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Obama: playing politics with immigration?
by David Farside
Aug 22, 2012 | 3194 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The DREAM Act (0Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) was first introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Orrin Hatch a Republican from Utah and Sen. Dick Durbin a Democrat from Illinois on August l, 2001. Since then, providing a conduit for American citizenship for children brought to the United States illegally by their parents has been used as a political mantra by both Democrats and Republicans. Finally, on June 15, in the election year of 2012, and after several failed attempts by Democrats to gain support for its passage, President Obama ended the deportation of young illegal immigrants who met the certain requirements and criteria of the Dream Act. Last week, thousands of would-be illegal immigrants signed up to avoid deportation and begin their dream for a new life with legal status towards citizenship in the Country they call home.

Some requirements are: you must be under the age of 31; currently in school, graduated, have a GED or honorable discharge from the military service. You would think anyone who loved their country enough to lie about their citizenship to defend its borders would automatically earn U.S. citizenship.

Republicans were quick to point their finger of doom at the President. Republican U.S. Representative Lamar Smith from the great state of Texas and Chairman  of the House judiciary Committee said Obama’s decision opens the door for fraud and unleashes a torrent of unemployed workers at a time when so many legal residents and U.S. citizens are out of work. Maybe, some of his torrent of unemployed republicans could fill the opportunities for employment in the agricultural fields of Georgia, California and his cotton fields back home.

Smith accused President Obama and his administration of “putting partisan politics and illegal immigration ahead of the rule of law and the American people.”  Presidential candidate Mitt Romney couldn’t guarantee he would honor Obama’s decree if he were elected President. “It would be overtaken by events, if you will, by virtue of my putting in place a long-term solution....” In other words, if he is elected, he would betray the trust in the American system, shatter the dreams of immigrants, check the list of applicants for citizenship and send all of  them back across the border as illegal aliens. Actually, we never needed the DREAM Act to solve immigration policy.

Not all illegal immigrants are treated equal. While most people are concerned about the Mexican border, they don’t pay much attention to the Florida coastline and immigrants from Cuba. Last November, the official daily Cuban news agency Granma accused the U.S. of actually “encouraging illegal immigration.” And they are right!

The Cuban Refugee Adjustment Act is a United States federal law signed by President Johnson back in 1966. Any native or citizen of Cuba who has been admitted, inspected  “paroled” or somehow makes it to U.S. soil after 1958 and  has lived in the U.S. for at least one year is eligible to be a permanent resident of the United States. The Cuban‘s call America‘s Cuban policy “wet foot, dry foot.” Mexicans should call it discrimination.

Currently, there are over 1 million Cubans living in the state of Florida. Many of them entered the country illegally and after one year applied for citizenship. They developed their own ethnic communities and built a strong political base. However, other illegal immigrants crossing our Mexican border are not given the same opportunities as Cubans, creating a double standard in our immigration policy.

According to a recent Pew Hispanic Center study their are about 6.1 million unauthorized Mexican immigrants in the U.S., down from the 7 million towards the end of the G.W. Bush era in 2007. Beginning in 2005, Bush decided to round up the illegal Mexican immigrants from construction sites. Builders complained to the administration saying his policy created a labor shortage in the construction industry. Almost 70% of our GDP is based on consumer spending. The domino effect of an intentionally reduced labor force and a drop in consumer confidence and spending effected the housing and mortgage market and was the main cause of our recession. Obama inherited a 750,000 job loss and has been trying, unsuccessfully, to move Congress to approve new Immigration laws and procedures for deportation.

President Obama should treat all immigrants equally. Instead of fighting Congress and trying to invent a new immigration policy, all he has to do is stop playing politics and use the Cuban Refugee Adjustment Act of 1966 as a paradigm and conduit to broaden our consumer base, create more jobs and treat all immigrants with equal opportunities to become an American citizen.

David Farside is a Sparks resident and political activist. He can be contacted at
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