A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Immigration: Steps to avoid

Written August 29th, 2014 by Hasso Hering
A White House photo of Obama speaking on Thursday, Aug. 28.

A White House photo of Obama speaking on Thursday, Aug. 28.

The papers tell us that President Obama “still intends to act on his own to change immigration policy,” though he’s no longer sure just when he’ll do this. In this case his dithering may make some kind of sense. Perhaps he realizes that he might be making a big mistake by going ahead.

If all we had on immigration was a policy subject to the president’s direction, he would be free to change it any time he wants. But we don’t have an immigration policy. Instead we have immigration laws, which are widely ignored. The president’s choice is not whether to pursue this or that policy, but whether to try to enforce the laws.

Enforcing the laws is easier said than done, obviously. When millions of people ignore or sidestep the laws, strictly enforcing them becomes impossible except in a small percentage of cases. (It’s the same with the federal marijuana law.)

What, actually, has Obama been considering? The Los Angeles Times in July summarized the possibilities. The paper said he could step up deportations of the children that have been thronging the southern border, but — and this is more likely — he could also prevent deportations of many immigrants already here.

One option, the paper said, is to allow parents of children born in the U.S. to apply for “temporary legal status” so they could legally work. This would affect an estimated 5 million people. Another option is to give temporary legal status to the parents of those young people brought to the U.S. as children to whom Obama granted “deferred deportation” status in 2012. This might affect about 500,000 adults. Either or both would probably act like a magnet for additional millions seeking to immigrate without benefit of formalities. So even though these sound like reasonable steps, they could make the problem worse.

And if the law does not provide for such a change in status, how can the president impose it on his own without violating his oath? Better to do nothing about illegal immigrants than to have the president further weaken the constitutional foundation on which our government rests. (hh)

Comments are closed.


HH Today: A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley
Albany Albany Carousel Albany City Council Albany council Albany downtown Albany Fire Department Albany housing Albany parks Albany Planning Commission Albany police Albany Post Office Albany Public Works Albany riverfront Albany Station Albany streets Albany traffic Albany urban renewal Andy Olson Benton County Benton County parks bicycling bike lanes Bowman Park Bryant Park Calapooia River CARA City of Albany climate change coronavirus COVID-19 Cox Creek path Crocker Lane cumberland church cycling Dave Clark Path DEQ downtown Albany Edgewater Village global warming gun control Highway 20 Interstate 5 Kitzhaber Linn County marijuana medical marijuana Millersburg North Albany North Albany Road Obama ODOT Oregon coast Oregon legislature Pacific Power Portland & Western Republic Services Riverside Drive Santiam Canal Talking Water Gardens The Banks Tom Cordier Union Pacific urban renewal Water Avenue Willamette River

Copyright 2020. All Rights Reserved. Hasso Hering.
Website Serviced by Santiam Communications
Hasso Hering