News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Feb. 17, 2012: The term “Piranha” is defined as any of several tropical American freshwater fishes that are voraciously carnivorous and often attack and destroy living animals. The word came to mind this week as I sought for a description of what Republicans are really doing to President Obama.
Of course there were some other unprintable descriptions as well that surfaced immediately, especially after Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano faced the House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee. But I decided for this article to stick to piranha over the much overused vampire phrase.
Because short of offering up his blood to be toasted on the GOP’s sacrificial altar, it’s unclear what exactly the President can do to actually gain any support from the Republicans.
Their latest attack to destroy him is by spreading the lie that he has granted “de facto amnesty to illegal aliens.” Yet, no other administration has done more on the deportation front – certainly not Republicans and the Bush administration, which controlled the country for eight consecutive years.
So lies and emotions be damned and let’s face the facts. Since President Obama took office in 2009, removals of immigrants from the U.S. saw a spike. In 2009, the numbers passed 389,000 compared to just over 291,000 under President Bush in 2007 and 272,389 in 2006. In 2005, under Bush, the numbers were even lower – 208,521.
Congress provides money for deporting 350,000 to 400,000 people a year among an estimated 10 million to 11 million who are in the country illegally, according to Secretary Napolitano and the administration has decided to give priority to removing those who pose a danger or are national security threats.
Between 2010 and 2011, the numbers increased even further, to over 392 and 396 thousand respectively. In FY 2011 alone, the U.S. Immigration and Border Enforcement agency removed 45,938 recent border crossers and 96,529 migrants who were either repeat immigration violators or immigration fugitives.
Yet the lies and the blame game by Republicans continue to guise the real problems. The reality is they have no solutions to the issue but can only play the blame game as have failed miserably to solve the issue in all their years of running the country.
At the end of the day, the estimated 12 million undocumented are by their sheer numbers undeportable. The cost is not affordable as Napolitano has pointed out. More important, they are already here – enmeshed in a healthy U.S. economy and making significant contributions in all sector.
Republicans must confess that there is a level of racism involved here and if these were European immigrants we were talking about solely, there would be no issue. But the thought of 12 million largely brown and black migrants must be a daunting one, especially if they all one day become U.S. citizens and can vote. Truly a scary thought to the GOP and Tea Partyites!
President Obama should not be afraid to call the Republicans out on their con game and state the facts. The fact is that the borders are secure – now we need a rational solution to dealing with the 12 million or less through comprehensive immigration reform that includes fast tracking sponsorship applications in the back logged system; more work visas added to different categories of employment, a plan that would allow the young educated migrants to become part of the American Dream and their parents to pay a fine, learn English if necessary and obtain a work permit and travel document to legally live in this country. That’s not de facto amnesty, it’s a real solution!
The writer is founder of NewsAmericasNow, CaribPR Wire and Hard Beat Communications.