President Obama Jumps on Bipartisan Senate Immigration Reform Bandwagon

Says if Congress can't act he will


no statue of liberty

A group of four Democrat and four Republican senators unveiled a "set of principles" on immigration reform with the hope of having legislation drafted by March. Chuck Schumer, part of the group, called the proposal a "major breakthrough," with the White House signing up to it "in principle" and President Obama calling it "good news." In his own press conference today, Obama said the senate plan was "very much in line with the principles I've proposed and campaigned on for the last few years." Obama also fell on his regular talking point of Congress not working, declaring that "if Congress is unable to move forward in a timely fashion, I will send up a bill based on my proposal and insist they vote on it right away." Why didn't that happen four years ago, when the president's party held comfortable margins in both chambers of Congress?

Nevertheless, here are the main points of the senate proposal:

Create a tough but fair path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants currently living in the United States that is contingent upon securing our borders and tracking whether legal immigrants have left the country when required;

Reform our legal immigration system to better recognize the importance of characteristics that will help build the American economy and strengthen American families;

Create an effective employment verification system that will prevent identity theft and end the hiring of future unauthorized workers; and,

Establish an improved process for admitting future workers to serve our nation's workforce needs, while simultaneously protecting all workers.

The pathway to citizenship, naturally, has already been called an "amnesty" by critics, while making the "path to citizenship" contingent on "securing our borders" and tracking immigrants" could well be a poison pill. The president says he wants a more direct path to citizenship than the senators have offered.

While President Obama now assumes the role of advocate for immigration reform, the last time Washington attempted the endeavor, in 2007, then-Senator Barack Obama did his part to ensure its failure, the kind of partisan play Obama now laments in Congress and says he condemns.

More Reason on immigration. Transcript of the president's remarks here.

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  1. I’m not a cynic, but I kinda feel like the Senate and President are once again going to isolate the House as crazy nativist bigots for not taking this up and continuing to point out that there is not budget or debt ceiling plan on the table. And once again Maverick will have fucked his own party.

    1. And once again Maverick will have fucked his own party.

      Good. They deserve to be fucked.

      1. Sure. But he’s not like Rand Paul where he’s doing it on a princple. Well, I mean, I guess you could call “doing whatever the fuck keeps John McCain in the papers” a princple, but…

        I didn’t mean that to come out so TEAM RED. Just frustrating that the second the opposition starts to pretend to gain some traction on an issue I give a shit about, trust McCain to do everything up-to and including lighting his wife’s silicone on fire to regain the limelight. I mean, this isn’t going anywhere. Its just an excuse for the President to not present his budget and the Senate to not do any work on budgets either.

        1. The difference between Rand Paul and John McCain is that Rand Paul will save Team Red if they let him, while John McCain will turn them into Team Blue Lite if they let him.

      2. “Good. They deserve to be fucked.”

        Except the fucking rolls downhill. From Dems to Reps to us.

  2. I love how all the shit Obama or his flunkies propose, whether immigration reform or gun control or whatever, is all vague-ass shit designed to placate his moronic supporters and actually do nothing. And they eat it up.

    1. No shit. My gay friends think what he said at the inaugural is the greatest thing ever.


      e the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our fore bearers through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal, as well.”

      I tell them it’s just empty rhetoric, but they don’t care because no president has ever said something like that.

      1. Just think, if Lincoln had just uttered some platitudes about the Negro, he never would have needed to free the slaves, and he never would have been shot.

    2. Is that like one president, one million cups?

    3. Right on, Epi.

      E.g., Create an effective employment verification system that will prevent identity theft and end the hiring of future unauthorized workers

      These clowns seem to basically state the problem, and then set forth some legislation that may or may not address it.

      I’d have a little less angst if there were some objective measures of effectiveness.

      E.g., After enactment of this system, any verified instance of identity theft or hiring of unauthorized workers will render this law null and void.

      1. It’s a self-contradictory goal. An effective employment verification system ENCOURAGES identity theft. If you really want to prevent identity theft, stop making it so you need someone else’s just to get a job.

  3. Yep, letting big government sympathizing illegal immigrants gain voting rights and entitlements is soooo much more important than establishing a budget.

  4. **grabs popcorn**

    1. You just gonna sit there and watch? You chicken.

    2. Just go read the earlier immigration one. Enough barf worthy posts to last a week

  5. Just give the migrants already here legal residency and a green card, and in 5 or 10 years time, citizenship if they dont commit a crime or use welfare.

    1. And until we get rid of the welfare state, low quotas should be enforced.

      1. We should eliminate the welfare state until the immigrants stop coming across our open borders

        1. No really, I’m serious! I’m sick and tired of you crypto racists defending the welfare state because it’s a convenient excuse for your nativism. If the welfare state is so bad, then get rid of it!

          1. Who are these people you’re talking to, who possess the power to end the welfare state by fiat?

            1. Apparently American is only exceptional when it’s convenient for TEAM BE RULED. Could immigrants be coming here because of our freedoms and ability to work? Nah, they must be lazy parasites!

              1. plus, they are coming from socialist countries so they must be socialists who just want to be on the dole. well if they just want to be on the dole and they are already in a socialist country, why exactly would they want to spend a bunch of money and travel to a country that isn’t socialist and has higher hurdles for welfare? I know all the lazy parasites I have ever met were always up for a hundred mile march throuh the desert. c.c

              2. “Could immigrants be coming here because of our freedoms and ability to work”

                I can see immigrating to Texas for the freedom and ability to work. But California? Hm. 🙂

            2. The same people who can change immigration policy by fiat. Duh!

  6. Long on platitudes, short on details. I dont have a clue what is in it, but I know this;
    Chucky ‘moobs’ says it is a major breakthrough and Obama says it is good news.

    Whatever the fuck it is I am confident it is a nightmare.

    1. I dont have a clue what is in it

      They have to pass it so you can find out what’s in it!

    2. The current system is already a nightmare. This bill may benefit from the fact that its going to be really, really hard to make things worse.

      “It’s marginally better than a nightmare!” (I’ll be selling buttons and shirts later.)

  7. I know we can never be free of racist morons, but can we at least cut back? Some sort of quota system, maybe. This open borders registration policy is simply destructive to the culture we all share. Importing a bunch of Nazi shitbags takes jobs away from the regular working-joe shitbags that were born on this board, dammit.

    1. You can’t have an comment entitlements program and open registration. It just doesn’t work.

      1. Some sort of wall, maybe.

        Of course, the real fear is that if we let in a bunch of racist shitbags, they will all vote to make it more attractive to racist shitbags to come here.

          1. One thing’s for sure, there should be a strict rule that all comments be in English American!

            1. Moe: You know what really irks me about these intagents? Is that they come here claiming to love the country, but they don’t even bother to learn themselves the language!

              Homer: My sentimonies exactly!

    2. Nazi shitbags? Let’s do a quick comparison:

      Nazis: fiercely advance the interests of their own people, even at the expense of foreigners and capital markets.

      Libertarians: advance the interests of foreigners and capital markets, even at the expense of fellow citizens.

      And you really wonder why, even today, fascist parties are getting more votes than libertarian ones?

      1. More seriously, I have to wonder about people who say “Tribalism? Yes, more of that please”

        1. Just the kind people I want to see running the country – the ones that are contemptuous of entire concept of “country”.

          1. I didn’t know that there were actual people out there still wanting to be “run”.

            How does one “run” a country? Is that running the trains on time?

            1. I think running the country means killing brown people.

      2. “Libertarians: advance the interests of foreigners and capital markets, even at the expense of fellow citizens.”

        Uh, I like foreigners more than I like you. An immigrant is a hero, somebody who takes their life and their happiness into their own hands. People like you are the shitstains who get mad that they have to compete against people that are better than you.

  8. Create an effective employment verification system that will prevent identity theft and end the hiring of future unauthorized workers

    Don’t we already have an electronic identity verification system? I mean, the effective part will just be complete coincidence no matter how much money they throw at it.

  9. Chuckie Schumer is for it?

    I’m against it.

    1. I would say that’s a pretty reasonable rule of thumb.

  10. The more free healthcare (and free stuff in general) the government firehoses onto America, the harder the SoCons will bitch about immigration.

    Even if there’s no concrete proof that the government is spending any significant sums on undocumented workers, it’ll be reason enough.

    1. All that free stuff is hella expensive.

      1. Hey, getting an art history and french literature degree isn’t cheap!

        1. Hey, getting an art history and french literature degree isn’t cheap!

          Yeah but you save money by double majoring.

          1. Efficiencies! Twice the education at only twice the price!

            1. A double major is really only about 1.5 times the price, tops – usually those can apply to both majors. Some schools don’t even charge more for more classes.

      2. That’s crazy talk. Free stuff can’t be expensive, it’s free.

        1. Don’t you know, Obama pays for it from his stash.

  11. Wait, that’s a reform? That sounds more like codifying existing practice.

  12. Missed opportunity on the picture, Ed. You should have had the sunken Statue of Liberty from Planet of the Apes complete with the alt-text “You maniacs! You blew it up!”

  13. Here’s what we should do…

    Allow anyone to come to this country indefinitely, except:
    1) criminals (mostly violent criminals, burglars, thieves, etc)
    2) people with infectious diseases
    3) disabled who cannot find work or have no means to support themselves and have no family here that can support them.

    You can work or go to school here, and your children can work and go to school here. You do not have access to government social programs such as welfare, medicaid, government tuition assistance, etc. You cannot vote in partisan elections. You cannot become a citizen for a minimum of X number of years unless you serve in the military for a minimum of 2 years in a 4+ year term, but you must complete your term. Minimum wages laws do not apply to non-citizen residents (should be totally abolished).

    Non-citizen residents will still be entitled to all Constitutional protections. They are not subject to the draft. They cannot hold public office or hold government jobs.

    1. What’s this about voting? It sounds like you’re allowing them to vote in non-partisan elections. Only citizens should be allowed to vote.

      Oh, and requiring someone to serve in the military *IS* a draft!

      1. They don’t have to serve, it’s just an incentive to do so to get faster citizenship.

        I kind of like it, military service provides discipline and instills a sense of loyalty to the country and can often provide marketable skills.

        1. Putting more people in the service of the Federal Government is not a libertarian “win”. I’d rather they do something productive, like sweep the floors at Wal*Mart.

      2. No military requirement. Just an incentive.

        Also, there can be some non-partisan issues that can be voted on. They should be able to vote on things if they own homes and don’t want their property taxes raised and such.

    2. You can work or go to school here, and your children can work and go to school here. You do not have access to government social programs…

      Isn’t public education just one great big social program?

      1. It’s hard enough to sell “no welfare” to the liberals without these folks not getting public education. Besides, we should support their kids learning English and adopting our customs and learning our history. Plus, some might become home owners and pay property taxes, so they should have their children educated, since most education comes from property taxes.

  14. cont.
    Provide provisional citizenship for the first 5 years after giving them citizenship, and they can vote. They are subject to draft. They cannot use welfare. They cannot run for public office, but they can hold government jobs. Provisional citizenship can be revoked for serious crimes or for permanent relocation outside of the US and it’s territories.

    After the 5 years of provisional citizenship, they get full citizenship and all it entails for native citizens.

    Military exemptions. You sign up for 4+ year enlistment. After 2 years in, you are granted provisional citizenship that can be revoked if you do not finish your term, except for medical separation. If medically separated for injury sustained on duty, you are granted full citizenship. For injury sustained on non-duty, provisional until the date passes for the end of original enlistment term.

    All told, non-military should take 10 years from entry until citizenship. Military could be as few as 4 years.

    1. I should also say, those who go the military route would have their dependents (spouse, children, dependent parents) fall under the same timeline.

      And those who die in the line of duty, posthumous automatic citizenship and extend that to family members as well. I’m not a heartless SOB.

      1. “I’m not a heartless SOB.”

        You sure keep strange company then.

        *looks around at the commentariat*

    2. I pretty much agree with everything you said, although barring them from welfare would probably create a black market for food stamps where citizens buy the food at the market and then sell the food for cash from immigrants at a markdown.

      It already happens right now.

      1. If you have welfare in any form that is going to happen.

        Officially exempting them from welfare benefits would still be a plus. Of course it would cause no end of screeching and hair tearing from the dems.

        1. They will just promise to do that and then ignore the law via executive action or judicial decision.

      2. I agree with that too. The problem is that the poverty industrial complex would go to court and ensure that it never worked like it should.

        Liberals want a permnant underclass. They could never really create one internally. Now they want to import one. If they were interested in actual open borders, they would be working to change the VISA system to let more skilled people into the country and more people into the country from the rest of the world. Instead, they are all about amnesty and welfare for illegals because that is where their voting underclass is gong to come from.

      3. Nothing to avoid that except getting rid of government sponsored welfare. It should all be privatized anyway.

  15. The president says he wants a more direct path to citizenship than the senators have offered.

    If it doesn’t immediately create Democratic voters, Obama doesn’t give a fuck. This whole thing is going to die without action. They will pass something that will not do enough to get more Democratic voters on the rolls and Obama will kill it and blame it on the evil Hispanic hating Republicans.

    1. Obama will kill it and blame it on the evil Hispanic hating Republicans.

      Can you blame him? It worked the first time he did it.

      1. He can’t lose. If they pass something, Hispanics will give Republicans no credit for it and continue to vote overwhelmingly D. And he will get millions of new voters on the rolls as well.

  16. Put 100,000 “Citizenship Police” on the streets.

    CP: “What’s the gist of the Tenth Amendment?”

    Citizen: Uhhh ….

    CP: “Back of the line.”

    1. I assume these police will be able to kick out anyone, right? Not just the undocumented?

      1. Of course, Citizen.

    2. Yeah, if people know the 10th they’ll automatically be pro-liberty. I bet a large majority of college law professors voted for Dear Leader.

      How about this, “Would you vote yourself your neighbors property?”

      Or, “If your neighbor is engaging in an activity that causes you no harm, should you throw him in jail?”

      1. A lot of people will say “no” to that last question but define harm very expansively.

        “It harms my children to see you doing pot”

        1. You’re right. Most people get “I don’t like that” with “If you do that it harms me”.

          Those people should be deported to Mexico.

          See ya late hombre, you fucking fuckstick.

      2. “Yeah, if people know the 10th they’ll automatically be pro-liberty. I bet a large majority of college law professors voted for Dear Leader.”

        Yeah, but they only educated themselves about the 10th in order to find ways to undercut it.

  17. Not so long ago, Hit&Run; was running the McCain re-election ad where the old fool was growling: “Build the damn fence”.

  18. Apparently the President thinks that if this bipartisan effort stalls in Congress, he will have better luck ramming his own plan through. Otherwise what’s the point of threatening to propose your bill?

    1. Because threatening to propose a bill is also threatening to make a speech on it. And no one wants to hear him make another speech.

      1. I sure don’t. It’s come to the point where I almost feel angry every time he speaks.

        1. I have a TV in my office. I found i’m much more pleasant on the days that I keep it turned off.

      2. Because threatening to propose a bill is also threatening to make a speech on it. And no one wants to hear him make another speech.

        Do you think Dear Leader actually buys the “most bestest pubilc speaker EVAH!” bullshit.

        I’ve watched him speak enough for a lifetime, and I just don’t get it.

        His speech is halting and uncomfortable. His content is shallow, devoid of deeper context, and mostly consists of oft repeated platitudes.

        Not only that, but he’s got a few idiosyncrasies he’s so dependent upon, that without them he might utter a word or two, then run in shame.

        He truly is the rhetorician for the age of stoopid.

    2. Worked wonders with his budget.

      1. It’s like “Hey, your attempt at actual compromise didn’t work, but my one-sided proposal will totally get through.”

  19. Expanded immigration sounds good to me, especially from Asia and eastern Europe.

    A “path to citizenship” for illegals does not sound good, though. Seriously, guys, eff off back to your nations of origin and get in line. Or stay here as underpaid black market coolies. Either works.

  20. It is true that millions of my ancestors came to America from Russia in the early 1900s; none were illiterate or primitive in culture. I had a lot in common with those immigrants seeking better lives; they were the children of Western Civilizations greatest minds. But the newest arrivals from Mexico can only can get my sympathy and best wishes, but not a dime from my hard earned Social Security Check.

    1. Social security is welfare same as foodstamps.

    2. can’t tell if serios

      1. This is a tough case.

        We may be looking at some of the sneakiest sarcasm in Reason history.

        Or we’re looking at an idiot.

        1. It is good, isn’t it?

  21. Sounds like one heck of a plan to me dude. Wow.

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