By Thomas Martin Salazar, (content originally Published through Cafe con Leche Republicans)
In 2008 President Obama made a promise to many Hispanics and Latinos that said he would make immigration reform priority. He promised that immigration reform was an important issue that should not wait to be addressed down the road, but during his first term.
Here we are four years later and in an interview with Univision, Obama tells the American people that his greatest failure was not passing comprehensive immigration reform. This would be ironic if it was not such a tragic understatement. In fact, President Obama and his administration are aggressively enforcing immigration laws.
In the last four years President Obama rounded up and deported more than 1.5 million illegal immigrants. Moreover, he masqueraded as an immigration reformer – working to seduce the Latino community, by suing Arizona all the way up to the Supreme Court for passing SB 1070 and by opposing Maricopa county Sheriff, Joe Arpaio. Yes Obama and his campaign surrogates boast with pride about how Obama is the immigrant’s champion, but they neglect to tell the truth about Obama’s own immigration policies.
They conveniently ignore the fact that Obama has pioneered the Secure Communities program. According to a Research Report by Aarti Kohli, Peter Markowitz, and Lisa Chavez, President Obama took this pilot program, which was started under President Bush, from 14 jurisdictions to 1,595. This program empowers state and local police all throughout the United States, to do the very exact things for which his administration sued Arizona and Maricopa county Sheriff Joe Arpaio. More revealing statistics from the same research study states,
“Latinos comprise 93% of individuals arrested through Secure Communities though they only comprise 77% of the undocumented population in the United States;”
“Only 2% of non-citizens arrested through Secure Communities are granted relief from deportation by an immigration judge as compared to 14% of all immigration court respondents who are granted relief”
This is unequivocally a disproportionate assault on Latinos. But the facts do not stop here. The President has deported more than 1.5 million illegal immigrants, which averages to just below 400,000 people a year. Furthermore, Obama’s immigration policies have left more than 5,000 American citizens in foster care because their parents were rounded up and deported. His administration in the name of national security continues to deny passports to United States citizens whose birth certificates came from midwife and not through a hospital. This has disproportionately affected Latinos. This new policy of no longer accepting midwife birth certificates as an acceptable form of Identification goes far beyond just impacting Latinos who are seeking to obtain passports; in fact, there are even incidents where Federal immigration officials coerced United States citizens into signing away their citizenship. These are not the actions of a man who cares about immigrants and their families nor is it the actions of an immigration reformer.
Recently Obama has again been making his rounds – reaching out to Latinos with his promise and message of reform. Ironically, Obama and his campaign want Americans to believe that immigration reform will become a reality within the next four years. Indeed, it is such an important issue to our President that he failed to even reference immigration in his new glossy pamphlet. Thus it seems that immigration reform is not as important as the President claims. Then again, in the first four years immigration reform was supposedly a high priority.
While the President plays the victim, blaming lack of bipartisanship for why he has failed to pass immigration reform, I would ask you to look at his real record on immigration. Look at the millions of people he has rounded up and deported. Moreover, how debased it is that our government would see fit to seize children from their own parents, and place them in the foster care system. What type of nation have we become, when basic parental rights and child rights are neglected? Sadly, under President Obama this is a reality. Obama needs to be held accountable for his deception. In the end, Latinos have a choice of either voting for the deporter-in-chief or they can vote for a new direction.
Editors note: as with all blog postings that appear with a by-line, the opinions presented are the author’s and not necessarily the positions of Cafe Con Leche Republicans.
Thomas Martin Salazar is an Arizona leader of the Café con Leche Republicans. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in History from Grand Canyon University and is currently working on obtaining a MDiv in Biblical Communication from Phoenix Seminary. Thomas has also served as the Grand Canyon University College Republicans Vice President and interim President (February 2007-April 2008) and as a Maricopa County Republican Precinct committeeman (August 2009 – August 2012).