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Right Turn
Posted at 08:30 AM ET, 05/12/2011

Obama’s lousy immigration record

The Post’s editorial board takes President Obama to task for too much posturing and too little action on immigration reform:

Mr. Obama could, on his own authority, order steps that do not require legislation. One such measure would be to curtail or suspend the deportation of undocumented young students who were brought to the United States as children — whose immigration status might be legalized in the future. Mr. Obama has refused to do that, saying the administration should not bypass Congress on immigration policy.

Even without a top-to-bottom legislative package, the administration could push for discrete measures for which an overwhelming economic argument can be made. For instance, why not expand the quota of visas available to immigrants who receive PhDs from American universities in science, math and engineering? . . . . Mr. Obama may be stymied by the Republicans in delivering a full revamping of immigration policy. But there is still work that could be done — and not just in rallying Hispanics to vote against Republicans in 2012.

Moreover, Obama could introduce his own reform measure to show what he stands for. But that would take some political courage.

As for enforcement, Obama has exaggerated his own success on that front. The White House brags that it has doubled the number of border agents since 2004. But who did that? An indignant Capitol Hill Republican e-mails me: “What they don’t tell you is that the doubling all happened before President Obama took office. Remember, it was the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA) that included a provision increasing the number of Border Patrol agents by 2,000 annually from FY2006 to FY2010. In other words, they’re bragging on an accomplishment that happened during the *gasp* Bush administration.” This chart nicely illustrates the point (understand that the 2009 increase was determined before Obama entered office).

That would be the administration that put forth and fought for its own comprehensive immigration plan. Pretty gutsy. Entirely un-Obama.

By  |  08:30 AM ET, 05/12/2011

Categories:  Immigration

 
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