Reason Writers Around Town: Shikha Dalmia on Obama's Immigration Distraction


In her latest Forbes column, Shikha Dalmia examines the big speech on immigration President Obama delivered last week. As she explains, the speech was utterly and completely beside the point. There is zero chance that Congress will do anything at all about immigration in the near future. And Obama knows it:

The purpose of this speech had nothing to do with immigration and everything to do with the approaching mid-term elections. The true message of this speech was: Forget about the dismal economy, stupid, and think about immigration and all the nasty things Republicans are doing on this front—which they undoubtedly are.

But the great irony is: If you do think about immigration, it points you right back to the dismal economy.

Read all about it here.

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  1. think about immigration and all the nasty things Republicans are doing on this front?which they undoubtedly are.

    Sounds like another JournoList libertarian.

    1. I know right, why on earth would a libertarian criticize Republicans? Blasphemy! Torture = freedom!

      1. There are so many things for which Republicans can be (and are) criticized by libertarians. Therefore, which thing a libertarian writer chooses to attack reveals something about her and her circle.

        1. Actually I got it wrong. She didn’t attack the Republicans on immigration. It was just a throwaway line that didn’t present any arguments because the sentiment expressed there seemed so obvious to Dalmia that she didn’t feel any need to elaborate on it. And this reveals her default assumptions even better than a deliberate attack.

    2. That’s right grrizzly, you put that city-slicker brown girl in her place!!!


  2. Shikha doesn’t get it. Obama doesn’t want to fix the economy. If he did, he wouldn’t be supporting the largest tax increase in history next year.

  3. A little lip service about immigration reform. Color me unimpressed.

    1. President Obama is
      the best president
      then any other
      presidents. Keep in
      mind that he works
      with all his efforts to save the image
      of America around
      the world and he is the savior for the
      country economic
      destruction. Also
      keep in mind
      no one
      can’t achieve the
      or solve 100 problems in one day or more
      , but the
      willingness, the dedication and the
      trustworthy that
      he has, can
      make him
      succeed especially
      for a better
      future of America.

  4. I agree with the basic premise – Obama’s version of immigration reform is a distraction from his other woeful policies. “Don’t pay any attention to the wars, the dismal economy, the failure-in-waiting of ObamaCare, the lies, the corruption, etc. We need to solve the immigrant problem!”

    It’s like Nixon’s CSA of 1970. Obama, like Nixon did with drugs, is trying to score cheap political points by pandering to the hysterical, impotent rage over an emotionally charged issue.

  5. I’ll give my usual pitch here. We should increase the number of diversity visas from 50,000 to 1 million per year. Of course, the dems will never support this proposal despite their speeches on the value of immigration.

    1. That would leave it only 5 million shy of the number of applicants in the last lottery.

      Also, would you still exclude anyone from any country with high recent immigration, e.g., Mexico, India, and China?

      And the diversity visas are for green cards! That’s neither the point nor the need of migrants in the US economy.

      I think it would be far better to simply offer unlimited non-citizenship-track residence and work visas. Let people come and go as they wish so long as they pay for themselves.

      1. In his second sentence, MikeP has given the answer that I have just spent the last few minutes researching.

        And, as usual, I agree with everything else.

      2. Mike, I think we agree on the principles but are debating the details. I checked the state department website last week. It said that there were 13.6 million qualified applicants for the 2010 Diversity Visa lottery. It also lists the Diversity Visas with immigration visas, not green cards. I do think that we should expand the diversity visa program so that people from all countries can aply. Thanks for pointing out those exceptions so I could amend my proposal.

        1. My PR info comes from Wikipedia

          The Diversity Immigrant Visa program is a United States congressionally-mandated lottery program for receiving a United States Permanent Resident Card. It is also known as the Green Card Lottery… The Act makes available 55,000 permanent resident visas annually to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.

          Diversity visas seem like a toy program designed to make the US population slightly more diverse by lotterying in people who are different from those already here.

          Importantly, this mechanism for immigration does not seriously correlate with the desire of people to migrate to the US or the desire of those in the US to employ them, and thus it addresses the demand for economic migration — the overwhelming preponderance of illegal migration — only incidentally.

  6. Great aticle, Dalmia. The one small silver lining is that my friend might have a chance of getting an H1-B visa this year. Does anyone have advise on how to find a company willing to sponsor someone in computers?

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