Obama Is Deceiving Hispanics on Immigration
June 8, 2011
There is nothing astonishing about the fact that President
Virtually all Hispanic Democrats in the
I was amazed by what I heard from Rep.
Obama has in recent weeks stepped up calls for congressional approval of an immigration overhaul that would both secure the border, and offer a path to earned legalization to millions of undocumented residents who are willing to pay penalties and learn English.
He had pledged during the 2008 campaign that he would pass such a law during his first year in office.
But Gutierrez and growing numbers of Democrats in
Obama's rhetoric may help win Hispanic votes for the 2012 elections by showing Republicans as the stumbling block for immigration reform, but is creating false expectations among Hispanics, they say.
So what should Obama do, I asked Gutierrez. There are many things Obama can do with discretionary powers he already has, without going to
First, Obama could use existing presidential powers to stop deportations of the estimated 65,000 undocumented students who were brought to
Second, Obama should use his executive powers to delay deportation of the parents of the estimated four?million U.S.-born children who have at least one parent who does not have legal status, he said.
If the Obama administration recently used discretionary powers to give temporary residency status to Haitian immigrants to avoid their deportation to earthquake-devastated
So why is Obama not doing any of this? I asked Gutierrez.
"The president doesn't feel the pressure to do it, because he feels that Latinos will vote for him anyway," he said. "But this is a matter of life and death, that has to be taken seriously, and not be used to deceive the Latino community as we come near the next elections."
Responding to such criticism, Obama said in a recent speech in
My opinion: Obama's calls for congressional passage of a comprehensive immigration reform are a good electoral strategy to gain sympathies among Hispanics ahead of the 2012 elections, but is raising false expectations within the Latino community.
Obama should stop playing this game. Instead of fearing being criticized by Hispanic-phobic anti-immigration zealots for allegedly pursuing a blanket "amnesty" for 11 million undocumented residents, he should use his discretionary powers to give temporary status to some categories of immigrants.
For instance, as he said in his State of the Union address, "it makes no sense" to deport thousands of undocumented students who grew up as Americans, or others -- including many from
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