With im­mi­gra­tion, Obama lets a cri­sis go to waste

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - BY CHARLES HURT

WGULF OF MEX­ICO hat­ever hap­pened to the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s guid­ing prin­ci­ple never to let a se­ri­ous cri­sis go to waste? Ex-White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel pro­nounced this shock­ingly brazen po­lit­i­cal prin­ci­ple be­fore a group of Wall Street ex­ec­u­tives in Novem­ber 2008.

He said this even be­fore Pres­i­dent Obama took of­fice. It was af­ter that his­toric elec­tion, a time when the pres­i­dent was rid­ing high on a wave of good will and po­lit­i­cal eu­pho­ria that few Amer­i­can politi­cians have ever en­joyed. It was also a time when the pres­i­dent’s party con­trolled both cham­bers of Congress and could have ap­proved just about any agenda the White House could dream up.

Mr. Emanuel was, at the time, speak­ing about the fi­nan­cial cri­sis that was sav­aging the stock mar­ket, strain­ing un­em­ploy­ment rolls and si­mul­ta­ne­ously spik­ing both fore­closed homes and home­less­ness across the coun­try.

“Things that we had post­poned for too long, that were long-term, are now im­me­di­ate and must be dealt with,” Mr. Emanuel elab­o­rated. “This cri­sis pro­vides the op­por­tu­nity for us to do things that you could not do be­fore.”

Machi­avel­lian? Sure. But, boy, did that crew talk a big game back then. It re­ally sounded like they knew what they were talk­ing about.

And he struck a bi­par­ti­san chord back then that sounds laugh­able to­day, know­ing now how ut­terly hol­low those words would turn out to be.

“The good news, I sup­pose, if you want to see a sil­ver lin­ing, is that the prob­lems are big enough that they lend them­selves to ideas from both par­ties for the so­lu­tion,” Mr. Emanuel cooed.

You mean like, say, Oba­macare? The sin­gle big­gest, most strictly par­ti­san govern­ment pro­gram ever cre­ated? These people have taken par­ti­san­ship to its nas­ti­est level in more than 80 years. Heck, Mr. Obama has turned par­ti­san­ship against even his own party. When he doesn’t get his way, he goes around even fel­low Democrats in Congress with his un­con­sti­tu­tional gam­bits.

So what did Mr. Emanuel’s “se­ri­ous cri­sis” un­wasted get us?

Na­tional debt ex­ploded 70 per­cent to a stag­ger­ing $17 tril­lion. Un­em­ploy­ment went from 6.8 per­cent up to 10 per­cent where it hov­ered for about a year and a half and is fi­nally back down now to 6.1 per­cent. To­day, a record 92 mil­lion Amer­i­cans are no longer in the work­force, a rate of hope­less in­do­lence not seen in the USA since Jimmy Carter was pres­i­dent.

Maybe Amer­ica would have been bet­ter off if they had just de­cided to waste that se­ri­ous cri­sis.

Now Mr. Obama faces an­other “se­ri­ous cri­sis.” This one al­most en­tirely of his own mak­ing.

Tens of thou­sands of chil­dren wan­der­ing the desert alone or shep­herded by the mod­ern equiv­a­lent of slave traders across the U.S.-Mex­ico bor­der. Un­told num­bers have died, been raped and mur­dered.

All be­cause Mr. Obama has promised to make them free Amer­i­cans if they just touch our blessed borders — or at least that is the mes­sage the pres­i­dent con­veys to these chil­dren and their fam­i­lies.

One lit­tle boy told a re­porter through an in­ter­preter: “He’s help­ing us. He signed pa­pers and said all Gu­atemalans who come to the United States can stay. He’s help­ing us.”

Just look at the facts. En­force­ment of im­mi­gra­tion laws is a joke in the United States and ev­ery­body in South and Cen­tral Amer­ica knows it. Then, Mr. Obama him­self uni­lat­er­ally granted amnesty to chil­dren in the U.S. il­le­gally.

How does he now claim to be sur­prised by the hu­man­i­tar­ian cri­sis of chil­dren flood­ing the bor­der? What did he think would hap­pen?

If ever there were a se­ri­ous cri­sis not to let “go to waste,” it is this one now.

The pres­i­dent could fi­nally get se­ri­ous about en­forc­ing im­mi­gra­tion laws on businesses that hire il­le­gals. He could be­gin real de­por­ta­tions. And he could send the stark­est mes­sage yet by re­turn­ing the chil­dren stream­ing across the bor­der to their fam­i­lies back home.

In­stead, the pres­i­dent keeps harp­ing about “com­pre­hen­sive im­mi­gra­tion re­form,” which is po­lit­i­calese for re­fus­ing to en­force bor­der laws un­til a wide­spread amnesty process is ap­proved for all il­le­gals. Of course, this is pre­cisely why we have the hu­man­i­tar­ian cri­sis on the bor­der in the first place.

Mr. Obama plans to travel to Texas this week to at­tend po­lit­i­cal fundrais­ers. As­ton­ish­ingly, the White House says that while is he col­lect­ing po­lit­i­cal cam­paign cash, he has no plans to visit the bor­der.

In­deed, a se­ri­ous cri­sis wasted by a pres­i­dent who ap­par­ently does not care.

Charles Hurt can be reached at charleshurt@live.com, and on Twit­ter @charleshurt.

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