Friday, November 21, 2014

Obama's Sham Immigration Reform

Obama's Sham Immigration Reform

by Stephen Lendman

Throughout his tenure, Obama waged war on immigrants. Mocking notions of welcoming tired, poor, wretched masses yearning to breathe free.

Immigration rights activists call him the "Deporter-in-Chief" for good reason. Enforcing white supremacist policies. 

Poor, desperate arrivals aren't welcome. People of color scorned. America never was beautiful. For sure not now.

Obama reflects the worst of rogue leadership. So-called immigration reform is more pretense than real.

He's responsible for deporting more immigrants than all his predecessors combined. 

On average over 1,000 a day. In total, over 2.2 million. With two years left in office, likely hundreds of thousands more before departing.

His legacy will be hard to top. Wanting tough congressional legislation enacted.

According to National Day Laborer Organizing Network executive director Pablo Alvarado:

"Unless (he) alters course, he risks cementing his legacy as having presided over the most anti-immigration administration in history."

Rule by presidential executive order diktats alone raises questions. No constitutional authority specifically permits them. 

Other than stating "executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America (Article 2, Section 1)."

Abused by bypassing Congress. "All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives (Article 1, Section 1.)."

Constitutional checks and balances prevent empowering one governmental branch over another.

Diktat power borders on tyranny. Even though executive orders are legal. Not permanent. Future presidents can annul them with a stroke of a pen. Not how democracy is supposed to work.

In 2012, Obama exempted about one million undocumented immigrants arriving in America as children. So-called "DREAMers."

Using prosecutorial discretion. Letting presidents decline them on a case-by-case basis. Abusing his power at times.

Latinos are longstanding prime targets. Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement arm (ICE) scapegoats them for political advantage.

Dehumanizing them. Gestapo-like warrantless raids target them. Neighborhoods, workplaces, and other locations are raided.

Targeted with shotguns and automatic weapons. Done without just cause. Extrajudicially. Terrorizing families. 

Immigrants pulled from their beds. Rousted from workplaces.
Confronted at gunpoint. Without explanation. 

Mistakes are made. Wrong homes or workplaces are targeted. 
Unapologetically. ICE agents permitted to terrorize. Freely. Unaccountably.

Brutalizing immigrants. Rounding them up. Holding them in dehumanizing detention.

Separated from family members. Criminalized. Treated like terrorist threats. Summarily deported. Given no right of appeal.

Independent studies show ICE agents operate with no legal authority. Arresting people randomly.

Conducting lawless searches and seizures. Making arrests based on ethnicity, race, appearance and English proficiency.

Neighborhoods targeted pre-dawn. Local police cooperate. Homes broken into lawlessly. Innocent victims harmed. 

Family members terrorized. Imagine spouses and young children seeing a parent taken away in handcuffs. Unable to understand why.

Misconduct is rife. Rule of law principles don't matter. Or democratic values. Or doing the right thing. 

Raids occur nationwide. Virtually daily. Unannounced. Using excessive force. Constitutional protections don't matter. 

Police state lawlessness substitutes. Most immigrants transferred from local jails to ICE have no criminal records. Or traffic violations.

Obama bears full responsibility. Blaming Congress for his own duplicitous policy. Immigration reform activists want real change. Not sham pretense.

Not with Obama in Washington. Promising one thing. Doing  another. An earlier open letter said the following in part:

Congratulations, Mr. President. You're the latest in a long line of lawless leaders. Achieving rogue status without really trying.

Contempt for rule of law principles, duplicity and moral cowardice define your administration. Pretense otherwise doesn't wash.

Instead of improving lives of ordinary Americans, you made things worse than ever.

Made America a gangster state. A pariah one and then some.  Presiding over a homeland police state apparatus.

Stealing public wealth. Handing it to Wall Street crooks and other corporate favorites. War profiteers gorge at the public trough.

Growing millions impoverished in the world's richest country.  Its wealth disparity unprecedented. 

Tens of millions of working age Americans unemployed. Most others underemployed. One missed paycheck away from homelessness, hunger and despair.

Essential needs ignored. Homelessness, hunger and human misery don't matter.

Middle class society systematically destroyed. America on a fast track toward thirdworldization.

Heading toward full-blown tyranny. Promised hope and change is pure rubbish. Peace a convenient illusion. Direct and proxy wars rage in multiple theaters.

Promised US forces out of Afghanistan within 12 months in office a willful ruse.

Pledged Palestinian sovereignty free from occupation harshness a Big Lie. Decades without fundamental civil and human rights persist. Worse than ever currently.

Guantanamo closure once and for all. Within one year of taking office.

Promised accountability for Bush administration war criminals. Torture ending by decree. 

Indefinite detentions no longer tolerated. Lawless military commission trials prohibited.

Labor rights supported. Public education better than ever. And you can keep your doctor, Obama said. 

Guaranteed universal healthcare with a public option. More affordable than before, he claimed. 

No more rule by diktat. Promised help for Americans facing home foreclosures.

Patriot Act provisions revisited. "(U)nconstitutional executive decisions during the past eight years…overturn(ed)."

All Americans served equitably, justly, fairly and honorably.

"It's time to turn a page," Obama said. "We'll restore our values." The "days of compromising them are over." 

We'll "secure a more resilient homeland." We'll "adhere to the Geneva Conventions." 

Freedom is too precious to lose. Obama goes all-out to destroy it. At home and abroad.

Promised administration openness and transparency. Increased whistleblower protections to encourage exposing government wrongdoing.

Big Brother banished. "(N)o more illegal wiretapping of American citizens," Obama pledged.

No more "spy(ing) on citizens who are not suspected of a crime." No more privacy invasions.

No more human and civil rights violations. "No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient."

No more extrajudicial operations. Or favoring monied interests over popular ones. No more wars for power and profit.

Or treating anyone less than equitably and justly than others. No more defending the indefensible.

Obama's policies belie his rhetoric. Making America more unfit to live in than ever in modern times. Risking the unthinkable.

Possible global war. Against invented enemies. Independent governments. For unchallenged dominance. 

Destroying humanity one plundered nation at a time. Genocide against unwanted people. "Useless eaters," according to Henry Kissinger.

Turning America into a militarized armed camp. Destroying fundamental freedoms one police state law at a time.

Diktat power. Deciding who'll live or die. Be free or locked indefinitely in America's gulag. At home or abroad.

Undocumented immigrants in virtual concentration camps. On Thursday, Obama's demagogic doublespeak drowned out truth.

Explaining his so-called immigration reform. Covering less than half the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants. 

Others subject to lawless detention. Brutalizing treatment. Like criminals. Deportation with no right of appeal.

Immigrants qualifying for residency and work permits must have lived here for five years. Have US citizen or legal resident children.

Must register with ICE. Have no criminal record. Or minor misdemeanors too insignificant to matter. Pay back taxes owed if any. 

Get no Obamacare subsidies, Medicaid, food stamps or other benefits afforded citizens and some legal residents. Farm workers entirely excluded. 

Others qualifying can stay temporarily. Perhaps until a new president reverses Obama's policy. Or dictates entirely new rules and regulations.

Unfairness and then some defines US immigration policy. The National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (NNIRR) earlier called it "a brutal system of immigration control and policing that criminalizes immigration status, normalizes the forcible separation of families, destabilizes communities and workplaces, and fuels widespread civil rights violations."

Abuses are rife. Criminalizing undocumented immigrants. Linking immigration policy to national security.

Based on racial, ethnic, nationality profiling. Militarizing border communities. Scapegoating immigrants unfairly.

Deporting record numbers. Separating family members. Institutionalizing brutal treatment. Denying immigrants international law guaranteed civil and human rights.

Substituting police state repression. Immigrants vulnerable to exploitation and ill-treatment. Unable to fight for their rights.

Making racial profiling and other discriminatory practices national policy. Studies show horrific ICE abuses.

Including warrantless searches. Indiscriminate arrests. Forced detentions. Separating family members. Husbands from wives. Children from parents. 

Traumatizing them. Abusing women. Beating men. Destabilizing communities. Due process and judicial fairness pure fantasy.

Expropriating indigenous land. Building virtual and other border fences. Ill-spending hundreds of millions of dollars besieging affected communities.

Harming natural habitat and wildlife migration in the process. America treats aliens like criminals. Especially Latinos and Muslims.

Obama's so-called immigration reform leaves longstanding injustices unchanged. Denying rights everyone deserves.

International law affirmed. Constitutionally protected under the Supremacy Clause. Making all treaties and conventions 
Washington signs the supreme law of the land.

In name only. Emma Lazarus' Lady Liberty words once had meaning. No longer in a nation hostile to its tired, poor, huddled masses.

Welcome sign don't greet them. Scorn, abuse and exploitation substitute. Deportation. Discarded like yesterday's garbage.

Unwanted for being the wrong color. From wrong parts of the world. Valued only for low-pay/no benefits hard labor others eschew. 

Persecuted. Denied all rights. Underpaid. With few or no benefits. Hung out to dry when not wanted. 

Longstanding US practice. Worse than ever under Obama. 

Immigration policy by diktat ignores what's most important to address. Equity and justice for all.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.