Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Special Message from Guest Blogger: Barack Obama

As I have shared with my frequent commenters, I am very, very proud to present a very Special Guest Blogger this evening:
Special Guest Blogger: Barack Obama
I am honored to be asked to contribute to a blog that encourages citizens to think critically about a number of issues related to immigration, border security and the economy. I commend those who raise attention to these issues and who realize that we truly gain from hearing different perspectives and engaging in dialogue with one and other.
As I am sure many of you will agree, we are at a defining moment in American history. At this moment, we have the chance to choose between the same partisan bickering of the past or a change in the way Washington does business. In order to bring about that change, we need a leader who will focus on bringing people of all parties together to solve our country’s problems and reach our common goals.

I often talk about why I am running for president by citing what Dr. Martin Luther King called “fierce the urgency of now.” There are policies we must address now that will determine the future of our country, and immigration reform is one of them. I plan to address immigration reform as soon as I become president and look to individuals such as yourselves to continue to bring attention to this topic and promote a respectful and reasoned debate – a debate that focuses on solutions rather than slander.

While some of us may disagree on how to go about immigration reform, we all understand its importance and understand the value of having a debate that does not use rhetoric to vilify undocumented immigrants, immigrants in general or the Latino community. Since this last debate we’ve had on immigration, hate crimes committed against Latinos have increased by 20%, as immigrants and children of immigrants are increasingly being targeted. That is not what this country stands for. This rhetoric also threatens to undermine our relationships abroad, in Mexico, Latin America and around the world.

Instead of blaming others for our problems and distracting ourselves from the real issues we face, let us stand together with a common resolve to make the United States of America both a country of laws and a country of immigrants. Together we can work toward comprehensive immigration reform that will ensure we have stronger border security, a pathway to citizenship to bring undocumented immigrants out of the shadows and an overhaul of our current legal immigration system. Instead of targeting immigrant families, we can create a system that punishes employers exploiting undocumented immigrants in order to incur greater profits.

By confronting the issue of comprehensive immigration reform here at home, we can begin to focus on creating strong partnerships with Mexico and the rest of Latin America. As those of you in Texas understand, it is crucial that we work with the Mexican government and take on issues of importance to communities on both sides of the border, such as narco-trafficking, human smuggling and cross-border crime.


patriot said...

Mr. Obama, if crimes against Latinos (both illegal and legals) it is directly due to our government not enforcing our immigration laws and not securing our borders long ago as promised. What do you expect? Americans are frustrated. We are tired of the negative impact of illegal immigration and tired of ethnocentric citizens calling citizens for the rule of law, racists. One reaps what they sow.

So your answer is to reward illegal aliens for violating our immigration laws by allowing them to stay here and even get on a path to citizenship?

Just what do you mean by CIR? Are you considering population growth in this issue and the ensuing chain migration from legalization of these people? Have you had to wait in an emergency room or other medical facility for hours for treatment because they are flooded with illegal aliens who don't pay for their treatments by the way? As a senator you know that the taxpayer has to foot the bill for those who don't pay, don't you?

We have had to build numerous more schools to accomodate all these students here illegally and most don't speak English. Why are we educating illegals in OUR schools at taxpayer expense?

How do you stand on the 14th Amendment? There is a bill in congress now to make it mandatory for at least one parent to be a citizen in order for a child to be granted U.S. citizenship. How do you stand on that issue?

How do you stand on English as our official language? It has been our common unifying language since our country's founding. By making it official, not only will we be able to claim it as part of our heritage and identity but we would save lots of tax dollars not having to print documents in several language. You do care about saving the taxpayer dollars, don't you? It isn't racist. Most countries have an official language. It would not make it mandatory for everyone to speak English at all times.

What is your stance on the SAVE ACT? Shouldn't we make employers accountable for following federal labor and immigration laws? Shouldn't we make sure that there is no American to do any job held by an illegal at a fair wage before we give blanket legalization to these people?

I am sure I have a lot more questions but these are the ones at the top of my list now. Are you going to put Americans first? Are you going to make sure we return to a nation of laws and not lawlessness? Are you going to REALLY secure our borders, or it is the typical lip service we have heard since the last amnesty in 1986.

Americans are fed up, Mr. Obama and most for the above reasons. I don't want to see another president in office who cares more about foreign interests in this country than Americans.

patriot said...

I meant to say if crimes against Latinos both here illegally and legally have increased, it is the fault of both our government and the ethnocentric Latinos who defend them, rather than standing up for the rule of law and their fellow Americans. Our government has created this mess and now we are retaliating against it.

Anonymous said...

Many of us Texas Latino bloggers are Democrat. Some are Republicans, but not many. Most are voting for you and Hillary.

Anonymous said...








Anonymous said...

Mexican American from every Us State.

Do not believe on Obamas fantacy. Do you realy think he will do something for you.

He is just an activist, likes to show off other then that he is just a pre-schooler, in the politics.

Remember the experience he said on his on words.
He was an activist lider or a Chicago group , what is that mean? He was working with all the those VAGOS. in Chicago.

Is that the experience he has to run our Country.

Ojo! I do not want my family to sufer the consequences of a inexpert goverment.

Dee said...

Senator Obama,
I am honored that you are visiting my blog. Thank you for joining us. As you said, we do have a very diverse group here. Both the PRO and the ANTI side are represented. What I enjoy most is that we can respectfully disagree and speak civilly to our own views and agree or disagree with the other person´s perspective.

I am so glad you are a candidate for President. Our government needs a change and we need a President who will help us address these difficult issues and resolve them for our future and our children´s future.

dianne said...

This is straight out of the debate between Hillary and Barack in Texas last week or the week before, obviously interpreted to blog use. That's ok. Campaigning has many forms.

Senator Obama is correct. We are at a defining moment and we have the chance to choose between partisan bickering of the past or a change. However, Mr. Obama did not avail himself of that opportunity while a U.S. senator. He did not work across the aisle except on rare occasion on noncontroversial issues. Words are important Senator, but action speaks.

Regarding comprehensive immigration reform, Mr. Obama, your first responsibility is to the citizens of the United States of America. We are the ones shouldering the costs of illegal immigration by our taxes. The citizens clearly spoke that the CIR bill brought forward by Kennedy/McCain was not acceptable. It even provided a path to citizenship for gang members who simply renounced their gang affiliation. We do not want criminals in our neighborhoods and we cannot afford to feed the world. We are well aware that greedy employers would prefer to hire cheap illegal labor while passing the social costs of the people they hire for dirt wages on to us. You as a Senator voted for the border wall yet in the Texas debate, you seemed to back away from that. How can we trust you to have the best interests of citizens in mind in this country when you go back on your vote and your word?

Finally, Mr. Obama, in the debate last night in Ohio, it came to light that you failed to hold even one hearing of your subcommittee on NATO and their responsibility in Afghanistan. In the meantime, NATO has refused to live up to their responsibility in that country and our own military now must endure extended tours of duty to make up the difference. While campaigning may be important to you, Mr. Obama, I believe a person who aspires to be President of this country should get his priorities straight.

I am sorry I cannot support your candidacy.

ultima said...

Thank you for your blog, Mr. Obama. You have made "change" the centerpiece of your candidacy but we all know that whoever is elected that will be a change. Every candidate runs on a platform of change. Have you ever heard a candidate say, "Vote for me. I am for the status quo?"

So it boils down to the question of what kind of changes you favor and what the chances are the congress will go along with your proposals. As you know the president proposes and the congress disposes.

I like your health plan better than Hillary's. Her plan sounds like the Canadian plan but I read recently a scathing criticism of Canadian health care and in fact heard first hand about its deficiencies from some Canadian snowbirds in Arizona. One such critic said you get a quick and dirty diagnosis and then have to wait for months for actual treatment. Far from being free, every participant in the Canadian plan pays $90 a month and up to 50% in income taxes to support the plan. In other words, most believe they are paying through the nose for socialized medicine. Canadians come to the U.S. for treatment when the delay is too long in Canada.

One element I would like to see added to your plan is a provision that says employers must provide full family health care insurance for all foreign workers in their employ. The purpose of this provision is to level the playing field and keep employers from offloading health care costs onto unsuspecting taxpayers. This would solve the emergency room problem.

I understand that you are in favor of guest workers. I'm not sure what that entails. Temporary foreign workers limited to the precise number we need might be acceptable if employers were required to present irrefutable evidence of that need, concurred in by unions and professional organizations. We should begin that process by requiring employers re-advertise at a living wage all of their current jobs that are held by illegals with a hiring preference for citizens. Those illegal who survive this process may then be considered for a temporary work permit. Steps would have to be taken to make sure employers do not game this process. There should be no question that those illegals whose jobs are filled by citizens workers must be expeditiously deported.

Many candidates and others advocate a pathway to citizenship for those who entered our country illegally. I disagree. Anyone who has entered this country illegally should never be eligible for citizenship. That should be reserved for legal immigrants. The primary interest of many of the illegals is simply to be able to stay and work in this country without fear of deportation. The temporary work permit cited above accomplishes this purpose. We need not add a pathway to citizenship. That simply cheapens the value of citizenship and should be avoided at all costs.

We are indeed at a turning point in the history of our country. If we do not get control of our borders and if we do not repatriate a significant percentage of the illegals, we will have lost the immigration war. Those in favor of chain immigrations and open borders will have won. We will never have another opportunity to solve this problem. Mexico Norte will be our future if we fail.

Often the opposition to illegal aliens and excessive legal immigration is attributed to racism, xenophobism, restrictionism, bigotry and other such pejorative terms. Those who favor amnesty and open borders refuse to understand the legitimate reasons for repatriating illegals and reducing the level of legal immigrants. This is due to hopeless myopia on their part. It is indeed unfortunate that in none of the debates in congress or on the campaign trail have we heard anything about the long-term consequences of liberal immigration policies. One such consequence is the acceleration of the depletion of our finite natural resources. Perhaps even more important is the fact that if we double our population by the end of this century, there will be no hope of reducing the total amount of pollution we produce. The UN says Americans produce a minimum of 20 metric tons per capita per year. That means that 200-300 million more people will cause another 4-6 billion tons of those pollutants per year. Even if with technical means we were able to reduce the output per capital by 20% to 16 metric tons per year, the total would still represent 3.2-4.8 billion metric tons per year of additional pollutants. Of course, it mean that, at 20%, our current population would produce 1.2 billion tons which would partially offset the increase resulting from population growth. The point is unless we get our population under control, there is no way we can reduce our total emissions below the present level. Population growth will eclipse whatever reductions are achieve through technical means.

ultima said...

Population growth and the related increase in atmospheric and other pollutants are due solely to immigrants and their American born children. Therefore, if we are interested in doing something about the threat of climate change, we can do so only through a major reduction in the level of legal immigration, the elimination of chain immigrations (families should apply as a group so the actual number can be counted against the quota) and by adopting a tax policy that discourages couples from having more than two children. Those who do not wish to have children could simply sell their authorization to anyone who wishes to have more. In other words, in the latter case only two deductions for exemptions for children would be allowed for each couple.

Candidates will never be credible on immigration issues until they get behind the bills cited by Patriot -- the SAVE bill, a modification of birthright citizenship, and Official English with a repeal of EO13166. Now that would be "change" that all loyal citizens could all support.

Immigration is a difficult issue but time is running out. The 1986 bill shows that amnesty doesn't work even if there are fines, back taxes and English Language and civics proficiency are involved. The only thing that will work is extensive border infrastructure improvements buttressed by vigorous internal enforcement and repatriations. Anything short of that will send the wrong message.

ultima said...

We often hear or read the old saw, "we are a nation of immigrants". We once were but no longer should be. There was a time when a vast unsettled continent lay before the Founding Fathers and their successors. That is no longer the case so why should we tailor our immigration policies as though it is?

One should not make the mistake of characterizing opposition to amnesty for illegal aliens and a reduction in the number of legal immigrants admitted each year as racist. The obligation of a leader of our democracy should be first and foremost to our citizens not to those who are knocking at our door or violating our borders. A leader would assert once and for all that civilized society is based on the rule of law and those laws will be enforced but not by changing them to absolve all those who have violated them.

ultima said...

A candidate whose platform included the following would have my wholehearted support:

1. No amnesty
2. No pathway to citizenship for those who entered our country illegally.
3. Official English
4. Repeal of EO13166
5. A reduction of legal immigrants to no more than 200,000 per year with preference for those with skills we need and who already speak English.
6. The SAVE bill
7. A modification of birthright citizenship to require that at least one parent be a citizen.
8. Withholding the award of citizenship until the child reaches age 21 or enlists in the armed forces for not less than 4 years.
9. Expedited and extensive improvements in border infrastructure and border patrol staffing.
10. Changes in the rules of engagement to maximize the effectiveness of the border patrol.
11. Hot pursuit and lethal force for drug smugglers.
12. Encouragement of local immigration enforcement measures such applying trepass laws to illegals solely on the basis of their illegal presence in the U.S.
13. Prohibition against entry of pregnant women.
14. Joint funding of the construction of obstetrical and triage hospitals south of the border with staffing by Mexicans.
15. All appearing at the border in need of medical assistance must be referred to those hospitals rather than being admitted to the U.S.

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