President Obama's lawless executive order to extend visas (or defer deportation) for some illegal immigrants went into effect yesterday, and media outlets were quick to rush down and interview the applying non-citizens. Most of them seemed nice enough and I don't know a soul who would suggest they don't bleed like the rest of us. It's not hard to feel sympathy for an individual who through no fault of their own was brought here illegally, has since assimilated, attends school or holds full-time employment, and feels American down to their very core.
Good for them. Except the president has skirted the law to help them skirt the law with a thrown together policy that is ultimately destined to fail.
For one, circumventing Congress to change the law is a breach of power and most likely unconstitutional (with this Supreme Court, you never know, but its certainly not a policy that gives merit to representative democracy). The immigrants who sign up for this amnesty program could be signing up for quick deportation once President Obama's executive order is revoked or overturned. As it should be.
Secondly, any criteria to apply for "legal" illegal status is dubious at best and creates the potential for gross fraud and abuse. After all, how does one acquire the legal paperwork to prove they illegally entered the country during the qualified time to be deemed acceptably illegal? And if you came here illegally outside the qualified time frame, why not simply pretend to meet the criteria? How do you disprove such a claim? So long as you're under thirty and have established a stateside address, what racist would doubt you haven't lived and worked here for the required five years?
There's also the issue of those who are over thirty but were brought here illegally by their parents twenty years ago. Why do they get denied the opportunity of their younger cousins and siblings? Are we splitting up families now? The kids are alright but the parents have to go?
This isn't sound policy or even an acceptable substitute for the DREAM Act. It's a nightmare for immigration enforcement, a nightmare for the courts, and a nightmare for businesses trying to follow the law and hire long-term help. Which is why laws are best passed through the constitutional and legislative process, not made up willy-nilly by the wave of a leader's scepter to woo votes in the midst of a political campaign.
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Thursday, August 9, 2012
For once, the president was understated, maybe because he has been cutting funding for the space program significantly. A point of national pride? This wasn't just another Olympic moment for Team USA on the balance beam. This landing represents a far greater achievement that will pay huge dividends in terms of both territorial exploration (think Lewis and Clark) and national security (dominance in space when the Chinese are trying to overtake us).
Too bad President Obama plans to slash the Mars program's budget from $587 million to just $188 million by 2015, proving he's willing to spend more on failed boondoggles like Solyndra than programs with proven track records. If only NASA was founded by one of his campaign bundlers.
It illustrates a serious problem. Barack Obama lacks the creative vision we usually demand of our leaders. We all know he's a big spender. He's been borrowing, printing, and spending money like there's no tomorrow. But he has been far too unwilling to invest in endeavors that truly illustrate the best of man's potential.
How can a successful program that has so many future implications for advancing American interests get left behind by a president whose campaign slogan is "Forward"? How does a bloated and ever expanding budget somehow cut one of the few programs that improves lives with technology, demonstrates defense capabilities, and captures the world's imagination?
With decisions like these, no wonder our nation has lost its moxy.
Look at where Barack Obama is interested in moving us away from and what he is interested in moving us towards, and you see a leader seriously lacking in intellectual curiosity.
Space is supposed to be the final frontier, where nations dream to soar. Barack Obama has turned NASA's attention away from space exploration and towards more earthly endeavors like Muslim outreach and Al Gore's global warming alarmism.
If President Obama doesn't have a passing interest in new frontiers, maybe it's because he's been molded by a dogma mostly concerned with controlling old ones. Or perhaps outer space is just too vast to redistribute.
Frontiers, by their very definition, are places unbridled by man. They are the unknown, the unsettled, the wild and the free, places of unlimited potential and possibilty. Is there any place a centralized planner would find less appealing?
America has always worked as a nation because we attract the dreamers and explorers, the risk takers, those willing to give up the banality of the old world for new opportunities. It has always been the place where you proved yourself through ingenuity and independent spirit. Throughout his life experience, President Obama has demonstrated neither.
We are a nation of Frontiers, first the east coast and then the west, and when all that land was settled - space, computers, technology, and beyond. An America that doesn't encourage pursuit of new frontiers and doesn't celebrate going boldly where no man or woman's gone before is hardly America at all. For all the problems Barack Obama complains about inheriting, they were at least American ideals. But they don't seem to suit him and so he's going to leave us with less.
This is how a nation built on hard work and imagination is left only to imagine its once great potential while a naval-gazing president tells us to keep dreaming smaller. You want free contraception and food stamps, no problem. You want to discover new worlds, break boundaries, and explore new horizons? Forget about it.
Curiosity killed the cat, but President Obama has done his best to kill curiosity.