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Obama is to Blame for the Failure of Immigration Reform

There has been a lot of casting of blame for this last weekend's vote against a sensible and compassionate immigration bill that would have given hope and a future to hundreds of thousands of immigrant children. Most of the pointing fingers direct blame at the Republicans for their "filibuster" of the DREAM Act. Without dispute the Republicans have, in fact, adopted a virulent anti-immigration position that will ultimately lead to minority status for the party. But Republicans are not the reason the DREAM Act failed. Everyone knew that Republicans would not vote for the DREAM Act. The only three Republicans who did vote for the DREAM Act either are leaving Congress or do not have a concern about the right wing of the party. So, if the Republicans are not to blame, who is? President Obama and the Democrats. Really.

Here are 5 reasons why President Obama is to blame for the failure of immigration reform.

1. Five Democratic Senators abandoned the party and voted against the DREAM Act. One other Democratic Senator was attending a Christmas Party. There is no evidence whatsoever that the White House made a single call to these Senators to secure their votes. The DREAM Act was 5 votes short of breaking the "filibuster" and passing cloture. That math is simple enough, no? If these Senators did what their party wanted and needed them to do, the DREAM Act passes. It appears someone dropped the ball.

2. If Democrats were serious about the DREAM Act, why not MAKE the Republicans actually conduct a filibuster? Make than talk ad nausea until the end of the session or until the American public grows tired of the obstructionism?

3. How many speeches did President Obama give endorsing the DREAM Act? None as near as I can find. Yes, he mentioned the DREAM Act on a couple of occasions in other contexts and his Spokesman Robert Gibbs referred to it in press briefings. But, we all saw that when President Obama wants something passed he ADVOCATES for it. Take the Health Care bill for example. How many times did President Obama give speeches urging, demanding, cajoling for passage of the Health Care bill? Oh, about a jillion. Every day in the months leading up to the vote in the Congress there was President Obama on CNN, FoxNews, MSNBC, giving a speech surrounded by uninsured people in urgent need of health care. He was constantly meeting with wavering Senators. Don't you think that had something to do with the passage of the bill? Where was he on Immigration Reform in the fall? One speech! Where has he been for the last two months on the DREAM Act? Missing in action.

4. Enforcement priorities--President Obama has deported more people than President Bush. Period. The theory for the Obama Administration is that if we just enforce the law enough the Republicans will support comprehensive immigration reform. And, advocacy groups allowed President Obama to get away with this strange, irrational theory of enforcement. President Obama is bringing Secure Communities to a police station near you. President Obama is putting employers out of business for not properly dotting all their "i's" and crossing all their "t's " on the worlds most complicated form, the Form I-9. President Obama is opening more private prisons and putting non-criminal foreign nationals in detention centers far removed from their families, lawyers and the real world in an effort to get these folks to give up and not fight their removal. President Obama is unwilling to put forward a working plan for immigration reform, leaving it up to the anti-immigrant crowd to provide Congress draft legislation for doing so.

Had enough? Not yet? Okay

5. Adjudicatory Processes--President Obama is allowing USCIS to adopt crazy, unrealistic, anti-business, extra-regulatory requirements for visas which have long served America well, such as the H-1B, the L-1B, the E-2, and even the EB-5 Investor Visas! USCIS is ramping up the "FDNS" or the "fraud unit," in an attempt to FIND fraud where none exists. These fraud units, which operate without the ability to prosecute actual perpetrators of fraud, appear to trying to find work to do, rather than actually addressing a real need. Meanwhile, USCIS delays adjudication of cases such as the H-1B to force employers to pay the "premium processing" fee of $1,225, which is nothing short of extortion. USCIS raises fees without raising the quality of services, or shortening the adjudicatory process. USCIS continues to delay the processing of FOIA requests and continues to withhold relevant information in direct contradiction to President Obama's first executive order on government openness.

I could go on, but why? President Obama and his administration has shown no desire to actually fix the immigration system America suffers under at this time. He has shown no leadership on the immigration issue. President Obama has not lived up to his campaign promises to immigrants, and Latinos specifically. And yet, President Obama and the Democrats keep coming back to the immigrant well asking for their support in the next election with the promise that if they get reelected they will finally "fix" the broken immigration system.

The reality is it is time for voters who want the immigration system fixed to better serve America, make legality the norm, create greater national security, and reduce illegal immigration to either hold the Democrats and President Obama directly responsible for their failures to date, or somehow get the Republicans to withdraw from their current anti-immigration position. Otherwise, Hispanic, Asian, African and other new immigrant voters may have no one to carry their views on immigration to successful legislation for many years to come.


  1. You are absolute correct Mr. Kuck.

    Time for the Hispanic community to start voting for the Libertarian Party!

  2. You were educated as an attorney and don't know:

    1. Fair distribution of compensation is according to percentage of fault: 93% of Repubs voted against the Dream Act while 91% of Dems voted with us.

    2. There was no time in this Congress to filibuster. Republicans have stalled on this and so much more to the point where a filibuster would have actually run into the next Congress.

    3. The President was as vocal on the Dream Act as any of his other major priorities. He does have a superpower to administer after all. Maybe the trouble you are having is that you watch righ wing news radio that keeps you blind to what's going on?

    4.Republican initiated "Secure Communities" agreements were put in place at record levels under the Bush regime. The Federal Government is required to fulfill their end, so the record detentions are AGAIN the fault of Republicans.

    5. Here you betray your Right wing nutcase bent. Wow, Republicans are so OBVIOUSLY to blame for the racist bent of American politics and this crap is what you come up with.

    The only thing worst than the racists are the traitors among us who seek to distract us.

  3. Edwin,

    It's absolutely clear from your post that you have not been practicing immigration law under the Obama Administration for the past two years.

    The President has shown absolutely ZERO executive initiative and creativity and resourcefulness on immigration. The only comments he's made have come after the Congressional Hispanic Caucus had to get one of its members arrested in front of the White House to get the President's attention.

    As a bleeding heart liberal who actively campaigned and fundraised for Obama, and as someone who desperately hoped for change, I thought he'd keep his promise to enact comprehensive immigration reform within the first year of his administration. I am nothing short of astonished at his miserable performance on this front. Adding insult to injury is the way his Department of Homeland Security has run roughshod over the constitution by criminalizing the undocumented in an effort to set deportation records, and criminalizing U.S. employers and documented immigrant workers for non-substantive violations on the regulator's own nonsensically complicated forms.

    Don't tell me it's the Republicans to blame when Obama and the democrats had A SUPERMAJORITY and squandered it on healthcare. They'd better hope kids who can stay on their parents' insurance until 26 and children with preexisting conditions will somehow outvote the largest and fastest growing minority voting bloc in the United States.

    Chuck's right. Obama and the Dems have failed. And that failure is nobody's fault but their own.

  4. "But Republicans are not the reason the DREAM Act failed."
    Comment evidences a warped view of reality. Republican's filibuster required 60 votes for cloture, otherwise bill would have passed. 39 Republicans voted against vs. 5 democrats yet Republicans are not to blame. Black is white and white is black.

  5. It is nice to see another one of my esteemed colleagues echoing what I have been on record stating for the past year. See:

    I have long tired of lame duck excuses, inaction, and 11th hour pandering.

    The President and the Democratic leadership in Congress have never had the stomach to push immigration reform. I will go so far as to say that they have outright lied to the American public.

    The reality is that the Democrats main strategy over the past two years has been to do nothing and blame the Republicans for their own inaction while Obama deports more individuals than any President in the history of the United States, and covers up abuses of detainees held in immigrant detention centers.

    It is time to close the book on the Obama Presidency. As an organization in 2012 AILA must back a moderate Republican who embraces humane immigration reform policies, because the Democrats have proven utterly useless.


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