Is Obama Anti-Immigrant? Most Signs Point to Yes


Writing in the Detroit News, the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Alex Nowratesh lays out the case that Barack Obama is pretty consistenly anti-immigration, whether legal, illegal, or barely legal. The Obama administration, for instance, has set deportation records of illegals (almost 300,000 in 2009, a 5 percent bump from the previous year), his Labor Department is making it tougher for farmers to (legally) hire temporary workers, and he's pushing to hike fees on virtually every aspect of the processing of visas, forms, you name it.

The Obama administration is also expanding workplace immigration raids. There are more than 25,000 random workplace H1-B visa inspections scheduled next year—a fivefold increase over last year! The H1-B is a company-sponsored temporary work visa for highly skilled and educated foreigners. Limited to 85,000 for private corporations (there is no quota for nonprofit research institutions), 25,000 inspections could well cover the majority of firms employing H-1Bs.Workplace inspections are very destructive interventions. When government agents inspect businesses, work can grind to a halt for days on end as they take their time checking paperwork, interviewing people, and comparing the acquired information with their files.

President Obama ordered 1,200 National Guard troops to Arizona recently and is seeking an additional $500 million for border security. Add that to more than 90,000 employees in the federal immigration services and more than $20 billion devoted to enforcing immigration laws, and it's clear that Obama is doing more to combat illegal immigration than any president in living history.

Nowratesh calls Obama "the most anti-immigrant president since Eisenhower," a feller who

Besides token support for Comprehensive Immigration Reform and tepid criticism of SB 1070, Obama has not acted like an immigration-friendly president. It's time he changed course.

Expanding legal immigration and streamlining our creaky immigration system are the only real reforms that will do away with the black market in labor and help the American economy start creating jobs again.

Read the whole thing here.

Hat tip: H&R reader Almanian

Read Reason's voluminous coverage of immigration, which stresses the arbitrariness and destructiveness of longstanding laws, customs, and procedures.

NEXT: Reason Morning Links: Obama Threatens Insurance Companies, Judge To Rule on Drilling Moratorium, Orszag To Step Down

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  1. He just has other priorities. And despite what the open borders crowd thinks, immigration is really unpopular. And the Hispanics seem hell bent on planting themselves on the Democratic plantation, so what the fuck does he care what they think? There is absolutely no political reason for him to be pro immigration.

  2. If Obama is against “Illegal” immigration, than I would be more supportive of him. …… well, maybe not. I dispise that bastard.

    1. *sigh*

      1. The law is the law, TAO.

        1. *sigh* at both you and JohnD…

          “Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law,’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.” — Thomas Jefferson

            1. Please adjust sarcasm detectors accordingly.

              1. We’re almost to the point of our own language ’round here. Outsiders cannot interpret us well enough for dialogue.

                1. “Shaka, when the walls fell.”

                  1. “Shaka, his ears filled with dildos!”

                    1. What a beautiful language.

              2. I read more than I post, and your username didn’t register at first… 😀

                1. Didn’t register? That hurts worse than you thinking I’m anti-immigration.

                  1. I was just skimming?

  3. Come on people, let’s get those flamethrowers warmed up.


  4. In a rational, sane world, this would preclude the White House and its enablers from playing the race card on immigration.

      1. Maybe Kenyans don’t like Cameroonians.

        1. Camroon: Come for the exploding lakes, stay for the crushing poverty.

      2. The last sentence of the article was comedy gold;

        “The czar loves the people! He just does not know what his ministers are up to!”

  5. Obama’s hostile/lackadaisical attitude towards comprehensive and humane immigration reform can be explained with only two, count ’em, two words.

    Organized labor.

    1. Amen. They might as well name themselves the Labor Party.

    2. That is actually not true. Unions are very pro immigration. They look at immigrants as new dues paying members. And it is not like they have ever given a shit about their existing members. It has always been about getting new members and new members’ dues.

      1. It’s harder to artificially keep wages at many times their real market price with an influx of poor, willing workers. Make comprehensive immigration reform a platform of those who oppose unions, government regulation, and high taxes, and perhaps the immigrants, among others, will side with the people who protected their rights.

        1. You act like the point of unions is high wages. They are happy to have high wages for their members. But getting dues is more important that helping their members.

          1. Your describing union leadership, but the rank and file union members are very anti-immigrant. They see immigrants as threats to their job security.

        2. Just ask C?sar Ch?vez…

  6. Obama is against immigration. Unless you’re his aunt.

  7. It would most certinaly appear so.


  8. I agree with John. The country is aggressively anti-immigrant these days, except for Hispanics and various crackpots like myself. The unions are hostile to any form of “foreign” competition. All Obama has to do to hold the Hispanics is to be 10% less hostile to immigration than the Republicans, which he can do standing on his head, and, the last time I looked, he was standing on his head. Also, the extreme fringe of both the Republicans and the Tea Partiers are hostile to Hispanics. (It’s our country, not theirs!) Hispanics know this, and they’re voting Democratic as a result.

    1. I really wish the LP here in Texas would advertise in Spanish, but I think there’s a fair number of anti-immigration wackjobs in there too.

      1. I wrote on another thread that the LP has missed out in a big way on outreach to many immigrants who are entreprenureal. They should have literature in Korean, Chinese, Hindi, Urdu, Tagalog, as well as Spanish. I guarantee they’d be picking up a crapload of those votes. Instead, the immigrants never hear about the LP, and choose between TweedleGOP and TweedleDem.

        1. I would like to think you are right, but I seriously doubt it. I think you might be able to get some of the South Asian votes. But I think you are kidding yourself about the Hispanics. They like big government. They like big daddy like politicians. And the liberals are working hard to make them as tribal as possible. It is just depressing.

          1. This must be the racism we’ve been talking about.

            It wasn’t Hispanics who gave us the New Deal, the income tax, the Federal Reserve, and the War on Drugs. Compared to los gringos, Hispanics are amateurs at pushing big government.

            1. I didn’t say they were the only ones who like big government. But if you think hispanics are a bunch of libertarians you are kidding yourself. That is not racism. That is just reality.

              1. Actually, John, many of the illegal immigrants do just fine without hardly any government support. Sure, maybe you can argue they get “free” education and hospital care if you ignore that they generally pay sales and property taxes and most would not qualify for income taxes anyway. But I think the argument that we want to get the government off their backs so they can run their taco trucks and street vending tables without government hassling them would be appealing if there was any attempt at marketing it.

            2. It wasn’t Hispanics who gave us the New Deal, the income tax, the Federal Reserve, and the War on Drugs. Compared to los gringos, Hispanics are amateurs at pushing big government.

              We have our own failings, but Latin Americans did a nice job giving themselves big government too. Argentina didn’t fall from European levels of income and wealth (early 20th century) to Third World just magically.

          2. They’re also extremely religious and socially conservative, though after what’s gone on here in AZ they’ll no doubt vote democrat indefinitely.

      2. The anti-immigration wackjobs probably don’t speak Spanish or watch Spanish language TV stations, so what they don’t know won’t hurt them.

    2. … and various crackpots like myself.

      and me

    3. I fail to see how Hispanics who are eligible to vote in the US have any rational stake in increasing immigration from Mexico, any more than I have a stake in increasing immigration from Ireland.

      1. They don’t. Open borders hurt them more than anything. But, tribalism keeps them from voting otherwise.

        1. I fail to see how open borders in labor hurts them anymore than open borders for goods and services…

      2. More Irish immigration means more redheaded women. It is entirely rational to vote for more Irish immigration.

        Also, their accents are charming before they spend too much time in Boston.

        1. mmmmmm. Like that fine fine doctor on that star trek series. She had a son name of Wesley if I remember. I really used to crush on her.

          1. I support the unlimited immigration of attractive women of all colors.

        2. Don’t you know red heads are batshit insane? The country doesn’t need any more crazy women.

          1. They’re all right in small doses. Such as, one night and then I never see you again.

          2. Yes, I learned my lesson long ago. But the aesthetics still appeal.

            1. Of all your deviant proclivities, your attraction to gingers might be the most loathsome.

            2. If you want good looking red headed women, bring in more women from the Baltic nations. They have fairer complexions, less of that freckley stuff I mean. Exotic in appearance in a way that you would expect a vampiress to be. No Irish lass has ever made me afraid for my soul, physical well being is another story. Too broad boned and handsome in appearance to meet night crawler aesthetic standards. Day Walkers.

              I never found McFadden to be even the slightest bit attractive. She has the look of a lousy lay. The brunette with the curly hair, Sirkus? was it, now she could make me purr.

              1. Assuming you’re talking about Troi and not Gollum, that’s Marina Sirtis. However, she’s seriously chunked up over the intervening 20 years since that clip was shot. (Of course, so have I, so I shouldn’t talk)

                1. Pity, she looked to be the type to never gain weight.

      3. They mostly don’t have a rational stake in increasing immigration, but they know that any anti-immigrant backlash has a chance to become a racism cooking pot that affects them (as immigrant-looking) more than any other group.

  9. The Democrats will never help out aspiring immigrants. They get much more political benefit from pointing at Republicans and shouting “Racist”. I do wish that more people would look at voting records and the actions of the executive branch instead of listening to speeches from politicians.

    1. When you hear them say it with their own mouths you can feel comfortable knowing they will tell the truth.

  10. Obama “the most anti-immigrant president …”

    A president that is in the unions pocket is anti-immigrant? Tell me it is not so!! I am shocked!

  11. Black people generally aren’t big fans of the Mexican invasion. I wonder what Rev. Wright has to say about it.

    1. You mean Obama is black?

      1. In doing, he is nothing. He is simply a chimera for the people. A whore for power. He’ll do and say anything to keep a segment of the population jonesin’ for more Barry. It seems to be the only thing he does well.

  12. Immigration is rapidly approaching abortion-like status fo me personally. I know it is very important to many people, but I really just don’t give that much of a crap either way. I can be a contrarian asshole or a passive-I-kinda-agree-nodder on either side of either issue.

    So, whatever you think about immigration, I disagree.

  13. Is there any evidence that Obama ever really hanged out with any Chicanos? Or could that have just been a figment of Bill Ayers imagination?

    1. In all due fairness, Obama, back in his stoner days, listened to Lowrider several times a day. and he was a huge fan of Chico and the Man .

  14. There’s only one way to solve the illegal immigration issue. Amnesty would involve the moral hazard of reqarding illegal actions with citizenship and would lead to a heck of a lot more people who will qualify for tax credits and welfare programs that are already going broke. This should be concerning to libertarians, as should the mass hunting down and deportation of illegal immigrants. Compared to these two, maintaining the status quo with tweaks to the legal immigration process does not seem as bad, as horrible as it is. But the only really way to find a decent compromise is to create a class of restricted visas for illegal residents enabling them to work and live here freely, but no path to citizenship, they must forfeit any tax credits beyond what they have paid in and do not qualify for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. If they want to qualify for the above things, they must go back through a legal process. It’s not perfect, but I see it as the only rational compromise. As much as I’d love open borders, even I recognize the limits within the context of a welfare state already on the precipice of collapse.

    1. For the thousandth time, the existence of a welfare state is not a permissible “gun” with which to hold other liberties hostage.

      Your point is just as well-applied to heroin addicts.

      1. Someone forgot to give TAO his enema again.

  15. All rhetoric aside, the D’s basic economic interests run anti-immigration, because immigrants are a threat to the interests of domestic labor.

    Obama is one of the more pro-labor D’s we’ve has in office for some time.

    Another quirk I’ve noticed is his dated stance on nukes and energy policy. It’s like someone teleported him from the 70’s.

    1. Another quirk I’ve noticed is his dated stance on nukes and energy policy. It’s like someone teleported him from the 70’s.

      Seriously, is there any part of his program for America that doesn’t date back to 70s campus leftism?

      1. 70s campus leftism was a lot more into drug legalization than Obama.

  16. Is Obama Anti-Immigrant?

    Want to find out? Have Congress pass a bill that allows an unlimited residence and employment visa, but no welfare eligibility or implicit path to citizenship, to anyone who passes a background check. If Obama signs it, he’s pro-immigrant.

  17. This is a good clip of Matt Welch debating prog-talk radio host Thom Hartmann about H1-B visas. Thom thinks allowing talent into this country harms the welfare state. Sigh, when both parties dislike legal-immigration, there’s no hope. But, only the Reps get criticized for being against it.

  18. The bulk of illegal immigrates to the US come from Mexico and other Central American countries. What gets lost in this debate is that it is Mexico that needs to liberalize it immigration policies and Hispanic-Americans should be a loudest voices demanding reform to Mexico’s restrictive and racist immigration policies. Mexico only wants an open boarder for people to leave, not enter.
    If Mexico needs jobs, why not import the entrepreneurs that could create jobs and exploit Mexico’s untapped natural recourses. Merit based immigration has worked well for Costa Rica.

  19. Obama is anti-illegal? At last, he’s done something right.

    Until you rid Americans of income tax and redistribution, you cannot have a libertarian paradise of open borders.

    Too many muddled into the false beliefs never seem to grasp this important order of needed acts.

    Get rid of income tax and redistribution and then you can get rid of visas and passports.

    However, many persons who might be underachievers as well as all those lacking what the marketplace demands could be forced out of living in a hypercompetitive America.

    Simply, they’d operate at a personal loss. Their low wages, owing to a lack of worth, wouldn’t pay for them to live in a hypercompetitive America.


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