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The president, in practical and moral terms, does the right thing

June 15, 2012 - Mike Maneval
President Barack Obama's new policy, announced Friday, to allow by executive order immigrants who, as children, were brought into the U.S. by parents illegally crossing the nation's borders to apply for work visas and remain in the U.S. is a good policy.

I have long doubted it is a coincidence that the economic collapse of 1929 and subsequent years of depression were preceeded by several years of cracking down on immigration, including enforcing quotas to cap the number of immigrants from specific countries. Every immigrant kept from America's shores isn't just a potential worker but a potential consumer.

A new immigration policy that allows young people, more acclimatized to American culture and society than adults illegally crossing our border of their own individual volition, an opportunity to stay dependent on the pursuit of work and economic participation, is not an obstacle to economic growth. But, as with many issues, there is more than a practical consideration to the new policy.

The new policy does not encourage lawlessness. The Obama administration deports more illegal immigrants on average than either the administrations of Bill Clinton or George W. Bush, prioritizing the deportations of immigrants who've broken other laws. And the immigrants eligible to apply for visas did not choose to violate any U.S. law. They came to America as children, their only option to obey U.S. law being to abandon their families and become runaways or surrender their God-given rights and turn on their families. Putting 11-year-olds and 12-year-olds in such a position is not justice, no matter how compliant it is with U.S. law.

While it is disappointing enough the President waited three and a half years to press the matter to justify cynicism and assumptions the Obama administration now is mindful of pro-immigration voters, and while a long-term enshrinement of the policy would be preferable to the reversible executive order, the president's decision and announcement Friday are the right course for America, in both the practical sense and the moral sense.


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