There are obviously pros and cons concerning President Obama’s speech on immigration. What gets missed is the immigrant.
Those who are all “pro” Obama were that way before his speech. Those who are all “con” Obama were that way before his speech.
While I truly dislike his “go it alone” mentality (which he criticized George Bush for), the plan he lays out has a POSITIVE effect in some ways on immigrants. I also dislike the way he came across as “knowing” some of these people when there is simply no way he does know them. Some staffer knows a story, but for the President to say he knows them is disingenuous. However, I actually DO know people with stories like he told and I resonate with the issues those folks face.
The StarTribune had a story relating the effect of Obama’s actions and this was one:
Hernandez and Avila came to the United States in the 1990s. Their oldest daughter, a student at Normandale College, qualified for permission to stay under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Two younger girls are U.S. citizens.
The couple say they pay their taxes, buy car insurance and keep up with payments on the home they own. They say the main reason they have feared deportation is their middle daughter, who is 15. She suffers from a rare genetic disorder that causes seizures and nonmalignant tumors. Here, her medical expenses have been covered by the Children’s Health Insurance Program. The family fears that in Mexico she would get inferior care at a cost they would not be able to afford.
The trouble I have with many people who shout, “Just ship them back!” is often it’s misinformed. We may think all immigrants only suck resources from our system and do nothing in return. Many I know are in the situation described above. They work hard. They get their kids through school. They pay taxes. They follow the law. They need to find a way to get a way made clear so they can continue on that path, along with their kids.
Immigration reforms takes a lot of thinking and acting. It needs to take less shouting and bumper sticker ideology.
The majority of Americans favor reform. The majority do NOT favor “shipping everyone back.” The majority favor making sure good people have a way forward and those who don’t want to make a positive way forward in America need to go back.
I wish it could move forward with better conversation and some sense of unified action. It hasn’t… and it may not.