Bravo Mr. President
by Geraldo Rivera | Nov 20, 2014
Bravo Mr. President for having the courage or political will or for doing the hard cold political calculation finally to do the right thing for five million undocumented, but otherwise law-abiding immigrants.Those immigrants who have been here for more than five years, have citizen children, are willing to pay their fair share of taxes and are willing to register for criminal background checks will be able to stay. They can come out of the shadows and live free of the fear of being wrenched away from their families.
I understand that many good citizens are upset that the president, like others before him, is acting outside the legislative process. And that Mr. Obama promises to do something tonight that he up until now has said he had no power to do. It doesn't matter. He's as much a politician as John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, John McCain and Marco Rubio who have all spoken out of both sides of their mouths on this issue.
The real question is whether this is the right thing to do.
Does anyone really have a substantive problem with this proposal? There are 500,000 undocumented immigrants here in New York City tonight as I write this. That is approximately the population of Atlanta or Tucson or Las Vegas. And you never hear about them. Why?
It is because they live their lives, mind their business and otherwise follow the law.
By every indication, they commit fewer crimes than citizen Americans. They raise their children and care for ours; they wash our dishes; mow our lawns; deliver and serve our meals; serve in our military; start businesses, pick our fruits and vegetables, and try hard to do the best they can for themselves and their families.
What good is served by deporting and separating parents from their children? Is your life in any way disadvantaged by the undocumented immigrant serving beer in the Irish bar or selling West African purses on the corner or serving noodles in the Chinese Restaurant?
These people have been demonized by hard-right wingers who have found in them convenient scapegoats to blame for whatever ails us from ISIS to Ebola. They have been cynically exploited to serve as a wedge to divide Americans. Get over them. They are here and thanks to Barack Obama they are staying. And America is better because of it.
Republicans had it coming. They allowed their House Leadership to be rendered irrelevant by anti-immigration radicals like Steve King of Iowa and Mo Brooks of Alabama. The right-wing herd and its supporting cast of screamers like Matt Drudge and Judicial Watch are indignant because they claim the president won't wait for the legislative process to work; that what Mr. Obama is doing is unconstitutional, imperial and impetuous.
On both counts, that is total horsesh*t.
The GOP has zero intention to do anything on immigration except build higher fences and hire more border guards. They've been busy falsely blaming Latino immigrants for everything from ISIS to Ebola. They would blame them for climate change if they believed in climate change.
Remember when Newt Gingrich had the temerity to suggest that an elderly immigrant, the "abuela" who had been here 20-25 years could maybe, possibly, get a reprieve from deportation? He got run out of the 2012 GOP primaries for being "weak" on immigration.
Even supposedly strong, independent thinkers like Sen. John McCain and Marco Rubio have punked out in the face of the Tea Party's immigration intransigence.
Rep. Brooks told me he wanted to deport all 11 million undocumented. Can you picture that scene? Hard working parents who have been here for years, with American citizen children, being herded onto to buses and trains to be transported somewhere, dumped anywhere but here? Is that who we are as a nation?
President Obama has the constitutional authority to order those working for him to lay off the law-abiding. Without providing them either benefits or a path to citizenship he is at least freeing five million immigrants from the threat of deportation. My only beef is that he is late, but better late than never. And if he waited for the House GOP, we would have waited forever