In case we needed any more signs that President Obama’s re-election campaign has started, today’s immigration speech in front of a friendly El Paso, Texas, crowd was a great reminder. Despite failed attempts by previous administrations to convince the American people that rewarding illegal immigration is sound policy, President Obama seems to think his oratory has been the missing ingredient all this time.
It’s obvious that political calculations are driving the President’s push for immigration reform in light of his all-time-low support among Hispanics. President Obama’s advisors remain convinced that immigration reform will guarantee their support, despite polling that indicates that unemployment and education are issues that keep most Hispanics up at night.
Unfortunately President Obama continues to believe that Hispanics are single-issue voters who will reward him for his stump speeches on immigration.
The truth is that if President Obama were serious about improving our immigration system, he would be looking at ways of working with members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, rather than resorting to campaign rhetoric that makes light on the real need to secure our border. There’s no doubt that we can look at ways of helping streamline and improve our immigration system, but we cannot undermine the importance of the rule of law that is the cornerstone for any democratic society. Regrettably, this is certainly a part of the President’s prescription when you peel off the political rhetoric.
If political calculations are driving the President’s agenda, he should start with the economy, unemployment and the skyrocketing gas prices. Hispanics, like the rest of the country, are looking for real policy prescriptions that won’t add more to our deficit while creating economic opportunity and prosperity. What’s more, Hispanics are looking to live out The American Dream to ensure that their children and grandchildren will be able to live in the greatest country on earth.
Of course, missing from today’s speech was how current federal spending projections are seriously jeopardizing our country’s economic prosperity and quality of life.
Perhaps that will be for the next time the President addresses a largely friendly and Hispanic crowd? Don’t hold your breath.
Israel Ortega is the Editor of the Heritage Foundation’s Spanish language page, Heritage Libertad, www.libertad.org