FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Obama Terminates 287(g) Immigration Enforcement Program. Anyone Home?
December 2010 was not ancient history; it was a mere 18 months ago.
On December 8, 2010, using the proper legal channels to change our immigration laws, the Democrat-controlled House passed the DREAM Act. Just 4.5% of Republicans supported it, even though it represented a “long-term solution” and was introduced in Congress. A week later, the bill failed to win 60 votes in the Senate, as only 3 Republicans supported it; Lisa Murkowski, Robert Bennett, and Dick Lugar. Some might even be brazen enough to call them RINOs.
That was 18 months ago. Now, after Obama has illegally implemented administrative amnesty to reflect that law that failed to pass the Senate, Republicans are largely silent. With the exception of Lamar Smith, Steve King, and a handful of rank-and-file members, Republican leaders have either remained silent, punted to Mitt Romney for a response, or offered some non-sequitur about long-term solutions vs. short-term solutions. Not only are they terrified to oppose the underlying policy, which will bankrupt us with subsidized tuition, refundable tax credits, and sundry transfer programs, most of them have issued only a tepid response to Obama’s end-run around Congress.
But this is all about the children (anyone under 30), and we cannot be perceived as being mean to children, even though this wasn’t an issue just 18 months ago when over 90% of Republicans vocally opposed it – even when properly introduced in Congress. Somehow there has been a cathartic transformation over the past year.
However, it is no longer just about the children. Yesterday, the Obama administration went a step further. After the Supreme Court upheld Arizona’s right to contact federal agents concerning the legal status of those apprehended for other lawless activity, Obama summarily terminated the 287(g) program. The 287(g) program is a vital state-federal partnership created in 1996 in an effort to assist local law enforcement to deal with illegals apprehended in their jurisdictions. It has enjoyed bipartisan support and has served as the basis for any “comprehensive immigration” agreement dealing with border enforcement. Yet, with the flick of the wrist, Obama decided to terminate this act of Congress in order to punish Arizona and ensure that their immigration-related phone calls are ignored. But fear not, they did set up a hotline for illegals to air their grievances about Arizona law enforcement officers. Welcome to Saul Alinsky’s America.
One would think that Republicans would jump on this appalling disregard of our laws. Unlike the first administrative amnesty granted a few weeks ago, this one essentially grants amnesty to everyone – even those who came here from “a fault of their own.” So why is there no response? Is it the polls? Well, ironically, Rasmussen published a poll a few hours before the SCOTUS decision showing that, by a 55-26 margin, Americans wanted the law to be upheld.
We keep hearing this bromide about the need to exhibit “a laser-like focus on the economy.” But does that mean we should completely cede the field on other issues, even to the extent that high-profile Republicans are prohibited from issuing a one-line press release? It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if you telegraph the message to your opponent that you will not fight him on an issue, he will walk right in without a shot fired. Obama observed the flaccid response to his administrative “Dream Act” and concluded that he could take it to the next level. And as long as he smells blood in the water, he will continue to do so.