The Corner

What Was the Point of Obama’s Immigration Speech?

I know the president likes the sound of his own voice, but, really, what was the point of his immigration speech today in Las Vegas? He didn’t deal with any of the hard issues — like guestworkers or spousal immigration rights for homosexual couples or how many millions more people a year he wants to admit — and just regurgitated the usual boilerplate about how we’re a nation of immigrants and our system is broken, etc.

In fact, he’s become self-parody. I always point out that the DREAM Act was never designed to actually be enacted — it’s a gimmick used to make the case for a broader amnesty, as in: “Here’s young Luis, been here since he was 9 months old, valedictorian, headed to MIT, and when he gets out he’s going to join the military to help vanquish America’s foes — therefore, all 11 million illegals need to get amnesty.” In his speech today, the president said just that, pointing out young Alan, born in Mexico, came here as a child, going to college, studying to be a doctor, and wants to join the Air Force. Somehow, Alan is an argument for “comprehensive immigration reform.”

One notable thing is that he said “illegal” or “illegally” six times by my count, including once saying “the tide of illegal immigrants.” Contrast that to Rubio and McCain, who clung to the leftist euphemism “undocumented.” So are the Republican amnesty-pushers to Obama’s left, at least in this respect? That’s pretty pathetic.

The only reason I can think of for the speech was precisely to get the Gang of Eight senators to release their framework, as they’ve already done. In other words, as the L.A. Times pointed out the other day, the White House knows that any amnesty bill seen as coming from Obama will be poison to Republicans. But the senatorial cabal hadn’t come to an agreement yet, so I suspect Schumer called the White House and asked if they could please schedule a speech for Obama on immigration, then leak that, so he could tell his Republican co-conspirators that they had to hurry and beat Obama so they didn’t look like they were playing catch-up. So, having announced there was going to be a speech, the Obama administration had to follow through, but they had nothing new to say so they just hit F11 on their keyboard for the stock amnesty speech.

Mark Krikorian, a nationally recognized expert on immigration issues, has served as Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) since 1995.

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