Watch Obama Make the Case Against Executive Amnesty

November 13, 2014 2:07 pm

President Obama irked Republicans and his past self this week by telling CBS he would bypass Congress and use executive action on illegal immigration, potentially ordering a 10-point amnesty plan as early as next week.

CNN reported that the move would likely include an expansion of deferred deportation for undocumented children to their families, and Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Obama is “nearing a final decision” on what to do. Speaker John Boehner’s (R., Ohio) office called the potential actions “executive amnesty.”

Obama could look back on statements from his first campaign and first term about what he can and can’t do as head of the Executive Branch.

“I take the Constitution very seriously,” he told a Pennsylvania town hall in 2008. “The biggest problems that we’re facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the Executive Branch and not go through Congress at all, and that’s what I intend to reverse when I’m President of the United States of America.”

In 2011, he told a Univision town hall that there “are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system.” To ignore those congressional mandates through executive order, Obama said, would “not conform with my appropriate role as president.”

“I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the [immigration] on my own,” he told the National Council of La Raza that year. “Believe me, the idea of doing things on my own is very tempting. I promise you. Not just on immigration reform. But that’s not how our system works. That’s not how our democracy functions. That’s not how our Constitution is written.”

Obama seemed frustrated when pushed on the subject of deportations during a roundtable with Latino reporters in September 2011.

“I just have to continue to say this notion that somehow I can just change the laws unilaterally is just not true,” he said. “We are doing everything we can administratively. But the fact of the matter is there are laws on the books that I have to enforce.”

A heckler in 2013 urged him to take executive action on the matter, and Obama actually turned around at the lectern to respond directly.

“If, in fact, I could solve all these problems without passing laws in Congress, then I would do so,” he said. “But we’re also a nation of laws. That’s part of our tradition. So the easy way out is to try to yell and pretend like I can do something by violating our laws, and what I’m proposing is the harder path which is to use our democratic processes to achieve the same goal that you want to achieve.”

Adelson, Buffett, Gates: Wealthy Trio Pushes Citizenship for Illegals

Originally posted Friday, 11 July 2014

Written by

In a July 10 op-ed piece in the New York Times, three of America’s wealthiest and most powerful business magnates — Sheldon Adelson, Warren Buffett, and Bill Gates — lamented that “immigration reform” legislation is having such difficulty in getting though Congress.

After praising two aspects (the “talented graduate” provision and the “pathway to citizenship,” or amnesty provision) of the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” bill that the Senate approved last June 27 by a 68-to-32 vote, the three men called for the House to follow suit:

Whatever the precise provisions of a law, it’s time for the House to draft and pass a bill that reflects both our country’s humanity and its self-interest. Differences with the Senate should be hammered out by members of a conference committee, committed to a deal.

Continuing their plea, Adelson, Buffett, and Gates wrote:

Signs of a more productive attitude in Washington — which passage of a well-designed immigration bill would provide — might well lift spirits and thereby stimulate the economy. It’s time for 535 of America’s citizens to remember what they owe to the 318 million who employ them.

Both the Senate bill (S. 744) passed in 2013, and the House version (H.R. 15) that has stalled (precisely because it echoes the same flaws as the Senate bill), are titled the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.” Among the 32 senators voting against the bill were such outspoken opponents of granting amnesty to illegal immigrants as Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Rand Paul (R-Ken.), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.).

Adelson, Buffett, and Gates noted that although they differed in their political views, they could still, if it were up to them, manage to come together “to draft a bill acceptable to each of us.” They asserted, correctly, that individuals “don’t have to agree on everything in order to cooperate on matters about which you are reasonably close to agreement.” Yet, they are all, apparently, in agreement on one of the most contentious points in the “Gang of Eight’s” bill, a point largely responsible for its lack of success in the House. That point is amnesty for illegal immigrants.

The three magnates noted: “The [Senate] bill also included a sensible plan that would have allowed illegal residents to obtain citizenship, though only after they had earned the right to do so.”

Looking at some of the businesses in which these three men earned their vast wealth ($174 billion combined), one might wonder what their corporate policies would be toward those who broke the law and violated their companies’ security. For example, if an individual cheated at the gaming tables of one of the Sands casinos owned by Adelson, what would be the consequences? Would that person be able to “earn the right” to gain access again? It is, in fact, standard policy in the casino industry not only to ban cheaters for life, but to circulate photos of the cheats among other casino owners, so they are unwelcome at virtually every major casino in the United States.

One of the many companies owned by Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is Helzberg Diamonds. Would someone caught breaking into a Helzberg store ever be able to “earn the right” to shop at the store? More likely, their photo would be posted in every store to alert security.

And what would happen to a person who broke into a secure area at one of Gates’ Microsoft facilities? Would that individual be allowed to “earn the right” to work for, or even visit, a Microsoft facility?

Yet that is exactly what these men (and all who support a “path to citizenship” for those who have violated our immigration laws by illegally crossing our borders) are asking Congress to do.

Adelson, Buffett, and Gates wrote: “It’s time for the House to draft and pass a bill that reflects both our country’s humanity and its self-interest.”

However, even if an immigration bill that called for increasing border security and stricter penalties for those who cross our borders illegally managed to pass the House (which is by no means assured, given that half of the “Gang of Eight” were Republicans), would the Senate ever agree to it? And, more important, would President Obama, who has failed miserably to enforce even our present immigration laws, ever sign it?

Considering these questions provides a clue as to what the “Gang of three” business magnates would like to see happen: simply for the House to rubber stamp the key parts of what the Senate “Gang of Eight” created, including amnesty, by whatever name it is given.

GOP Mega-Donor Sheldon Adelson: Amnesty, Driver’s Licenses, Bank Accounts for Illegals

Originally posted 20 Jun 2014

Las Vegas hotel magnate and prominent GOP donor Sheldon Adelson believes all of the country’s illegal immigrants should be put on a path to citizenship and given driver’s licenses and bank accounts while on that path.

A post-election poll showed that former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) was ousted because of his support for amnesty legislation, but Adelson said he hoped that would not derail it.

“Let’s start by instituting a process in which all undocumented immigrants receive permits to legally work here,” he wrote at Politico, even as the country faces a crisis with illegal immigrant children flooding across the border and overwhelming the system. “Let’s provide them with the opportunity to get driver’s licenses and bank accounts—simple things that we all take for granted.”

He also said illegal immigrants should be given work permits because they “are willing to take on jobs that are not appealing to many Americans.” He added that “many of them are exploited because of their illegal status in this country.” 

The Congressional Budget Office has determined that the Senate’s amnesty bill would lower the wages of American workers, and conservative Pat Buchanan said on the Laura Ingraham Show Friday that Adelson just wanted cheap labor for his casinos. Adelson also pressed for more high-tech visas, even though numerous scholars and studies have shown that there is a surplus of American high-tech workers.

Adelson suggested that illegal immigrants who are put on a path to citizenship could do community service “as compensation for being here illegally.” 

Rand Paul continues to mislead on immigration


Yesterday Sen. Rand Paul spoke on a conference call organized by Michael Bloomberg‘s Partnership for a New American Economy and – together with Grover Norquist – promoted comprehensive immigration reform (what most call “amnesty”).

Now, either because he got pushback or to take the sales job to his Tea Parties base, Paul offers a guest editorial at Breitbart News ( ). I’ll briefly describe how it’s wrong and how he’s attempting to deceive you. If you’re a Rand Paul supporter, I hope to change your mind.

Paul begins:

I am for immigration reform because I am against allowing 12 million more illegal immigrants into our country. If we do nothing, 12 million more illegal immigrants will come. We must be in favor of reform—smart reform that starts with border security.

Characterizing that position as “amnesty” is simply untrue.

What we have now is a lawless border. Current policy is a beacon for more illegal immigrants. The Obama administration’s lawless executive orders legalizing people who came here illegally will only encourage more illegal immigration – unless we act now with real, strong, verifiable border security.

I am for immigration reform because what we have now is untenable. I voted against the Gang of Eight’s comprehensive immigration reform bill because it did not secure the border first. I will only support reform that has border security first as verifiable and ascertained by Congress, not the president.

My plan will not give the president the authority to simply declare that the border is secure. It will require yearly votes of Congress to ensure the president doesn’t get around the law.

My “Trust but Verify” plan will ensure that our border is secure. Under my plan, national security and border security will move as the first element of any reform and would require annual votes of Congress to establish that the border is truly secure. No other reform could go forward until this happened.

1. The first paragraph is the “we already have defacto amnesty” line popularized by Marco Rubio. Paul’s talking point is deceptive because it assumes we must choose between the current situation and some form of mass legalization. There are other options that Paul is ignoring, such as attrition. If Paul and his colleagues really wanted Obama to enforce immigration laws, they could make it happen. To some extent, Paul’s first paragraph is an extortionist’s threat: give me what I want or things will get worse.

2. For various reasons, the mass legalization Rand Paul wants would encourage more illegal immigration. It would give more power to far-left groups that currently support illegal immigration, such as the American Civil Liberties Union. Paul’s plan wouldn’t punish employers that knowingly hired illegal aliens in the past, it would let them off the hook and encourage them to keep hiring illegal aliens if they can. And, as can be seen currently, weakness on immigration – such as talk of mass legalization – can lead to a mad rush for the borders. Rand Paul’s plan would also reward political corruption, such as those politicians who’ve looked the other way on illegal immigration because of large donations from business groups. Rand Paul’s plan would reward such behavior and encourage more of it.

3. In the second paragraph, Rand Paul plays word games. His plan is what most people would refer to as “amnesty”. But, to avoid confusion, let’s play his game. Let’s not use the shorter “amnesty” but the longer “mass legalization”. Instead of arguing with Rand Paul whether his plan is amnesty or not, let’s just show how his plan will harm the U.S. See reform not amnesty for more on that aspect.

4. There is one group for whom Rand Paul’s plan – and all other immigration “reform” plans so far proposed – are definitively amnesty. As alluded to above, all those businesses that knowingly or not hired illegal aliens will get off the hook. Illegal aliens will be forced to pay some kind of fines (unless those are waived) and will face other “tough” punishment. But, their employers will get a full and complete amnesty for their past hiring of those illegal aliens. In some or many cases those employers knew what was going on but looked the other way, or knowingly accepted fake documents. They won’t face any sort of punishment for that.

5. Rand Paul is in the “secure the border first” crowd: as discussed at the link you have to ask what comes second. In Rand Paul’s case we know: mass legalization of millions of illegal aliens.

6. Whether putting Obama or Congress in charge of declaring the border secure, that’s letting the fox guard the henhouse. Obama, George W Bush, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan and previous Congresses brought us to the current situation. Rand Paul certainly isn’t doing all he could to secure the border right now, nor are most other leading politicians. Some of those politicians might be marginally better than Obama on immigration, but generally speaking trusting leading politicians – Democrats or Republicans – on immigration isn’t a wise idea because they’ve shown themselves to be quite corruptible (generally either by racial power in the case of the Democrats or business donations in the case of Republicans).

7. Why is Rand Paul holding “national security and border security” hostage to his mass legalization plan? If he were truly concerned about the security of the U.S., wouldn’t he at least push that separately? Yet, Rand Paul is tying them together: demanding mass legalization as a precondition to securing the border.

Rand Paul then details his high-tech plans for border security, which will include “and yes, surveillance drones”. Then:

My plan takes border security a step further than anybody else in Congress. Under my plan, Congress will vote every year on border security. If Congress votes that the border is not secure, elements of immigration reform will cease to go forward and visa programs will be slowed. If Congress does not think the border is secure after five years, every element of immigration reform will be stopped.

8. See #6 above. Congresses come and go, some will be better on immigration than others. The very people who’ve shown themselves to be corruptible on immigration will be the ones voting on whether to continue aspects of Rand Paul’s plan. His plan will give more power to the people and groups that currently try to undercut border security: the ACLU, the National Council of La Raza, and hundreds more. They’ll use that increased power to make sure that, for instance, politicians weaken some aspects of Rand Paul’s plan to allow certain programs to continue (like DACA) even if the border isn’t judged secure. Rand Paul’s last sentence above is cruelly deceptive: he knows that once his plan is started it’s not going to be stopped. The forces that would oppose stopping it or halting parts of it are too strong and have too much money.

Rand Paul continues:

Our nation is a nation of immigrants. Throughout history, our nation has been flooded with immigrants who have moved here with a flavor for the home country, yet they have assimilated into what we know today as America. That idea, and the American Dream, must be protected and preserved.

Immigrants are drawn to the magnet of free market capitalism here in the United States. Our nation should have open arms to immigrants who want to come her and work hard to make a new life in a free nation. As a libertarian-minded senator, I am attracted to the idea of somebody coming to this country with a couple dollars in his pocket, and then through hard work, make the American Dream a reality.

9. See nation of immigrants and immigration tradition fallacy for a discussion of the hoary talking points uses in the first paragraph above.

10. The people and groups that Rand Paul’s plan will give power to tend to oppose assimilation, such as the NCLR. There is little current external pressure on immigrants to assimilate. Those who try to assimilate immigrants tend to get smeared by the far-left and tend to back down. Rand Paul’s plan would make that worse.

11. The U.S. is a lot more than just the shopping mall/flea market Rand Paul envisions. Some immigrants have opinions on various topics that simply aren’t compatible with fundamental American concepts. We can’t have people coming here just because they want to make money: that’s not what the U.S. is all about.

Rand Paul ends with this:

I do not support amnesty, which is why I don’t support our current system with no border security and a blind eye to the problem.

I support legal, not illegal, immigration. We must embrace immigration and immigrants, and we must recognize that our country has been enriched by those who seek the freedom to make better lives for themselves. However, our current system is broken, and we cannot move towards reform until our border is truly and fully secure.

Rand Paul is still playing word games, still using bogus talking points (system is broken), and still holding border security hostage to his mass legalization plan. He’s also not putting numbers on the (no doubt high) legal immigration he wants.

We could move forward on border security right now. Rand Paul could go on a crusade demanding that Obama enforce immigration laws at the border and at the workplace. Rand Paul could speak out against the various actions Eric Holder and other administration officials have taken to encourage more illegal immigration. Instead, Rand Paul is holding all that hostage to a massive legalization plan that would have massive negative impacts on the U.S.

If you were and still are a Rand Paul supporter, I want to change your mind. Contact me at @24AheadDotCom.

If, on the other hand, you realize how deceptive Rand Paul is and want to oppose his plans, then make the arguments on this page to those who haven’t seen the light. That could take you as little as a few minutes: search Twitter for those who tweet approvingly to @SenRandPaul, and then make the points on this page to them.