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Tell President Obama thanks – he deserves it


Fri, Dec 12, 2014

Editor: I wish to express broad agreement with your editorial on the action taken by President Obama to give legal status to 5 million undocumented foreigners living in the USA.{{more}}

There are two other points worthy of note. First, in taking this action Obama has broadly accomplished his agenda of 2008. He has fixed the economy that collapsed in the last months of George Bush’ presidency. He has ended the US occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. He has put the US on a path towards its greatest investment in green energy, most powerfully exemplified by the agreement with China to cut carbon emissions. And of course, without the aid of the Republicans, he has moved 5 million people from the shadows. And lest I forget, he has also allowed millions of poor people to access healthcare who previously were uninsured. His biggest challenge then is how to protect the gains he has made.

On this issue of immigration, tonight the Republicans essentially surrendered. The only way they can stop the immigration order is to shut down the government; and even then it is not at all certain that this would prevent Obama from implementing the executive order on immigration. Tonight, however, the Republicans blinked. They chose to fund the government therefore guaranteeing that the immigration order will begin to take effect. With a presidential election in 2016, the candidates who will be vying for the presidency will be desperate for Hispanic support. Anyone who declares that he or she will reverse the president’s order on immigration will simply not get any meaningful slice of the Hispanic vote. They can kiss goodbye to the presidency. So you can expect republicans to huff and puff next year about immigration, But as Obama himself said tonight: no one will be reversing the order.

And that is in fact the second point of note. Obama has already won on the policy. Congress can agree on a bill to reverse his action. That is true. It is also true that Obama would simply veto such a bill and Congress cannot override his veto. All Vincentians with children in America who are living in the shadows can now come into the light. And they can tell Obama thanks. He deserves it.

Michael Dennie