Obama's Immigration Blitz a Bad Break for Black Americans

It’s hard to be compassionate and condescending at the same time.  But that’s how President Obama comes across whenever he jaws about the plight of illegals in America.  The very term “undocumented worker” tends to suggest a justification for having broken the law.

We know little about the 11 million or so illegal aliens in our midst.  We’re not even certain if their count is accurate, since the current modus operandi in dealing with issues in this non-transparent administration is to stretch or shrink the truth depending on political expediency.  This is evident in the nebulous statistics relating to those who signed on to Obamacare.  Very little hard data about ACA participation is made public, except for the 900,000 or so enrollees who were never actually covered because of failure to pay premiums.  If there were ever proof of the old adage “figures don’t lie, but liars figure,” it is the Obama administration’s manipulative misrepresentations meted out as facts.

So we cannot be sure of the actual numbers of people illegally residing in the United States, or much else about them, either.  They are portrayed as furtively living “in the shadows” of our society, which gives the impression that they are fearfully toiling away under the radar.  But if this is the case, how is our government able to find and identify them, much less presume to count them with any degree of accuracy?

But wait!  It seems that many of these folks may have magically moved out of the shadows and are living among us in full view.  In a recent speech, Obama represented them not as fugitives keeping a low profile, but as ordinary people like you and me, occupying houses in our neighborhoods and pews in our churches.  How does this jibe with the picture of them as unfairly marginalized entities, destined for dead-end labors such as making beds and mowing lawns?

Hillary, at least, wasted no time in putting them back in their place.  Last week, during an after-dinner talk at a fancy New York hotel, she praised Obama for his unilateral actions on immigration and opined that the wait staff in that very dining room were likely undocumented.  The management was furious, insisting that it employs only legal workers.  (Shades of “Don’t let anyone tell you that businesses create jobs!”)

It is for political purposes that Obama and his former secretary of state choose to stigmatize illegals – many of them reportedly here for decades – by characterizing them as grunt workers in menial and low-paying jobs.  By so doing, they are pegged as a permanent underclass, whose deportation would result in the nasty inconvenience of making us do our own dirty work or hire legal residents to do it for us at greater expense. 

There may be lip service promoting a “pathway to citizenship” for such put-upon folks, but the fact is that porous borders have become a presumed necessity in supplying cheap replacements for those who may gain legal status.  As long as there are monetary benefits to holding illegals at our mercy, their steady flow into our country will continue with a complicit wink of deceit. 

This has fostered the myth that there are some jobs Americans “will not do,” expanded more recently to include those that Americans, for whatever reason, “cannot do.”  This presumption springs in part from a sense of guilt.  The only time we may shy away from hiring illegals is if we think it might impact a future political career.  We have come to think of those who assume such tasks as being indispensable to the welfare of ourselves and our country.  A sign held up during an immigration rally read, "America would be nothing without us."

Legalizing those who mow lawns and make beds, etc. eases our conscience.  But once they are legally eligible for the benefits our government bestows, will they continue in that line of work?  Will their children, now sheltered under the DREAM Act, assume the burden?  Hardly.  And so the tacit push will continue for more unskilled labor to cross our border illegally in order to do the work American citizens supposedly will not or cannot do.  I was told, for example, that without undocumented farm workers, our crops would rot in the fields, and we would have nothing to eat.  (Perhaps under such indolent circumstances, we deserve to starve!)

This may be one reason why effectively securing our borders has been such a slow process.  Not all of the undocumented are “workers,” however.  Some are up to no good.  The revolving door on our southern border permits felons time and again to scam the system and commit more crimes. 

President Obama does not address any of this.  Instead, he pretends that the compassionate purpose of his latest executive initiative is to keep immigrant families intact.  He claims to be repulsed by the very thought of “tearing apart” the family unit – that is to say, of children born in America remaining here while their parents are sent packing. 

His concern for the integrity of the family is touching, if blatantly disingenuous, considering his abject failure during his half dozen years in office to address the deplorable breakdown of the black family in America.  Aside from his ineffectual rhetoric at times of racial crises, we hear little from him about black families being “torn asunder” by the absence of a parent or, in some cases, of both parents.

The late one-time assistant secretary of labor and Democratic senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan rocked the boat with his prescient 1965 report, “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action.”  A half-century later, however, the situation has only grown worse.  In data published by the federal government in late 2012, 72.3% of non-Hispanic black children were born out of wedlock, the largest percentage of any demographic.  The Census Bureau has linked poverty with out-of-wedlock births, the District of Columbia having the highest rate.  A liberal political blog blames this directly on “the intractable white racism that plagues blacks.”

Yet there is a compelling reason why Obama has put the interests of Hispanics above those of blacks.  His executive privilege is being used as a ploy to build the ranks of Democrat voters.  Having unconditionally secured the black vote for his party, his priorities are better served by pandering to the fastest growing segment of our population.  Surely, he must realize that, given legal status, Hispanics will compete for jobs more openly and aggressively with black Americans.  And the stronger Latino cultural ties to the family unit – dictated in part by Catholic doctrine – work to their advantage. 

As illustrated by the mayhem in Ferguson and beyond, there is tremendous frustration among poor young blacks, spawned not just by their perceived mistreatment at the hands of law enforcement, but by their lack of role models, their high unemployment rate, and, in too many instances, their rueful lack of traction on the economic ladder.  Even illegals have gotten the jump on blacks in the job market in many instances.  And Obama’s welcoming immigration policy, all for the endgame of politics, will only tighten the screws.