the REALLY lawbreak-y ones. Sheesh.

Your most important point (tactically, anyway) is the political one. He gets to indulge his narcissism even as he sets a trap for his enemies. He and his party have now "demonstrated" and hope this draws out the GOP so they can be cut to pieces as a bunch of hater bigots. They must ignore the provocation and then gut his arrogations with supreme tact.

Curious George said...

"Ann Althouse said...
"Except no one, most certainly not Democrat activists, actually believes these illegal aliens will be held to these standards or obligations."

If the announced new policy is not the policy, what is the significance of the announcement?"

It's like Gruber never happened. Yikes.

Unknown said...
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traditionalguy said...

Best thought I've heard so far is that if Presidents rule by Decrees, then Congress persons and lobbiests have nothing left to sell.

So this new Rule by Ruler will be rebuked big time, very, very soon.

Keith said...


If the announced new policy is not the policy, what is the significance of the announcement?


It's a reach-around for Hispanics, and an agent provocation to Republicans. Purely cynical, manipulative process.

As you suspect.

wildswan said...

To me this is an insult to the intelligence of the Hispanics who are here illegally and who expected an "amnesty" meaning by that that they would become or be on a track to become American citizens. This is just turning them into American peons - I, Barack Obama, won't deport you (unless you anger me and then I will - see how I treated the American citizens who are conservatives.) So bow down and thank me and kiss my feet while I p--- on you just as if you were still in Guatemala because you've got a new caudillo - lawless and in control of your life. I've grubered you both, that's all you now have in common with the American citizens. (And for damn sure vote for Democrats, if you want to stay here.)

Unknown said...

Althouse is fine with amnesty because it isn't her ox being gored. She is part of the protected elite. A professor with tenure, pension and non-Obamacare health insurance.

If Obama had deemed that all law degrees and bar exams in South America were now granted equal status with those here in the US, she'd be up in arms.

Unknown said...

Obama say: That’s why, over the past six years, deportations of criminals are up 80 percent.

I'll bet 1 million dollars that's a bogus statistic.

Unknown said...

This "executive action" does not change anything or create any new condition or action (except have illegal aliens self disclose their illegal actions in registering -- maybe we will have a new searchable by location database, like sex offenders).

It's pretty obvious that the intent is to give cause for the Republican part to react. The unintended (I think) consequence is the same as before, more illegal aliens will be encouraged to cross the border creating more crime along the border and importing more low-income workers which will cause income inequality to increase (if that term actually means anything of consequence).

Gahrie said...

If the announced new policy is not the policy, what is the significance of the announcement?

The significance of the announcement is that once again President Obama has lied to the American people and wounded the Constitution to advance the Progressive agenda.

Skeptical Voter said...

Ms. Althouse you've done what I did with Obama's "greatest speech on race relations evah. . ". As I recall Obama gave it in Philadelphia after Jeremiah Wright got to be a problem for Obama in the spring of 2008.

When you read one of his speeches critically--loaded with fluff and nonsense, high sounding platitudes and calls to non existent authority or precedent--you'll usually see that there's not a lot of "there" there. In any case I did that to his "race relations" speech and sent my annotated transcript to my sister in San Francisco. This was by way of brotherly affection and allowing her to see behind the Potemkin Village facade of the speech. That act prompted a sibling explosion--"cheap lawyer tricks" etc in taking the time to read and understand what a document actually said. Hey sis--that's what lawyers do. I spent my professional lifetime in reading, understanding, and writing long and complicated documents.

So now you've done the "cheap lawyer trick" with respect to the immigration speech.

The truth is that most Obama speeches resemble what might happen if you put a stick of dynamite under a pile of horse manure, then loaded a pile of pious platitudes on top of the manure. When you set the stick of dynamite off, horse manure and platitudes go flying through the air in a sort of disorganized fashion. But hey--that's Obama's default speech mode.

I know that reading and parsing the transcript was a nasty job--but someone had to do it. Thank you for your service.

Gahrie said...

We are stealing these countries' most important resource, their youth.

We aren't stealing their youth, it is being given to us, whether we want it or not.

buwaya said...

The significant change, that is implied but not mentioned (deliberately?), is that @5 million illegal aliens will receive completely valid work permits. That is very much worth registering for. And filing tax returns is also very worthwhile, even with payroll tax deductions (which most employers are doing already, as most of these people are using fake SS IDs.). EITC is a big deal.
And they can get valid ID too.
With valid ID they get Medicaid and
TANF, and other benefits too I am sure.
Very powerful incentives.
The reality on the ground is the subtext, or part of the subtext here.
Law and rhetoric work in a context and you need to understand the context.
I have no opinion regarding the policy as such. Maybe its defensible. I see benefits and costs/risks.

LilyBart said...

Step away from the Kool Aid lady!

How do you believe a practiced and deceitful liar?

Achilles said...

Ann Althouse said...

"If the announced new policy is not the policy, what is the significance of the announcement?"

As a lawyer you should know this. It is the process that matters. It is the process he is trying to destroy. He is trying to turn this country into Venezuela.

LilyBart said...

and you’re willing to pay your fair share of taxes

Um, don't you mean 'collect your fair share of EIC'?

LilyBart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mingus Jerry said...

And the reason this had to be done now, before a bill, was what? I fail to see an emergency requiring him to take unilateral action in advance of working with the new Congress to pass a bill.

But, of course, he doesn't want to work with the new Congress.

Kim Strassel has a great piece in today's WSJ noting how this action could bite liberals in 2017.

Unknown said...

Pass a bill? Why won't Harry Reid pass all those house bills on his desk? You know the bills not allowed on the floor for debate...


Charles C W Cooke explains:

"...In Obama’s post-2011 world, it seems, legislators are not free agents but parliamentary subordinates possessed of two choices: either they do what he wants, or they watch him do what he wants. Refusing assent seems to be regarded as an entirely illegitimate option. This, it should be perfectly obvious, is the attitude not of the statesman, but of the mugger. “Give me your wallet,” the ruffian says, “or I will take it by force.” ..."

Bob R said...

It seems to me that a pretty good Republican position would be that this ends the debate between enforcement first and amnesty first crowds. Amnesty won. Time to talk about enforcement.

Anonymous said...

Cracker Emcee: "Except no one, most certainly not Democrat activists, actually believes these illegal aliens will be held to these standards or obligations."

Althouse: If the announced new policy is not the policy, what is the significance of the announcement?


C'mon, Ann. The point of an announcement is never the policy. It's the politics. Our Liar in Chief wants to convince people that what he's doing isn't really so bad. Gosh, reading the summary, it does seem kind of okay. But after Grubergate, what sense does it make to take the man at his word? He's lying, and he knows he is. This is a man who talks about building on our progress on the border — !! Unless you define progress as "letting more people in unscreened, including many criminals," that statement makes no sense.

I still go back and forth on whether he is evil or incompetent or a mix of both. What he certainly is not is believable, in any way.

LilyBart said...

The speech is studded with conservative themes

Ah, yes, from the liar and manipulator. Rhetoric only.

He says whatever sounds good, to get the stupid voters to go along.

Alex said...

Ann is deliberately trolling conservatives. I do wonder sometimes if all her motions to right-wing views over the last few years were just fake. She's a liberal down to the genetic level, don't ever forget that.

LilyBart said...

On mentioning law, Obama proceeds to a double sleight of hand.

Deceivers gotta deceive.

LilyBart said...

He acknowledges the objections of some Americans, then insults them:

He insults a LOT of people. Apparently immigrants are all fruit pickers and maids.

Unknown said...

Funny how conservative themes sound so good. They are deception coming out of the mouth of a proven liar and a fierce leftwing ideologue... but - nice pant crease!

MikeDC said...

The problem with a straightforward analysis of this speech is that, like so many other things done by the government, the practice of immigration policy already diverges so far from the law that it's nearly impossible to wrap your head around what's really going on.

Is what Obama did illegal? Obviously. He has no executive authority to prioritize certain classes of lawbreakers over others.

Also, most of these folks arent legally allowed to work in the us in the first place, so the idea that they're going to start paying taxes on the jobs they can't legally get is a bit odd.

Meanwhile, people who actually try to legally immigrate continue to go through tremendous hassle and expense

Alex said...

The Democratic Party needs the Tea Party/Ted Cruz element to speak up

yet the Tea Party just crushed your party Ann.

MadisonMan said...

I would not want to register for anything that has to do with the Government, and your observation about it is correct. Illegals will see no will to prosecute. Better to take your chances and live in the shadows.

LilyBart said...

I do wonder sometimes if all her motions to right-wing views over the last few years were just fake.

Yes, she pretends to be 'cruelly neutral'. But to be fair, I think she fools herself as well.

Alex said...

yeah when it comes down to brass tax, Ann is on the side of the liberals.

jacksonjay said...

Meaning will come with memos and directives from DHS, ICE, HHS, IRS, EPA and the like. The directives will appear on FB pages on Friday afternoon or Saturday evening.

I seem to recall a recent story about dangerous criminals released by ICE. ICE then lied about the nature of these crimes.

If Swaggy's action was executive in nature, why does he keep blaming the Congress for refusing to act?

Joe Wilson was a prophet!

I'm Full of Soup said...

Stop repeating the lie that deportations are up under King Barry- they have been cooking the books.

King Barry can't give away something he does not own and King Barry does not own the country.

garage mahal said...

Republicans have 3 positions. Revert to previous status quo and undo Executive Order, self-deportation, or total deportation (police state).

Mr/Mrs 2016 Republican nominee: What is your position?

What would Jesus do?

SteveR said...

If the announced new policy is not the policy, what is the significance of the announcement?

To stir up the Repubs and Tea Partyers.

Unknown said...

NPR this morning had an interview with an illegal alien, came here at 18 to send money to his poo mother in Mexico, got married, had a couple of kids, had a job (in construction), paid taxes (IRS has a method for taxpayers who don't have SSNs, who knew?), bought a house. He won't get anything out of the new scheme except he will be here legally.

MadisonMan said...

When did they start taxing brass?

FWBuff said...

Your point #2 is the key. It's a cynical political ploy to make the Republicans react and damage their relationship with Hispanics. Nothing would make the Obama Democrats happier than for the next Republican president to reverse this Order and suffer the inevitable bad press.

Henry said...

That’s why, over the past six years, deportations of criminals are up 80 percent.

This is the result of a grossly illiberal policy!

Where are the liberals?

Drago said...

The illegals obama is welcoming into the fold will now be given green cards/work permits and SSN's which is currently not allowed under present law.

Thats all.

No biggie.

The preezy flashed his smile, uttered a couple platitudes and Althouse fell right back in line.

n.n said...

Obama is presenting a pro-choice argument. Ignore the problem and defer to individual faith. In the case of an executive amnesty, his own. This will be emotionally appealing to Democrats on principle and not a few Republicans. The dissenters will be suppressed through executive (e.g. DOJ, IRS) discretion, judicial decrees, and activist agitation.

libertariansafetyguy said...

Does Obama's citation of scripture come from the Bible or the Koran?

Alex said...

Drago - the point is that Ann always wants to fall in line with Obama. She just needs the slightest excuse to do so.

dreams said...

"9. He acknowledges the objections of some Americans, then insults them: "... I understand the disagreements held by many of you at home," but this is "about who we are as a country." You people are not who we are."

So sayeth the not so closeted Muslim.

Anonymous said...

Try Leviticus 19:34.

garage mahal said...

Fourth [and option would be for the House GOP to adopt the Senate bill that passed. But that might provoke a mutiny from below. One thing this did accomplish is that we'll be talking a lot about this topic for two years.

richard mcenroe said...

You are treating serioursly the words of a man who does not treat his own words seriously.

Why?

The GOP didn't mute its "immoderate" voices, it won because of them. Their base showed up because of them.

Michael said...

Garage:

There have been more deportations under Obama than under GWB. There is no move to deport and thus it is something of a straw man. A more interesting question would be why Americans cannot relocate to Mexico or Canada on the same basis as those who have relocated here. And why would it be that those countries have immigration laws that are enforced?

The grandstanding of last night solves nothing, fixes nothing, and was intended only as a political red flag. Which substitutes for ideas or an ability, not to mention a willingness, to negotiate.

Unknown said...

Living the dream in the shadows

richard mcenroe said...

Why does Obama think that anyone lured north by the flyers PRINTED BY OUR OWN GOVERNMENT, promising them benefits and subsidies, is suddenly eager to come "out of the shadows" and start paying taxes?

Michael said...

Garage:

We will not be talking about this for two years given the attention span of the stupid electorate. It has now been fixed by our president. Nothing to talk about, right?

richard mcenroe said...

Michael, that's not true. All that has changed the deportation numbers is the way they count them. Now they call anyone turned back at the border proper a "deportation".

dreams said...

"2. Overstated reactions to Obama's announcement of his pragmatic continuation of immigration enforcement make his opponents look extreme, and I think that was the idea. Didn't his party lose the elections earlier this month because the GOP had managed to mute its immoderate voices? The Democratic Party needs the Tea Party/Ted Cruz element to speak up, and Obama's speech built a nice stage upon which they can strut, declaim, and chew scenery. "

For those interested in a another opinion, here is a link to Jennifer Rubin.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2014/11/20/obamas-executive-decree-is-a-boon-to-republicans/?hpid=z6

Fernandinande said...

Ann Althouse said...
If the announced new policy is not the policy, what is the significance of the announcement?


Like any other Obola announcement, the announcement is a lie to hide the true policy (which you can keep if you want to...).

mikeski said...

So, in parallel-universe Earth, where President Palin said "just register, and you can keep all the assault weapons you want", did the guys with basements full of AK's (1) register, or (2) wonder what that list would be used for in future administrations?

MayBee said...

Second, Obama's claim of power doesn't include the premise that we are in a position where it is necessary for action to be taken.

Exactly. We have immigration laws. What is going on that we need this emergency action? Have the current laws failed? Have we not enforced them? How did so many people get into the country and work from the shadows?

Will someone ask the White House..."why?"

Alex said...

All I see here is attempts to justify Obola's tyranny.

mikeski said...

richard mcenroe said...

Why does Obama think that anyone lured north [...] is suddenly eager to come "out of the shadows" and start paying taxes?


You misspelled "and start raking in the EITC, too?".

Dr.D said...

The Scriptures only deal with individual, one-to-one relations, never to how to deal with an invading mass (other than to repel them). Yes, each individual hispanic is an individual (that is obvious, isn't it?), but we are talking about mass actions, a mass amnesty. Scripture never supports such foolishness!

Martha said...

The young woman Obama will meet with in Las Vegas today --Astrid Silva -- is a college student working on her third degree. How do you accumulate 3 degrees and remain a college student?

From Obama's speech: "It was around that time she decided to begin advocating for herself and others like her, and today, Astrid Silva is a college student working on her third degree."

chillblaine said...

Bravo Althouse! I especially like the "overstated reactions," comment. Republicans should publicly claim a sigh of relief, followed by a phrase like, "We thought he was going to legalize them!"

Anniella said...

Traditionalguy got there first. The reference is to Exodus: "Do not oppress a foreigner; you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners, because you were foreigners in Egypt." Ex. 23:9

Dr.D said...

Ann said, "If the announced new policy is not the policy, what is the significance of the announcement?"

Has Obola ever spoken the plain truth? Not that I can recall.

His words always mean something other than what they say. Sure, Ann, you must understand that by now?

Unknown said...

Obama-stats are like Grubers.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said... alternative is to continue as before, knowing that the government lacks the resources and will to deport you as long as you don't commit a crime other than the violation of immigration law.

Yeah, not even then, though--this morning's NPR report had a long-ish interview with a guy from Mexico and was about how great this is for him, presenting him in the best light possible. They very casually mentioned that he'd had a DUI and (separately, maybe) ignored a deportation order. But Obama's action would make him feel more secure that the incompetent Fed Gov wouln't suddently get its act together and boot him out, I guess. Hooray!

richard mcenroe said...

Mikeski -- I could have mentioned the TIN scam, too, but what's a few billions dollars a year between collegial political rivals, eh?

chillblaine said...

I'm a little uncomfortable with the passage from Scripture. They always seem to ignore the ones that prohibit bearing false witness, murder, and covetousness. Oh, that's right, the Ten Commandments is a charter of negative liberty.

Drago said...

Dr. D: "His words always mean something other than what they say. Sure, Ann, you must understand that by now?"

LOL

Not likely.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Does anyone really believe that any illegal who does not register and/or does not pay their taxes will be deported?
How will the government prove that any illegal is not a parent of a citizen or a legal resident?
Any illegal who has used an SS number has committed identity theft. Will these people be deported?
It's open borders, baby!

Amichel said...

It really gets under my skin when people who have no use for the Christian or Jewish religion normally appropriate the scriptures to buttress some mundane political argument. To use something that people deeply revere and value, that you yourself consider of no value, to play on their emotions. Takes some real balls. I mean, I wouldn't dare to quote the Koran to try and convince a Muslim member of my constituency.

jacksonjay said...

So, do these "thoughts" constitute the "unbiased, legal assessment of the argument" we are NOT interested in reading?

Tank said...

If you’ve been in America for more than five years; if you have children who are American citizens or legal residents; if you register, pass a criminal background check, and you’re willing to pay your fair share of taxes – you’ll be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily...

This looks an awful lot like legislation, no?

Drago said...

Terry: "Does anyone really believe that any illegal who does not register and/or does not pay their taxes will be deported?"

Of course not.

Why would they?

95% of illegals already skip out on their "required" hearings.

And now here come the EITC, obamacare and other benefits.

All as planned.

But as long as obama smiles and tells Althouse it's not going to happen, she'll simply swoon and go swimming in that dreamy "reality" that obama has created by merely uttering a few words.

exhelodrvr1 said...

He should be careful about references comparing us to the Israelites and their relocation into Israel; he might want to take a look at how they handled the people of other cultures they encountered.

Drago said...

Amichel: "Takes some real balls. I mean, I wouldn't dare to quote the Koran to try and convince a Muslim member of my constituency."

You'll never see any lefty/liberal anywhere challenge any muslim about just about anything.

The left reserves it's "courageous" challenges for Christianity only.

Courageously, of course.

garage mahal said...

The grandstanding of last night solves nothing, fixes nothing, and was intended only as a political red flag.

So you think the GOP position heading into 2016 will be that the executive order is a nothingburger and the GOP would keep it in place?

FullMoon said...

AA says: Isn't there something ominous and oppressive about a government registry?

BD says:If you got nothin', you got nothin' to lose

If you got something, like a house, a business, a couple of cars, friends, family and a middle class American life, then you definitely have something to lose.

It is not only Obama they have to worry about, it is "the government". No telling how things gonna be in five more years after you register.

Anonymous said...

Here's some scripture for you:

Psalm 55:21

Anonymous said...

He should be careful about references comparing us to the Israelites and their relocation into Israel; he might want to take a look at how they handled the people of other cultures they encountered.

Shoot, all he had to do was continue on to Exodus 34:11-24. Bearing in mind, of course, that they were just doing the jobs Canaanites wouldn't do.

Anonymous said...

Whatever his amnesty does, the temporary legals are doing jobs that the permanent legals are unwilling to do at their prices: hotel maids, gardeners, fruit pickers,... Dear Leader said so.

On the other hand, the un-shadowed temporary legals will demand higher pay. May be the permanent legals would at last take a look at those jobs.

If his amnesty did not do anything much, then the leftists, especially the Hispanics, would raise hell after evaluating his non-amnesty amnesty. But the employers can keep the illegals if they like their illegals.

Btw, do they give a photo-id to those who registered? Does it mean getting a photo-id is a tolerable endeavor to citizens who vote in an election? Does it mean the states will give drivers licenses to the temporary legals who can use them as a valid ID to vote?

Does it mean Dear Leader granted amnesty to Democrat politicians from the American stupid voters, the underemployed and unemployed clingers?

n.n said...

Earned income accounts for less than half of the incentive for illegal immigration. Despite Obama's assertion, illegal aliens do receive social benefits through legal and illegal means. Not the least of which was universal medical care (pre-Obamacare). There is also an incentive for second and third-world nations to encourage and facilitate emigration of unwanted or burdensome citizens.

So, in effect, Obama wants to change the topic of conversation. It did not begin with affirmative amnesty, but this is his latest effort. He is reacting in defiance of Americans' votes to block his executive discretion. Obama is not amused.

B said...

Boehner and McConnell need to get every GOP rep and senator in a room and tell them to shut up for the next six months. Give leadership a chance to chip away at Obama without giving the media soundbites.

PS The only people I hear bringing up impeachment are reporters. That's all they want to talk about. Feverishly trying to paint republicans as extreme.

As my whimsy leads me.. said...

The devil used scripture to tempt Jesus. Matthew 4:1-11.

Toy

Jupiter said...

"If the announced new policy is not the policy, what is the significance of the announcement?"

I think it is a mistake to attribute Obama's actions to Obama. He did not design Obamacare, Reid and Pelosi did. And he did not design this nothingburger, the children on his staff did. He has been promising the Amnesty crowd that he would do something for them, and they have been getting restive. So he told his staff to throw together whatever they could dredge up, and he wrapped some more of his increasingly tired rhetoric around it, and there it is. When's tee time?

Substantively, the only issue here is that, if significant numbers of people register, it will be politically difficult to deport them should responsible people take over the country again.

Jupiter said...

I have a vague recollection that it used to be illegal to hire illegal immigrants, and you could get fined for it. Is that law still being enforced? What is an employer supposed to do when someone shows up looking for work with an illegally issued Obama green card?

Lawyer Mom said...

"I understand the disagreements held by many of you at home ..." What a telling choice of words. "The folks" "at home" "hold disagreements." The "many" folks at home can be dismissed as old-fashioned, fractious, barco-lounging Archie-Bunkers, who simply do not have the intellectual capacity or generosity of spirit to accept and embrace the true essence of our country.

Alrighty then. Disagree with Obama and you'll be identified to all as an un-American, ignorant fool.

@Michael, thank you for pointing out that NO country will allow US citizens to immigrate with anything approaching the ease with which people can come here. Canada is nigh impossible. Few people ever stop to consider that.

As the Freakonomics guys put it in their new book, almost everyone has "delegated their thinking."

The Savage Noble said...

4. and 6. especially popped out at me when I was watching the speech. And they prompted disgust because I did not judge them honestly used. I do not believe the Bible quotes or "conservative themes" were what motivated his actions. I also do not believe that he was using the language to be more persuasive to those that disagree with the action. No, to me, it seemed like he was using the tropes as a means of thumbing his nose at the opposition - of mocking them.

This of course dovetails into AA's point 2.

Lewis Wetzel said...

"Hey, Pablo, you been here in America 5 years? Got any dependent children who are American citizens or legal residents? Ever paid taxes?"
"Nope"
"Me neither! Well, I guess it's back to Guatemala for us! We better hurry before Obama sics DHS on us! That'll be like being hunted down by bloodhounds!"

Anonymous said...

I think you may be onto something with #2 and #8, but your conclusion is wrong.

Here is why he gave a prime time address on Univision before the Latin Grammies, but not on network television. Because he knows that making an announcement like this will increase the flood of future Democrat voters across the border.

What he doesn't understand, because he only thinks in the short term rather than the long term, is the crises he is creating will give the Republicans the onus they need to pass tougher border security laws without having to do so in a comprehensive fashion.

Last night, President Obama made immigration and inadvertently, the economy, the #1 and #2 issues of the 2016 presidential race.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

...if you register...

...to vote...

Lewis Wetzel said...

"about who we are as a country."
How in the Hell would Obama know anything about "who we are as a country"? Did he learn it in Hawaii (statehood granted three years before his birth) or in Indonesia? Maybe he learned about who we are as country at Columbia or at Harvard?
Obama knows nothing "about who we are as a country."

Lori said...

The speech is a PR document, not a policy statement. It leaves out the particulars and only sets the stage for the emotional arguments the Dems will be making.

This is being done to create a permanent Democrat majority.

People who get driver's licenses, work permits, and SS cards will also register to vote. Hillary jumped right on board, and I'll bet it was reason #1 to keep the Dems in line who met at the White House. Why else the all-out federal harassment of True the Vote and voter id laws?

Also, this is the new War on Families starring Republicans, or anyone who disagrees that the privilege of U.S. citizenship should not be doled out like Chicago free parking passes, as Snidely Whiplash.

Michael K said...

"what is the significance of the announcement?"

Fooling the rubes. You know, the ones who support Obamacare.

RecChief said...

I think point #2 is dead on. He's daring the GOP to go off the rails and impeach him.


If the announced new policy is not the policy, what is the significance of the announcement?

One thing to remember about Obama and his White House, they only care about optics, messaging, telling a story.

And, again, Obama is throwing a temper tantrum. You saw it post election where he said he didn't see a repudiation of "his" policies, he said he was elected by everyone, therefor he has a mandate while the GOP doesn't.

I think the guy is contained within a bubble of sycophantic bullshit. He doesn't understand the objections of anyone with a different viewpoint because he never gets presented with one that he deems credible.

Mark O said...

"If the announced new policy is not the policy, what is the significance of the announcement?"

This can be fully understood in relationship to his narcissistic personality disorder.

Here is a start:
Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

In order for a person to be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) they must meet five or more of the following symptoms:
•Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
•Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
•Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
•Requires excessive admiration
•Has a very strong sense of entitlement, e.g., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
•Is exploitative of others, e.g., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
•Lacks empathy, e.g., is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
•Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
•Regularly shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

PB said...

Deferring deportation proceedings is arguably a decision under prosecutorial discretion, but the scale of it seems a clear violation of the intent of prosecutorial discretion, but let's not forget that this discretion has largely been in action for the last several years and made clear in DACA. The clear legal violation is the granting of work visas to illegal aliens. This definitely violates his oath of office and must not stand.

Fritz said...

"The young woman Obama will meet with in Las Vegas today --Astrid Silva -- is a college student working on her third degree. How do you accumulate 3 degrees and remain a college student?"

Two bachelors, a masters and PhD will do it.

RecChief said...

And they can get valid ID too.
With valid ID they get Medicaid and


Democrats already looking ahead to 2016? it's been shown how a relatively small number of non-citizens, voting illegally, can sway a close election

George said...

The creepiest bit was the Alice and Wonderland perversion of the meaning of the words "amnesty" and "accountability"

George said...

The creepiest bit was the Alice and Wonderland perversion of the meaning of the words "amnesty" and "accountability"

Tina Trent said...

I think you're misinterpreting the media optics, Ann.

This is all designed only for the true believers. it's more like a fundraising speech than governing.

traditionalguy said...

The key is the Presidential Oath. When Obama said the words about faithfuly enforcing the laws he added."... sometime before the end my fouth year, in my discretion."

Original Mike said...

"If the announced new policy is not the policy, what is the significance of the announcement?"

To goad the GOP into overreacting. That's all there is. Politics.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

garage mahal said...

What would Jesus do?

I suspect heaven has pretty tight border security.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Just to help out people who haven't been following this stuff for a while, please see this 2011 Treasury Inspector General for Tax report discussing "refundable" tax credits-that is, payments, to people filing with ITINs (like the guy in the NPR interview this morning). The report says such payments totalled $4.2 Billion dollars in 2010. That was up from $924 million in 2005.
When you hear the discussion of all the hard working low wage illegal immigrants who pay their taxes, let's keep in mind that (thanks to liberal legislative victories, some w/bipartisan support) those on the lower end of the income distribution pay very little in taxes--the working poor with children likely receive money back from the IRS and if eligible for gov. benefits are almost certainly net recipients of tax money. That's not some right-wing talking point, it's what the CBO says(AEI chart from CBO data, orig rpt here.

Hey, you ask, didn't the Republicans try to change the IRS rules to end payments like those a while back? Yes, they did, with the Refundable Child Tax Credit Eligibility Verification Reform Act but of course that failed, don't'cha know--please Google that bill name to read all sorts of fun articles asking how Repubs could be so callous as to want to take money away from poor children, etc.

So the Dem plan is simple: encourage likely-Dem voters to come here, make sure their redistributive benefit programs hook poor illegal immigrants on gov cash and make them dependent on programs the Dems push (which also expand the size & scope of the gov. as well as the # of gov workers), and buy yourself a huge, reliable constituency with tax money paid by wealthy legal citizens (many of whom are Repubs). They can be sure that plan is well-insulated from attack in the Media, of course, since the seen beneficiaries are sympathetic and will be construed as part of approved victim classes, while the unseen harmed parties--the ones who pay the $ as well as the ones who have their votes/influence diluted against their will--are less sympathetic generally and are specifically disliked by the Media. Hell, it'll probably some category of hate speech or harassment to even oppose most of these measures soon--it's already enough to get you called a racist.

Anonymous said...

Something else to consider.

Someone mentioned a President Palin issuing a decree concerning AK 47 ownership. The first thing that popped into my head, if a Republican President did that, is every story played up on the evening news. Even if a knife was used in a mass slaughter in a school, it would be tied back to President Palin's gun decree.

Whether that's right or not is besides the point. Instead, think about the negative effects of Obamas decree. Will the media be out there playing up homelessness and asking them if Obamas decree has made it harder for them to get and keep a job? Will they go look at over stuffed school districts and ask if Obamas decree has caused the problems they are facing? Will they go to the 3 degree girls university and find out who was denied admission because she got in? Will they interview the families who have lost loved ones because of a failure to deport drunk drivers? Will they go to a business that has hired illegals and find out if citizens have been turned down for jobs there and the illegals took their jobs?

We all know the answers, right?

Susan said...

Finnally the Democrats get the slaves they've been desperate for since the Emancipation Proclamation.
And about dang time too.

Pick that fruit. Make that bed. Come on Rosa! Get with it Pedro!

Michael said...

Garage
The grandstanding of last night solves nothing, fixes nothing, and was intended only as a political red flag.

"So you think the GOP position heading into 2016 will be that the executive order is a nothingburger and the GOP would keep it in place?"

Yep. The GOP should only focus on the extraordinary use of presidential power and let this issue lie. OK, the president made a speech. If you are here illegally will you go waltzing into the immigration office today to get right with the new "policy?" I don't think so. If you are working in some government agency do you know what to do today? Tomorrow?

The GOP will have some clowns making noise about this but they are wasting their time. Take the advice of the commenter above and say, fine, fixed. Now we work on a border fence. Or triple the border patrol. Etc.

Original Mike said...

"Refundable Child Tax Credit Eligibility Verification Reform Act but of course that failed, don't'cha know"<

Followed the link. The implication is currently you don't have to provide a Social Security Number on your tax return. Can that be right?

TennLion said...

Leviticus 19:34: "The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God." (NIV) But I think that means civil rights, not citizenship.

Anonymous said...

Michael, that seems right.

What immigration problem? Obama fixed that, didn't you hear his glorious speech?

Now, let's look at our porous border. We don't want President Clinton to have to give the same speech 8 years from now. So, since the President has acted and fixed things, we will take care of the part he didn't fix, border security.

mikeski said...

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I suspect heaven has pretty tight border security.


Seriously? It's just the one guy!

Unknown said...

Hoodlum Doodlum - @ 12:25 - That is right on.

The democrats need a reliable government dependent constituency. Illegal immigrants will be tax net receivers.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

eric said...Whether that's right or not is besides the point. Instead, think about the negative effects of Obamas decree. Will the media be out there...

Exactly correct, eric. The seen and the unseen; it's a problem with economic and political issues even when the Media doesn't explicitly take a side/have a favorite, but in a case like this where they've already picked a side it's damn near fatal to the concept of honest, truthful public debate.
Think for a moment about recent news reports--how frequently did they mention that an arrested person (or someone accused of a crime, etc) was an illegal immigrant? Is that something they normally highlight? Contrast that with the stories we're seeing now emphasizing what good people these folks are and how great it is they can come of the shadows now. The double standard is obvious: when dealing with information/news that might be detrimental to their cause by showing harm caused by illegal immigrants the Media suppress that information--it's not a part of the story, it's prejudicial to other immigrants, it's racist to include those specifics when they don't change the story, etc. When dealing with information that supports their cause--a hardworking family paying taxes and staying out of trouble, a college graduate or photogenic voluneteer who happens to be here illegally--that information is highlighted and made the focus of the story. The Media has taken a side; even moreso than on most issues, expect neither fairness, honesty, nor transparency from them.

LilyBart said...

Followed the link. The implication is currently you don't have to provide a Social Security Number on your tax return. Can that be right?

I've read that this is one of the most abused and cheated programs, and the feds to little to rectify this.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Original Mike said.... The implication is currently you don't have to provide a Social Security Number on your tax return. Can that be right?

Original Mike, not only can it be right, it is right and has been the case for a while now. Somehow you didn't know about it, though--do you think you're alone in that?

From IRS.gov: Who needs an ITIN?
IRS issues ITINs to foreign nationals and others who have federal tax reporting or filing requirements and do not qualify for SSNs. A non-resident alien individual not eligible for a SSN who is required to file a U.S. tax return only to claim a refund of tax under the provisions of a U.S. tax treaty needs an ITIN.


Now, a system to have people w/o SSNs be able to file tax returns is not in itself a bad idea! The combination of tax policies that include refundable tax credits (ie money paid FROM the IRS) for low income people who file and the ability of illegal immigrants to file, though--that's a bit of a problem, to the tune of several billion $/year. Funny how you don't hear much talk about that cost, though. (By the way, when you read figures about how many million kids live in poverty or in households with income x below the poverty line, always remember some portion of those are kids/families of illegal immigrants the Dems are all too happy to import).

CWJ said...

Althouse,

Excellent analysis. But as you point out, there's precious little legal justification and no coherent policy behind Obama's statement. And worse, no roadmap as to how actual human beings will be able to effectively implement his embracing of good things eschewing bad things pablum.

It's all political calculation as always. Your point #2 says it all. See also my comments in the previous two threads. The election is not even three weeks old. Bad faith defined.

Original Mike said...

Thanks for the education HD.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

By the way, work the likely scenario like this: Illegal immigrant husband and wife sneak in. They start working, either with stolen SSNs or their own ITINs, have taxes collected. They're low wage workers so they don't end up owing much (low bracket), but good news for them, they have a kid soon after arrival! The kid, of course, is a citizen (it's racist to call it an anchor baby) and as such can qualify for gov benefits even if the parents can't. The parents can now qualify for some refundable tax credits since they have a child, and if they've been in the US for 10 years they can apply for permanent resident status. Even if they don't having the child makes it more difficult to deport either of the parents, since of course that'd break the family up. It's certainly not fair to say that many illegal immigrants come here just for the welfare benefits and to avoid ever having to work (as is the case in places like the UK today), but it's also innaccurate to portray them as net tax payers and unable to benefit from US welfare and poverty-reduction programs/$.
Understand, this is the law and reality as it existed BEFORE Pres. Obama's speech. The incentive for people who might want to come here already push them to sneak in and have children as quickly as possible. Does the Pres' initiative do anything to change that?

Big Mike said...

Point by point.

(1) Isn't there something ominous and oppressive about a government registry?

Jews in Nazi Germany would have agreed.

(2) Overstated reactions to Obama's announcement of his pragmatic continuation of immigration enforcement make his opponents look extreme, and I think that was the idea.

Yes

(3) Our tradition of welcoming immigrants... [has] kept us youthful, dynamic, and entrepreneurial.

I argue that we still have a tradition of welcoming immigrants. For reasons that made sense at the time, and perhaps still do, we as a country have set up mechanisms for legal immigration that incorporate quotas from the various countries. If Obama wants legislation that streamlines or eliminates the laws, regulations, and processes for legal immigration shouldn't he have proposed that legislation? Democrats have always been big on setting up regulatory barriers and then doing the wink-wink nudge-nudge routine when the regulations are personally inconvenient. Republicans should hold their feet to the fire.

(4) The speech is studded with conservative themes.

Except that Obama has raised the fine art of saying one thing and doing something far different to, well, an art form.

(5) On mentioning law, Obama proceeds to a double sleight of hand.

You broke the code, Professor. I'm proud of you. However when Obama says "deportations are up 80%, is that because illegal immigration is up 80%, if not more? In fact there is anecdotal evidence that, illegal immigrant by illegal immigrant, the likelihood of deportation is way down since 2008.

(6) The actions I’m taking are not only lawful, they’re the kinds of actions taken by every single Republican President and every single Democratic President for the past half century.

There are lies, there are damned lies, and then there are Obama's speeches.

(7) Do past presidential actions establish either the legal authority or the good politics and policy of the President's proposed actions?

Not when it's not an emergency.

(8) Obama seems to claim a power to do what must be done even in a nonemergency.

You caught that, did you Professor? Good. But for Gosh sakes don't try to convince Obama and the Democrats to create an emergency! They're likely to be all too obliging.

Still on (8) Pass a bill.

To which conservatives should respond that the laws already on the books -- if properly enforced -- are exactly what the people of the United States want and want to see enforced. Not to put too fine a point on it, what is the point of passing a bill when there is little likelihood that the President will enforce it any better than he is enforcing the existing laws?

(9) He acknowledges the objections of some Americans, then insults them.

Yeah, we got the Democrats' attitude problem towards working Americans. Hence the election results of November 4th.

(10) Religion!

I prefer Will Shakespeare.

Hagar said...

The intent of doing it this way is to FUBAR the system, while making his action nearly impossible to fight, since - what action?
It is a fogbank.

Off topic - what's with Astrid Silva? Astrid is as Norwegian a name as you can find, in fact Old Norse.
That in addition to the 3 college degrees; obviously not a chile picker.

jimbino said...

Lack of hospitality to the stranger was the real sin of Sodom and Gomorrah:

http://hartfordfavs.com/2013/06/19/the-real-sin-of-sodom-and-gomorrah-radical-hospitality/

Shanna said...

From Obama's speech: "It was around that time she decided to begin advocating for herself and others like her, and today, Astrid Silva is a college student working on her third degree."

File it under 'things somebody thought sounded fantastic but are really stupid'.

I had a friend who senior year, maybe even last semester, of college told me he was considering dropping his business degree and switching to art. I told him he was crazy. The extra time, the expense... Who thinks like that?

m stone said...

I think Michael has the best GOP strategy:

The GOP should only focus on the extraordinary use of presidential power and let this issue lie.

The GOP will have some clowns making noise about this but they are wasting their time. Take the advice of the commenter above and say, fine, fixed. Now we work on a border fence. Or triple the border patrol. Etc.


You won't find scriptural references to wisdom in any Obama speech. There's a good reason.

There have been more deportations under Obama than under GWB

Obama counts anyone turned away from the border as a deportation. That skews the numbers. This administration does this tactic all the time.

Pete said...

Hoodlum Doodlum,

Filing with an ITIN disqualifies you from the Additional Child Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit.

So, if you're here illegally, you cannot get those credits. If your status becomes legal, thanks to this policy, then you can get those credits.

Pete said...

Hoodlum Doodlum,

Sorry, looks like you already covered th ITIN issue in a subsequent comment.

Big Mike said...

You won't find scriptural references to wisdom in any Obama speech. There's a good reason.

@m stone, I just finished reading Peggy Noonan's article where she described the current White House as a "wisdom-free zone." Nailed it!

Hagar said...

Nothing "becomes legal" because of this. Becoming legal takes legislation.

So, everything is up in the air, because the President can, or claims he can, refuse to enforce laws, or parts of laws, but he cannot make new law.
Have pity on the poor officials of the various federal, state, and local governments who are supposed to work with this!

mccullough said...

I don't remember any president legalizing 5 million illegal immigrants or half the illegals.

~ Gordon Pasha said...

Here's some scripture which always seems to be forgotten:

Thou shalt not steal.

Thou shalt not covet.

Thou shalt not bear false witness.

Exodus 20:15-17 and Deuteronomy 4:19-21

damikesc said...

On what legal grounds can the illegals be given green cards, etc?

Prosecutorial discretion means that we cannot prosecute all crimes...but it does NOT mean that all crimes we cannot or will not prosecute are now legal.

Lori said...

It's also battlespace prep to nuke the growing reputation of Republican governors and potential 2016 contenders as they struggle to deal with the effects.



exhelodrvr1 said...

WWJD?

Well, He didn't tell the Samaritan woman at the well to move to Jerusalem, He was in Samaria speaking to her. Paul didn't tell the Corinthians, Romans, Galatians, etc. to move to Israel - he went to them.

mikesixes said...

Since Obama doesn't really have the authority to legalize these people, whatever immunity they get under this decree is only in effect for as long as Obama is in office. If the next president decides to do his job, he can use Obama's registry as a list of people to deport.

Bill said...

There is a freshly minted memorandum from the DOJ addressing the legality of the President's deferred action. It references Youngstown.
The title is:
The Department of Homeland Security’s Authority to
Prioritize Removal of Certain Aliens Unlawfully Present
in the United States and to Defer Removal of Others

Anonymous said...

It strikes me as odd that anyone like Althouse gives any credence to anything middle-name-hussein has to say. How many times does he have to lie to you before you get it?

sparrow said...

Thanks for the summary Ann. I appreciate you wading through the speech; I don't have to stomach for it myself.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Pete: No worries, you're right about the EITC and I probably ran things together a bit, on top of which the regs. have changed since 2010.

ITIN bulletin on changes effective in 2012: If a primary taxpayer, spouse, or both have ITINs, they are ineligible to receive the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), even if their dependents have valid SSNs. If the taxpayer and spouse (if filing jointly) have valid SSNs, only dependents with valid SSNs – not ITINs – qualify to receive EITC.

IRS Q&A about Child Tax Credit for child with only ITIN

Most interestingly here is a La Raza Fact Sheet on Latio opposition to changes to CTC eligibility with updates from 2014

n.n said...

Our tradition of welcoming immigrants... No. Babies.

Obama supports subsidized abortion or "planned parenthood" of around 2 million Americans annually, but welcomes the immigration of, what, around 2 million legal and illegal aliens annually. His rhetoric would be more impressive if it were consistent. At least reconcilable with his purported principles. Yeah, he possesses an ulterior motive.

Anyway, he is not offering reform, not even an invitation to a review of the issues, all of the issues. He is merely indulging in playground politics and representing his peculiar special interests. Which, to be fair, consist of overlapping and convergent interests to build a consensus or something resembling one.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Sorry, I meant to point out: Anyone receiving funds back from the IRS for the CTC or ACTC by definition has no tax liability--you only get that check back from the IRS if your tax liability is negative. In that instance you're not paying taxes to the IRS, the IRS is sending money to you.
The programs are designed that way on purpose, of course, and there may not be anything wrong with that design in theory (for citizens and/or current legal residents). It does mean, though, that describing beneficiaries as "tax payers" may not really be accurate.

Rick67 said...

The part I found the most offensive was if anyone disagrees with what he is doing his one answer is "Pass a bill". Precisely therein lies the arrogant hubris of this presidency. "Do what I want legally, or I will do what I want illegally" (and yes I know some would dispute that but that's the essence of his argument). He did not give Congress much chance to pass a bill. They warned him not to do this. And if they *do* "pass a bill" would he actually sign it if it doesn't do exactly what he wants? This is blackmail and dishonesty in one package. I cannot see any reason for this except raw cynical politics. I have a feeling even many liberals/progressives are thinking the same thing, although few will admit it.

mccullough said...

Whether it's reagan, Obama or Congress giving amnesty, the lesson is the same: you're a chump to follow the law unless it suits you to follow it or if you are worried about any consequences of getting caught.

Massive amnesties just illustrate the point more brightly that we are not a nation of laws. But from time immemorial governments have played favorites. Does anyone think Jon Corzine is going to be prosecuted, to take a recent example.

If you think lying, cheating, stealing, or killing are wrong, don't do it. If you think you will be caught and won't get away with it because the local, state, or federal government officials don't benefit from not prosecuting you, don't do it.

Otherwise, do what you want.

But don't ever believe in the fairy tale of the rule of law. That tale was invented by the powerful to deceive you.

They want to be able to do whatever they want, but realize that if everyone acted as they do then society would devolve into chaos. Hence the fairy tale.

Known Unknown said...

Seriously? It's just the one guy!

But he's good.

HT said...

Ann, honest question. Is the proportion of citizens to non-citizens ever a concern for you concerning the strength of our democracy? Further, what about the proportion of registered voters vs non? At what point is that a concern for you? (This question is not meant as a polemic.)

richardsson said...

I don't see anything in terms of the substance that he could not have gotten from Bonehead and McConnell. So, why did he do this in this way? Maybe he got into the Dean Martin medicine cabinet. To me, this is a real hole in the boat:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lm76UTmlDg

RecChief said...

So Obama says it's legal?

Oh OK then, guess we have no need for a Supreme Court. You all heard the proclamation

Peter said...

"You have to register and the protection from deportation is only temporary?"

But the "program" is ad hoc: any part of it can be (and probably will be) changed at any time, according to the whim of the president.

The "three year" protection from deportation doesn't really exist, as that's beyond his term of office. If he can produce an exemption by executive order, why would his successor be unable to remove the exemption?

But the requirement to register, and any documentation required to do so, can be infinitely flexible. If this order is lawful, why wouldn't another one, relaxing or eliminating any or all of the requirements, be equally so?

kcom said...

"I fail to see an emergency requiring him to take unilateral action in advance of working with the new Congress to pass a bill."

I saw Jonathan Turley interviewed the other day. He was talking about what Obama was planning to do. Turley was saying that there wa no limiting principle to his actions. But to answer your implied question, here's the limiting principle - if Obama finds a situation frustrating then he's entitled to do whatever the hell he pleases. It doesn't matter what the Constitution says, or what the president's delegated powers are. Just like some people say they have a right not to be offended, Pres. Obama has a right not to be frustrated.

HT said...

I think the guy is contained within a bubble of sycophantic bullshit.

_____________

I think a lot of you all are contained in a bubble. Obama has cracked down a lot on employers. Have I been present at raids? No. Have I read every single newspaper article to corroborate this claim? No. Have I done statistical analyses? No. I base this on the number of times I've heard it on the news (radio). And just 'cause - I did a quick google, and it mentions a DemocratIC congresswoman so it won't please many, but sorry, I am not going to go investing countless minutes to back this up

http://www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2013/jul/03/debbie-wasserman-schultz/obama-holds-record-cracking-down-employers-who-hir/

But there appears to be some research done to validate her claim.

Whew.

Which is why I am disappointed that Obama has not come out with a smarter policy. I could tell which way he has been trending (I think) - cracking down. I liked this. I am for bringing a little more definition to this process. I hate to hear people talk about immigration with no sense of limitation.

Birches said...

To me this is an insult to the intelligence of the Hispanics who are here illegally and who expected an "amnesty" meaning by that that they would become or be on a track to become American citizens. This is just turning them into American peons - I, Barack Obama, won't deport you (unless you anger me and then I will - see how I treated the American citizens who are conservatives.) So bow down and thank me and kiss my feet while I p--- on you just as if you were still in Guatemala because you've got a new caudillo - lawless and in control of your life. I've grubered you both, that's all you now have in common with the American citizens. (And for damn sure vote for Democrats, if you want to stay here.)

That's exactly what I thought. If I was illegal I certainly wouldn't jump in line to register.

I'll say this upfront. I've got a friend in South Texas that thinks that it will be great for some of her friends since they currently aren't able to travel freely because of border checkpoints. I'd be surprised if, (outside of those specific, border areas) most of the illegals nationwide decided to register. The risk seems too great to me, because the status quo has worked pretty well for them up till now.

Real American said...

"who we are as a country" only encompasses those that, you know, are actually citizens of this country. Everyone else is a fucking guest or unwanted intruder.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

HT said...I base this on the number of times I've heard it on the news (radio).

You might have identified the problem there without realizing it, HT.

HT said...

Michael Dulak Thomason, Local fox networks carried the speech, and so did public television. No cable for me, only rabbit ears. I could see it.

Anonymous said...

HT,

Not only has this administration not been cracking down on employers, they've actively encouraged us not to crack down on employers.

Right at the beginning of the Obama administration, soon after Janet Napolitano got in, we had a raid up in Bellingham Washington. Almost 20 illegal aliens were busted. The media was on scene. Everything went smoothly.

Janet Napolitano got word of this and was pissed. How did we raid a business without her express approval? She instituted new guidelines. If any raids were going to be conducted, first, her office needed to review all the relevant information.

At first we thought, oh great, more red tape. But we soon realized it wasn't red tape. It was a complete stop to any arrests. Period. Full stop. We couldn't get anything approved. There was always an I not dotted or a T not crossed.

Here is an anecdote. We had what is known as a "ship jumper". These are illegal aliens with even fewer rights than most illegals. They have very little relief to hope for from immigration judges.

We found this ship jumper at his place of work. He happened to be the only person working when we arrived. There was one patron in the hole in the wall restaurant when we got there. We called our chain of command for permission to grab him. At this point we had been searching for months.

No. Permission denied.

We had to wait until he was walking in to work one day to grab him on his way in to work.

Mark CA said...

If I'm wrong, and Obama is doing a lot, creating a substantial new policy, that weakens his argument for legal power.

He's not just telling INS to prioritize who to deport, he's legalizing illegals with temporary status and work permits - something clearly against the policy established by Congress.

Real American said...

"And to those Members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill."

How about the president fucking waits until they pass a bill, or try to actually convince people to pass a bill he could sign? Our system of government requires both houses of Congress to pass a bill and the president sign it into law (absent overruling a veto.) Our system requires consensus. Without it, the law does not change. The lack of agreement of a particular bill or law does not grant the president authority to unilaterally enact his own program. The president is still bound by the laws that are on the books and until such time as they are changed, he has sworn an oath to uphold and enforce THOSE laws, even if he disagrees with them.

Or, I can wait until this is said:

"And to those Members of Congress who question my authority to lower tax rates, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill."

"And to those Members of Congress who question my authority to allow private investment of social security funds, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill."

"And to those Members of Congress who question my authority to ban public employee unions, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill."

HT said...

If you want to read the link I provided, it states that the focus in the Obama Admin has been on employers, not employees. Do politics factor in to who is and is not busted? I'm sure of it - that's a universal. I do not know the specifics of the case you mention, but I hope that does not disqualify me from having a POV. I can't comment on the last part of what you write.

Anonymous said...

HT,

And what I'm telling you is that its the exact opposite.

Employers are completely and totally off limits. Which is why we have to pick up the employees outside of work. Because employers are untouchable under this administration.

OK, that's a bit of hyperbole. We can still go after employers, it just takes so much red tape and beauracracy under this administration that we have better things to do with our time.

HT said...

I am commenting on the overall pattern while you are citing your specific experiences. I assume you work for ICE or something? Could it be that the limitations you are experiencing are unique to your locality? Meaning, maybe it is politics, but not so much federal politics? I don't know.

Here are some excerpts --


Under Bush, workplace raids on factories and meatpacking plants received much attention. But after Obama took office, the Department of Homeland Security unveiled a new strategy and ditched the workplace raids, which also tended to punish employees, in favor of "paper raids" -- I-9 paperwork audits of employers to determine if they complied with employment eligibility verification laws.

The change was dramatic: the number of I-9 audits soared from 503 in 2008 to more than 8,000 in 2009.

Under Obama, ICE announced sanctions against major employers. That included a $1 million fine gainst Abercrombie and Fitch that grew out of an I-9 inspection in November 2008 while Bush was president, and the termination of hundreds of workers at Chipotle restaurants.

In 2007, ICE arrested 92 employers, while in 2012 it arrested 240, according to ICE. Final orders -- rulings at the end of the case which show employers violated hiring rules -- also increased under Obama. In 2007, there were two final orders, while in 2012 there were 495.

Michael K said...

" I'd be surprised if, (outside of those specific, border areas) most of the illegals nationwide decided to register. The risk seems too great to me, because the status quo has worked pretty well for them up till now."

Yup. Everything Obama does is for atmospherics. I hope the GOP doesn't take the bait and go apesh*t because this is just another Obama phony declaration like,"If you like your doctor..."

Anonymous said...

Yeah, they are grubering you with those stats.

ICE has two sections. One is called Homeland Security Investigations or HSI. HSI is separated into teams at each location. Each team focuses on something different. Drugs, intellectual property rights, child pornography, worksite enforcement, etc.

In all HSI locations across the country, the worksite enforcement group has become a running joke.

Yes, I9 audits have gone way up under this administration. An I9 audit is where we go to a business and have them give us an I9 for each of their employees. We take this information and find out how many illegals are working at them at location. Then we go back to the employer and say, "We found out some of your employees are illegal. They are not allowed, by law, to be working in the United States."

Then, a few months later, we do the audit again. And we say, "You have the same illegal alien employees working here. They are not allowed to be working in the United States."

Then, we do it again. And again. And again. Some of the agents even try and bluff and threaten. But, nothing is done. Nothing can be done.

You may notice those stats, some come from investigations started during the Bush administration. You may want to be curious enough to ask, why would they tout investigations begun during the Bush administration that ended during the Obama administration? Why not point to some specific, high profile cases that started and ended during his administration?

As to final orders, this is the difference between smoke and mirrors.

How many employers have been prosecuted? Notice that's not the number they are using.

To illustrate the difference its kind of like asset forfeiture vs prosecution. We have vastly increased the amount of paperwork we generate when it comes to employers, that's for sure. And now I can see why, to Gruber the public at large.

But as far as any real consequences for businesses that hire illegals? Nope. Nothing. We threaten. We cajole. We demand paperwork. And we issue final orders.

I'm sure the employers have lots of paper to use in their toilets.

Sebastian said...

Legal basis for Obama decision here: http://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/olc/opinions/attachments/2014/11/20/2014-11-19-auth-prioritize-removal.pdf

". . . neither does it amount to an abdication of DHS’s statutory responsibilities," says DOJ opinion. Key question: at what point does stealth amnesty become such "abdication"? At 5.5 million? 6 million?

HT said...

I again suggest reading that link I provided earlier, it supports much of what you say. The problem with pasting excerpts is illustrated by your comment implying that there's nothing else to the article. There is. Oh well.

Here's another citation, this is from the WSJ:

"Since January 2009, the Obama administration has audited at least 7,533 employers suspected of hiring illegal labor and imposed about $100 million in administrative and criminal fines—more audits and penalties than were imposed during the entire George W. Bush administration. The latest penalty hit HerbCo International Inc., a big Washington state-based supplier of organic herbs, which agreed Tuesday to pay $1 million in fines for employing illegal immigrants and then rehiring some of them after an ICE audit last year.

"President Barack Obama is walking a fine line as he turns up the heat on companies that hire illegal immigrants and at the same time courts Hispanic voters, many of whom oppose a crackdown. While the audits don't lead to the deportation of a firm's illegal workers, they all lose their jobs. Critics of the crackdown say it drives more immigrants to exploitative, off-the-books work. For firms, the audits can lead to deep losses in productivity, in addition to civil and criminal fines."

""The president is trying to have it both ways—appease the enforcement hard-liners while appealing to Hispanic voters," said Craig Regelbrugge, co-chairman of the Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform, a group that lobbies for a loosening of restrictions on illegal immigrants. The audits "routinely hit good employers who…treat workers well, leaving crippled farms and shattered families in their wake.""

http://online.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304868004577378042369495780
____________
All of which is to say, to me, it's not like Obama has done nothing. He has tried.

Matt said...

Obama has a temporary fix to the immigration policy; Congress [and the GOP] does not. He is attempting to kick start the process by giving illegals, who qualify, a three year window to get on track to becoming legal. But he is not creating any laws. Congress can STILL do something. But they won't, naturally. The GOP continues to spread fear and outrage - that is not a policy. But it makes for good political theatre. End of story.

DougWeber said...

Maybe I am getting cynical in my old age. But my guess is that this is a pure political stunt. I expect the message to the Hispanic community over the next 2 years to be: You got this via executive action. A new president can expunge it at will. Only a Democratic president will keep this for you.

Anonymous said...

Obama has been giving speeches for years now. I see a pattern. Nothing in what Obama does leads me to believe that he is interested in the meaning of what he says. He uses words to get his critics to shut up or blather on about their view of the world while he does what he wants to do. If that means saying something exactly opposite to what he used to say then that is what he says. Let's wait for the Gruber on his speech-writing team to tell us what they wanted to get past the American people by saying these words. That is when we will learn the real message. It will not be found by diagramming his sentences and looking up the dictionary definitions of his words. Instead of reading what these words say we need to think about what these words can conceal.

I see a tribal approach to governing--politics is a means to get more for his tribe AND hurt other tribes on purpose. He gives speeches because other people do pay attention to what words mean. For him they are the Wizard of Oz's curtain to hide behind.

I already take precautions to ward off damage by people in society who might want to hurt me and my family. If that group how includes the federal government then I will be acting differently toward government policies and agencies. That is Obama's legacy.

Here is the pattern I see from Obama and his team:

Reward your friends and punish your enemies.

I won.

Lack of transparency is a real political advantage.

Æthelflæd said...

Exodus 22:21 “You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt."

The rest of the context of that verse is very interesting. LOL I don't think he read it.

Molly said...

Ann, you're wrong about your assumption about the Scripture. It's actually Exodus 23:9; "Thou shalt not oppress a stranger, for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt."

Anonymous said...

Matt: End of story.

Matt, you forgot your "Wow. Just wow."

Crunchy Frog said...

There's going to be a metric buttload of lawsuits from Congress and red states, particularly Texas.

Mass v EPA comes to mind.

PeterJ said...

On your point #10: not Matthew, but Exodus 22:21:
"You must neither wrong nor oppress a foreigner living among you, for you yourselves were foreigners in the land of Egypt."

Then there's the question, is enforcing immigration laws oppression?

PeterJ said...

BTW, I was an alien, an emigrant, a foreigner, just arrived in NY, when the picture of my 8-yr-old self was taken.

john marzan said...

legalized illegals wont qualify for obamacare, which incentivizes business to hire them (cheaper) over american citizens to bypass ACA tax

how obamnesty + obamacare = hurts american citizens/workers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoWlJ77pMyg

Saint Croix said...

Come out, come out, wherever you are!

We're from the government!

You can trust us!

We just want to put you in our database!

sunsong said...

Great analysis. Thanks! I hope you or some pubbie sends it to the GOP leadership so they can respond intelligently. What illegal is going to *register* with the prospect of a GOP president rescinding the whole thing and having their name and address? :-)

The pubbies should get to work gutting Obamacare and passing some popular bills that will help the middle class.

RecChief said...

Seen on facebook:

ME: do you think cooperation between Congress and the administration is more or less likely after Obama's speech?

Wheaton College Graduate: Those racists were never going to work with him anyway, even though the American people clearly want Repukes to compromise and send laws [sic] to Obama that he can sign.

This person hasn't had an original political thought at any time during the years I've known her. Where is this shit coming from? KOS? some other leftist fever swamp?

RecChief said...

after reading a number of comments, and I am not going to address each person by name, the question is NOT how many people were deported under Obama or how many I9 audits, or any other squirrel you might want to throw out there.

The central question is why did Obama take this action? I believe, in spite of the fact that most of the people elected a couple of weeks ago were outspoken opponents against any kind of amnesty, GOP leadership still want amnesty. There was a message sent regarding Obamacare and Amnesty, and Obama is ignoring it. I think he could have had a deal with Boehner and McConnell, so why do this?

Is it because Valerie Jarret is whispering in his ear that the majority of the American public want amnesty? He apparently doesn't read anything that exposes him to other points of view, so what would give him the idea that this was an appropriate action./

kcom said...

"clearly want Repukes to compromise"

Clearly. That's why they punished them by electing more Democrats when the R's wouldn't [strike]cave[/strike]* compromise.

* Fake html inserted purposely.

Unknown said...

I think if I were a republican pol I would keep away from all the harsh rhetoric. That just tends to turn off voters.
What I would do, every time I gave a speech or interview where the subject was brought up I would make sure I said something to the effect of "The president has every right to use his executive privilege. By the way, how about that NSA spying on the American people? I don't know if I would want MY name on a list or in some government database. I mean, once you declare yourself and get in the database, who KNOWS what the government would do with that information?"
Kinda the old "Nice life you got there. Be a shame if some thing happened to fuck it all up for you ... like getting your name on in database somewhere."
Make them sweat about the decision to declare or not.

bbkingfish said...

Exactly.

kcom said...

""9. He acknowledges the objections of some Americans, then insults them: "... I understand the disagreements held by many of you at home," but this is "about who we are as a country." You people are not who we are."

Along those same lines, he said something during the Ebola crisis that I noticed but that I didn't see any one else comment on. He said (I believe in reference to not imposing a travel ban), "We're showing the world the best of American leadership."

It was so incredibly arrogant in that he was basically tooting his own horn. "I'm the best American leader ever," is essentially what he was saying. Who needs the media when you can do your own self-reviews.

Achilles said...

PeterJ said...
"On your point #10: not Matthew, but Exodus 22:21:
"You must neither wrong nor oppress a foreigner living among you, for you yourselves were foreigners in the land of Egypt."

Then there's the question, is enforcing immigration laws oppression?"

Exactly. When a progressive uses the word oppression it is almost always misused as if they don't know what real oppression really is.

Bad Lieutenant said...

This is like Obama saying to Althouse, if you don't want me to rip off your clothes and pound you in the ass, then you better strip off and get back on the bed and spread 'em. As a negotiated compromise, get on your knees, bitch!

Um, but what if you don't want to have sex with 5 million illegal immigrants?

Who the fuck asked you?

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