Obama’s Delay on Immigration…Once Again

The United States is deporting immigrants nine times the rate of 20 years ago. Over 2.5 million immigrants have been deported under Obama, more than any president in history, this despite promising to make immigration reform his priority in his 2008 & 2012 Campaigns.
The United States is deporting immigrants nine times the rate of 20 years ago. Over 2.5 million immigrants have been deported under Obama, more than any president in history, this despite promising to make immigration reform his priority in his 2008 & 2012 Campaigns.

It’s no secret that deportations of Central American refugees and undocumented immigrants have reached record levels while Obama has been in office. His administration’s deportation statistics first began breaking records in 2011, at which time a study[1] annual average of nearly 400,000 since 2009, about 30% higher than the annual average during the second term of the Bush administration and about double the annual average during George W. Bush’s first term.”

In other words, for the millions of Central American refugees for whom President Obama has refused to take action, Christmas is as good as cancelled. Fearing an electoral backlash in response to any executive intervention in the current refugee crisis, the Obama administration is by now undoubtedly committed to its strategy of delaying action until after midterm elections in November. Their mentality is that, since Latino and/or Democrat voters living in states in which Republicans have an overwhelming majority likely can’t tilt the electoral scales in any significant way, Democrats have little to lose by refusing to act. Why help out a family in need if there’s nothing in it for yourself?

It is safe to say that Obama, instead of upholding his numerous promises of relief to the millions of Central American refugee families who are likely to be separated sooner or later, has decided to continue his trend of prioritizing political games and electoral marketing campaigns over human rights. Obama is openly showing, as he has shown in the past, that he would rather be the president who fought valiantly for his political party than for the immigrant communities, which comprise no small part of the working class in the United States. It is because of this behavior, demonstrations of which there are countless others, that Obama’s legacy will be eight years of political game-playing, unceasing cowardice, cynicism, and cruelty. It’s worth remembering that Obama would likely not have been re-elected in 2012 if it hadn’t been for the same Latino community now being marginalized and forgotten. According to a survey by the Pew Research Center’s Hispanic Trends Project[2], “In 2012 Latinos supported Barack Obama over Mitt Romney by a margin of 71% to 27% (Lopez and Taylor, Project 2012) and were an important part of the coalition that re-elected the president.”

Despite this, support for Obama and democrats in general has fallen sharply among Latino communities across the US. According to a new national survey of Latino adults by the Pew Hispanic Center, 59% of Latinos disapprove of the way the Obama administration is handling deportations of unauthorized immigrants, a ratio of more than two-to-one versus the 27% of Latinos surveyed who approve.

In conclusion, Obama has secured his place in history as yet another better-safe-than-sorry Democrat. He will not be the president who broke through a corrupt political system to defend human rights, but will instead be yet another establishment figure who was only as good as he had to be.

But we shouldn’t end our analysis there. After all, Obama didn’t promise much of anything in either of his election campaigns aside from vague and hollow prophecies of “hope” and “change”. World-renowned writer, journalist and filmmaker Tariq Ali is correct in saying that one must “assess and judge an American president not on the basis of what he has to say, but on the basis what he does. That alone must be the only criterion for judging any politician.”[3]

For example, it is often thought that a bill passed in the Senate in 2013 (the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, or “S.744”) would have been a first step in providing a sanctuary, not only for the two million refugees due for deportation, but for the eleven million undocumented immigrants currently living within the United States.[4]

Touted as “immigration reform” S.744, stepped up immigration enforcement and a new guest worker program; some guest workers could apply for green cards, but only after they work years of servitude. The Neo-Bracero Programs pushed forward by the Democrat Party are a reflection of their origins as the “slave party”. “A single person would have to make $14,362 to keep their provisional status, so even losing a few weeks a year could make them ineligible, or force them to work excessive hours to maintain this salary. Getting fired would be disastrous, making joining unions or advocating for rights extremely risky. And of course, millions of single parents supporting children, clearly wouldn’t qualify, since a family of four would have to keep an income of $29,437 to maintain status. That’s more than two fulltime minimum wage jobs.” – http://dignitycampaign.org/statements/response-to-senate-bill-s-744/

But in reality, S.744 would dramaticaly scale up militarization at the US-Mexico border and would force immigrants to endure a ten year “temporary citizen” status before being allowed a full legal US citizenship. On top of this, the Nation reports that “the bill [S.744] expands the government’s profiling of Muslim immigrants by requiring additional security screening of immigration applicants, spouses and children who resided in a region or country ‘known to pose a threat, or that contains groups or organizations that pose a threat to the US.’ Also overlooked is the fact that S. 744 creates new categories of deportability that target alleged criminals. S. 744 would exclude untold numbers of undocumented and legal immigrants from the benefits of reform and leave them vulnerable to detention and deportation.”[5]

To simply shrug and say that Obama is a “disappointment” or that he “didn’t have the courage of a JFK or an FDR” is to dismiss the most important lesson history has to offer. History shows us again and again that the only way to prevent such atrocities as the current immigration crisis is by first learning from an honest, accurate analysis, and next by becoming politically active.

The Progressive Youth Organization of Kansas City is not alone in its belief that the people alone, by collectively participating in revolutionary action, decide in which direction our society is headed!


[1] Mark Hugo Lopez, Ana Gonzalez-Barrera and Seth Motel “As Deportations Rise to Record Levels, Most Latinos Oppose Obama’s Policy.” Pew Research Centers Hispanic Trends Projecvt RSS. N.p., n.d. Web <http://www.pewhispanic.org/2011/12/28/as-deportations-rise-to-record-levels-most-latinos-oppose-obamas-policy/&gt;.

[2] Mark Hugo Lopez and Ana Gonzalez-Barrera. “Inside the 2012 Latino Electorate.” Pew Research Centers Hispanic Trends

Project RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2014. <http://www.pewhispanic.org/2013/06/03/inside-the-2012-latino-electorate/&gt;.

[3] From a talk presented by the Perth Writers Festival in March 2011, in which Tariq Ali argues that very little has changed since George W Bush left the White House – especially when it comes to foreign affairs.

[4] Edwards, Julia. “Latinos furious at Obama on immigration delay, vow more pressure.” Reuters. Thomson Reuters, 7 July 2014. Web. 25 Sept. 2014.

[5] Alejandra Marchevsky and Beth Baker “Why Has President Obama Deported More Immigrants Than Any President in US History?.” The Nation. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Sept. 2014.