Obama Immigration Plan: Won't Know What's In It Till He Announces It, Or Maybe Not Even Then


Obama at Myanmar press conference
White House

In a joint conference yesterday in authoritarian Myanmar with long time dissident Aung San Suu Kyi, President Obama said he would institute immigration reforms via executive order, as he said he warned House Republicans he'd do all year if they didn't pass a bill he supported. Despite the bizarre choice of venue to thumb his nose at the opposition, the president's actions on immigration could help bring millions of people living and working in the U.S. out of extralegal status.

Fox News reports that a draft proposal of the plan included, surprise!, raises for immigration officers and more border control measures, but also "deferred" status for millions of illegal immigrants, including up to 4.5 million adults who have children who were born in the United States as well as children and young adults (and possibly adults?) who came to the country illegally as children. Those with deferred status would be able to receive work permits, Social Security numbers, and government identification.

The plan as sketched in the draft proposal reported on by Fox News is probably at the upper limit of what President Obama will eventually announce. It could be a lot less. Though the raises and at least lip service to border control seem assured, how many people will be allowed access to legal status is less certain. More spending on the government bureaucracy, on the other hand, could be used to curry more support for the reforms that matter, those that can expand legal status for illegal immigrants living in the U.S.

The White House has also began to point at executive action taken by Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush around a series of immigration legislation in the late-1980s. In one instance executive action closed a loophole left in the 1986 immigration bill dealing with amnesty for children whose parents received amnesty. The other, the White House says, preceded eventual Congressional action but came after the Senate passed a related immigration bill and the House didn't.

Republicans will take control of the House and Senate next year. The president is expected to announce his plan on executive action for immigration by the end of the week, but it doesn't mean that's when any executive action will happen. Even executive orders from a White House heavy on rhetoric (remember the Guantanamo Bay EO?) don't guarantee any change in the situation on the ground. At the end of President George W. Bush's second term, attempts at immigration reform failed as potential candidates for president ranging from Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Co.) to then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) did their best to scuttle the efforts. How the next presidential election will affect current efforts to reform the immigration system depends on the cut of this batch of candidates. It's hard to hold your breath.

NEXT: WATCH: Don't Tell 'Em 'Bout Obamacare (#Grubergate Parody by Remy)

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  1. Prediction: Nothing will come of this.

    1. Why don’t you think so? My guess is that Obama will manage to fuck it up in the worst possible way, because that is what he always does. I think he will grant some half assed legal limbo to illegals that will get him and the Democrats little or no good will from the Hispanic community while at the same time pissing off the entire rest of the country.

      1. If he does it, pissing off most of the country is a sure of a thing as I’ve ever seen. Even people who are otherwise pro-immigration are going to get seriously rubbed the wrong way over this. Obama is the greatest gift to the GOP ever.

        1. There seem to be some reports from people in the Democratic political circles that Obama has pretty much distanced himself entirely from the actual party, and is running 100% on ego these days, and cares about nothing except burnishing his ‘legacy’ and punishing his enemies.

          He wants to get Stuff Done that he will be remembered for. And with the ACA looking like it might be smothered in the cradle, he needs ‘something else ASAP’ – hence, ‘historic (bullshit) agreements’ with China on global warming… and now, a historic (bullshit) decree about Immigration…

          My guess is that he wants to bury people in his Big Ideas; just load up his last 2 years with as much ‘over the top’ attempts at moving the progressive ball forward – party politics be damned, and actual legislative success be damned = he just wants ‘stuff to look back on’.

          Its a theory.

          1. I read an article a few days after the election, can’t remember the source, but it wasn’t some wacky conspiracy site, that basically stated that Obama is and has been since his 2nd election victory basically not even on speaking terms with Pelosi, Reid, the DNC one who doesn’t wash her hair, and practically everyone else in Dem leadership positions. Either he doesn’t speak to them at all or is openly hostile. I don’t know if it’s true, but everything you learn about this guy makes him come off as a little more creepy than you had even imagined before. And I’ve imagined him to be very creepy for quite a while now.

            1. Multiple people have run similar stories about Obama’s lack of direct communication with congressional leadership and with the DNC (*he apparently has bad blood with Debbie Washerwoman as well)

              I recall one particular story that seemed to cover all the angles but can’t find it

            2. I would not be surprised if that were true. I keep saying at some point the Democrats in Congress are really going to turn on him. I still think it is within the realm of possibility, though not likely, that he will get himself impeached and actually thrown out of office.

          2. That shows how stupid he is and how he is going to do immeasurable damage to the prog cause. The progs have made a living at getting half measures and being patient. Going crazy and taking a bunch of reversible actions that will turn the country against them is the dumbest thing he could do.

            1. Well, I for one saw this coming. I knew after they got that super majority in congress and passed the ACA and started proclaiming a permanent democratic majority that they had done jumped the shark, the mask was off, and that they were going to go bat shit crazy. They did, and look what happened. They’re stunned because they don’t look at history as a learning experience.

              1. You don’t let the mask slip until you have the muscle to fix elections. These morons actually thought the country supported them.

                1. Think about who these morons talk to. Bureaucrats, lobbyists, fawning media figures and each other. Nothing else penetrates the echo chamber.

      2. Also, I think that Democrats who believe that Hispanic immigrants who come here, are absolutely for sure going to vote D when they have the right to vote, are seriously deluding themselves. By that time, leftist dems will be so loony far to the left that they’d scare off former Mao supporters.

        1. Were I the Republicans, I’d just imply and describe how cozy the Democrats are with the ideas implemented in post-Chavez Venezuela. Then get former Venezuelans talking about how shitty it was. When Mexican narco-terrorism refugees think you had a bad life…

      3. Why don’t you think so?

        Lack of focus coupled with plenty of other shiny objects. And despite fears to the contrary, I don’t see amnesty of this kind translating into votes for Democrats (if Obama even cares about that) so no real political incentive.

        1. The Democrats thought lack of focus and a few shinny objects would get the public to forget about Obamacare. How is that working out?

          The backlash against this is going to be huge and lasting.

          1. I was saying lack of focus from the administration. I doubt they’ll move on this in any meaningful way.

  2. Even executive orders from a White House heavy on rhetoric (remember the Guantanamo Bay EO?) don’t guarantee any change in the situation on the ground.

    *** rising intonation ***

    What about boots on the ground?

    1. We will avoid boots on the ground by keeping the humans inside armored fighting vehicles and deploying automomous killbots into occupied zones.

      Don’t worry, their IFF systems were designed by the lowest bidders.

  3. Just wondering out loud here, would the “deferred status” of children who came here illegally extend to their parents? Like, say a bunch on parents from Honduras, El Salvador etc?

    1. Just wondering out loud here, would the “deferred status” of children who came here illegally extend to their parents?

      Dunno why not. They seem to be validating “anchor babies” as a ticket to immigration elsewhere in the (rumored) proposal. You can draw a line between “legally in the US because born in the US” and “legally in the US because we gave ’em a green card regardless”, but I doubt that particular line will be drawn by the administration that was passing out green cards like potato chips.

      1. the administration that was passing out green cards like potato chips.

        What administration is this? It sure as hell isn’t the Obama administration, which has been as restrictive on immigration as any other.

        1. Deportations down 20 percent, fewest since 2007

          1. That’s…still an outrageously high number, and can be explained by a lack of illegal immigration into America.

            1. keep moving those goalposts.

      2. Wait… who’s passing out potato chips?

        1. Not me. You can’t have any! And none for your 14 Mexican half-brothers either!

          1. “Did you not tell them that they were the Lord’s chips?”

    2. You mean people that will actually do low paying grunt work that a fat American wouldn’t even think about doing?

  4. Regardless of your opinion on illegal immigration, the attempt to by Obama to shove this in while he still has a chance after the Democrats lost runs counter to any concept of ‘democracy’ that so many people claim to love.

    1. Reciprocity, Mr. President, you fucking dickweed.

      Just open the damn border already. Let anyone come here that wants, but I get to go there also, drive, buy property, work, start a business, stay as long as I want, and even game the system for benefits if I decide. Otherwise, fuck no, no reciprocity, no way.

      I’m otherwise pro-immigration. But if he does this, can you just imagine the flood across the border that will occur afterwards? So like I said, just open the border, but both directions, and have done with it.

      Obama is really going to piss a lot of people off with this. I think he really is hell bent on destroying the Democratic party. Otherwise, I can’t figure out just what the hell he’s doing, maybe he’s insane.

      1. ‘Reciprocity’ makes no sense and is anti-Libertarian. This is like tariffs in retaliation for subsidies/tariffs. It’s hurting your citizens in retaliation for another country hurting their citizens. Unilateral free trade and open borders now please.

        1. Unilateral free trade and open borders now please

          How is that not just other words for reciprocity? Oh, I’ll take all of your poor uneducated folks, but my citizens get jack shit in return. No thanks.

          1. I think he was thinking of reciprocity with other countries.

          2. “Your” citizens? For one, it doesn’t matter what they ‘get’ as long as their rights are respected. For another, they are getting freer access to cheap labor.

            Reciprocity as I understand it means Mexico has to do the same. Do you mean it in the sense that liberalization of immigration must come with liberalization of other laws? That’s less asinine but still asinine. That’s like when conservatives say ‘I’ll allow legal drugs when there’s no more welfare’. A gain for freedom is a gain for freedom.

            1. No, it doesn’t mean that at all. It means if Mexican citizens can just walk across the border, work, buy property, stay as long as they like, then any American citizen can do the same in Mexico. It’s pretty simple really. How is that not libertarian?

              1. Because it sacrifices American liberties for bargaining chips to be used with the Mexican government. That is immoral and senseless. If Mexico wants to be stupid it is their loss.

                1. No, it doesn’t sacrifice any American liberties. What liberties? So allowing Americans to live and work in Mexico and own property is a loss of liberty? That doesn’t make any sense. If you’re going to open border, open them both ways. Otherwise, keep it as it is now and don’t fuck with immigration laws.

                  1. Hyperion, can you clarify what you are saying? By reciprocity, do you mean that Mexico treats US citizens the same as the US treats Mexicans? Or that the US allows Mexicans in and US citizens out?
                    If it is the latter, are you thinking of tax obligations on foreign income, or what?

                    1. By reciprocity, do you mean that Mexico treats US citizens the same as the US treats Mexicans?


        2. It makes no sense at all, why the fuck should we be hostage to foreign laws?

          1. Who said anything about changing laws? We’re only talking about freedom to travel and live wherever you want. I already accept that if I move to a foreign country, that I am stuck with their laws.

            1. You’re talking about maintaining our illiberal laws because of other countries illiberal laws. Not okay.

              1. So you just want to open the border one way and let us absorb all of Mexico’s uneducated and poor? I’m sure they’d love that. Can we also take all of the poor folks from around the rest of the world? It would be racist to only allow the Mexicans in.

                1. Cytotoxic is a freak in this regard. He will quarter no argument to the contrary.

  5. President Barack Obama once declared that an influx of illegal immigrants will harm “the wages of blue-collar Americans” and “put strains on an already overburdened safety net.”

    “[T]here’s no denying that many blacks share the same anxieties as many whites about the wave of illegal immigration flooding our Southern border?a sense that what’s happening now is fundamentally different from what has gone on before,” then-Senator Obama wrote in his 2006 autobiography, “The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream.”

    “Not all these fears are irrational,” he wrote.…..are-video/

    1. This even made the news broadcast on the local radio news program. And I think it was on RedEye(?) last night.

    2. We have now have more illegals leaving than we have coming in to this country.

  6. the president’s actions on immigration could help bring millions of people living and working in the U.S. out of extralegal status.

    Props for not capitalizing “president”.

    WTF does “extralegal status” mean? Extralegal means “outside the law”, as in, there is no law that applies. These folks aren’t outside the law, they are breaking the law.

    Try to keep the tendentious euphemisms to a minimum, pls. The actual notion being bandied about here, that the president essentially retains a de facto veto over legislation long after it has gone onto the books, is a very interesting one.

    As for legislation that the president believes is unconstitutional, I think there is an argument to be made. Legislation that the president thinks is politically inconvenient or otherwise objectionable, not so much.

    1. He is not giving them any kind of legal status beyond “Big daddy Obama will protect you”. You can see the thinking behind this. He will grant it knowing that it can be reversed by any future President. He figures this will allow the Democrats to extort Hispanic votes in the next Presidential election by using the threat of a Republican President deporting them.

      Of course he will do nothing to get them real legal status because that would defeat the ability to extort them. My guess is that this backfires and everyone hates him. But that is the thinking and it might work.

      1. In MD, illegals already get the red carpet treatment. They do whatever they want, anything that legal citizens can do, except for vote and I’m not too sure from what I’ve heard that some of them aren’t doing that also.

        They’re probably better off as illegals, it grants them a sort of victim class thing, and that’s all the rage these days. I don’t really see what citizenship grants them outside of not having to sneak back and forth across the border when they go to visit family.

        1. That is my thinking. I don’t see how this does him any good with Hispanics. They already have what they want and if they don’t, they want real legal status not this bullshit. So how does this help the Democrats? Meanwhile, most of the rest of the country is going to go crazy objecting to this. He is fucking the Democrats so badly.

          1. It doesn’t do him any good with Hispanics that are legal here. It might piss them off. And illegals cannot vote even if they become legal. They have to be citizens, and clown shoes better not even think about granting them citizenship ahead of those who are already here legal and waiting their turn.

        2. I’m not too sure from what I’ve heard that some of them aren’t doing that also.

          They are.


    2. Remember how everyone cheered those sheriffs announcing they weren’t going to enforce gun laws? Good times.

      1. See distinction above re “unconstitutional” v “politically inconvenient or otherwise objectionable”.

        Thanks for playing, though.

        1. Given that both gun laws and immigration laws are anti-freedom, the non-enforcement of either is a gain for liberty. Your distinction lacks a difference.

          1. There is no right to travel in a market based world.

            Every land owner would have the right to restrict peoples movement on their property. And no one would give away unrestricted right to use of their property since it would mean they no longer controlled or owned their property.

            1. Completely irrelevant to the question of immigration.

              1. So immigrants don’t have to travel in order to be immigrants?

                1. America is not your private property.

            2. By the same token, property owners have the right to allow whoever they want onto their property.

              There may be no absolute right to travel, but there is a right to travel to places where you are welcome if you can pay your own way or get someone else to do so voluntarily.

              1. ” There may be no absolute right to travel, but there is a right to travel to places where you are welcome…”

                Not if you must trespass in order to get to that place.

                1. Yeah, sure. But that seems like a very unlikely situation. Even in completely privatized an-cap land, it seems very unlikely that there would be no property on the border that immigrants were allowed onto and that no one who controls means of transportation would allow immigrants to be transported from there to your property.
                  If you look at it that way, then citizens have no right to travel within the country either. So it isn’t a special situation for immigrants.

                2. Yes, there is a right to “trespass,” if that is the only available option. Just as you can’t buy all of the land around my house and lock me inside; my liberty to travel and go about my normal life unmolested requires some sort of right of way through your property. Perhaps I need to compensate you for the trouble, but you cannot interfere with people’s movements in such a total degree.

                  And the greater fact remains: an immigrant would be considered a lawbreaker even if I flew him in a helicopter from his country to my property.

          2. If you think the distinction between “unconstitutional” and “politically inconvenient” is meaningless, well, good for you.

            I think it has, or should have, some weight.

            1. It does have meaning, but in this case both actions are increasing the freedom of Americans.

      2. Okay. Do you consider immigration laws to be unconstitutional? If so, then those sheriffs’ actions is analogous to Obama’s here. If not, then this is different. It is one thing to say “this law is unconstitutional and I am not enforcing it”. It is quite another to say “this law is constitutional and I don’t like it so I am not going to enforce it”. Obama is doing the latter.

        Nice try though. You really are our best leftist. You actually try to give an argument sometimes.

        1. They’re peacably going about their business. If the Constitution says third parties have the power to use force to make them stop just because they don’t like them, then the Constituion is wrong.

          1. So, file this one under “politically inconvenient or otherwise objectionable”, then.

            If the Constitution says third parties have the power to use force to make them stop just because they don’t like them, then the Constituion is wrong.

            You realize that applying this standard would shut down about 90% of the federal government, right?

          2. You think immigration laws are unconstitutional. Good for you. Obama, however, doesn’t. So he is just giving you your pony not standing up for anything other than he can do whatever the fuck he likes. Again, thanks for playing.

            1. I think he is saying that he thinks immigration laws are wrong, regardless of constitutionality. Which is something I agree with. But that is really beside the point which is that Obama doing something like this is another power grab by a president and not likely to work out well in the long run for those who favor more open borders.

          3. There is nothing unconstitutional about immigration laws per se. They may or may not be libertarian depending on your preferred flavor, but that isn’t the same thing as unconstitutional.

            Not all constitutional laws are good ones, though.

        2. While I’m no immigration expert, my understanding is that the immigration laws have written into them provisions for all kinds of executive waivers, exceptions, etc., and those are the rules that Obama is relying on. If that’s the case, you can’t say that Obama isn’t enforcing the law.

          1. Presidents can pardon people, too, but that doesn’t mean he can or should figure out who in prison is a supporter of his, and pardon them all en masse.

      3. As for legislation that the president believes is unconstitutional, I think there is an argument to be made.

        Quoting RC. And I’m an open borders person, but I don’t see Obama claiming he’s doing this because the current law is unconstitutional. And however I want the law to actually operate, this is not the way to do it.

        1. He’s not doing it for the good of the poor Hondurans, that’s for sure. If they were all lying in the streets on fire, he wouldn’t pause to piss on even one of them to put them out, arrogant prick.

  7. Obama is already doing deferred action, for example when it comes to people who sell guns illegally in Mexico and people who lose IRS E-Mails

  8. If this is done legally it could be a great advance for freedom in America, even with the border-pork.

    If the GOP has any brains (yeah I know) they will, after the new Congress is seated, make a grand bargain of some kind: basically amnesty for Obamacare repeal. Divide the Democrats, emasculate Obama, and push the bordertards to the margins where they belong. I know, it’s brilliant. Hold the encore.

    1. Reagan did that and he did not get any Democrats because he supported Amnesty

      And its no freedom for Americans, they already have the right to live here.

      1. What about freedom to associate with people who happen to be born across a line. My freedoms are violated when the government steps in and says who I can or cannot allow on my property or employ or rent to etc.

        1. DEY TRK R JERBS

          1. But if I wanted to bomb them it’d be totally cool right?

            1. In the right circumstances, yes of course.

              1. You mean like if they had some oil? No oil in Mexico so no bombs, we just kill them with the WOD instead.

                1. Around 10% of our imported oil comes from Mexico.

                2. No oil in Mexico


                  1. it all spilled into the Gulf in 79-80.

          2. “DEY TRK R JERBS” is the stupid open borders equivalent of the “trickle-down economics” phrase. Read up on supply and demand, dude. The TL;DR version: if you add millions of uneducated people to the labor supply, it drives down wages and drives up unemployment, especially among people at the bottom.

          3. I’m happy if they get jobs, what I don’t want is the money extracted from me at gunpoint to be passed out to non-workers by the welfare system.

        2. What about freedom to associate with people who happen to be born across a line.

          Nobody is stopping you from associating with them in their home country, you know.

          There is an argument to be made for open borders based on freedom of association. I’m mostly joshing you, here.

          Its odd how in the very early days of the republic, immigration was kinda a state level issue, and naturalization was the only issue reserved entirely to the feds.

          1. Nobody is stopping you from associating with them in their home country

            I hope you’re aware of how asinine this is. The typical ‘if you don’t like it then leave’ statist rebuke.

          2. Its odd how in the very early days of the republic, immigration was kinda a state level issue, and naturalization was the only issue reserved entirely to the feds.

            I think most of us open borders types would find open immigration without naturalization or incredibly difficult naturalization to be a perfectly acceptable resolution. Allowing people to come and work doesn’t mean you have to allow them to vote.

            1. Yeah, I’d go with something like that. Anyone with a job or place to live can come and work and stay. But no welfare and no easy citizenship. Subsequent generations will have citizenship.

          3. In the early days of the Republic, naturalization was restricted to White people.

      2. And its no freedom for Americans, they already have the right to live here.

        It does curtail Americans’ freedom to hire, rent to or sell to whomever they want. There is clearly a demand for immigrant labor which is far larger than what legal immigration can satisfy.

        1. There is clearly a demand for immigrant labor which is far larger than what legal immigration can satisfy.

          Should that read “extralegal labor” – pay cash, no taxes, paperwork, Worker’s Comp, etc. is awfully attractive – at least in the construction trades and groundskeeping services around here.

          1. This is half of the reason why some American employers love to hire illegals. No labor laws apply to them. They don’t like it, they can hit the road.

            The other half is that these people work hard, work their asses off, unlike most unskilled lazy Americans who want you to pay them $25 an hour for slacking around all day. And if you won’t, they don’t care, they’ll just go down to the free shit office and load up courtesy of the tax payers.

            1. the free shit office

              AKA the “Illinois Department of Employment Security”

          2. It seems like I must live in the last place in the country where English speaking white people still mow lawns.

            You make a good point, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if many employers would rather hire immigrants than the sort of native people who are willing to work under the same arrangements. You can be pretty sure that poor immigrants are here to work hard. Not so much with some high school dropout.

            1. You must, I can tell you right here and now, as a fact, and I can back it up, if you see a guy here in MD mowing a lawn, trimming weeds, trees, doing landscaping, or women washing the laundry in a hotel, that they are illegals from Mexican, Honduras, etc., it’s a sure bet that you’ll never lose on.

              1. And many of them will live cheap here, multiple families in one rental. They wire dollars back to their countries, and in 10 years time, they can go home and live like royalty there. Though I think most of them would rather stay here for obvious safety reasons.

                1. Hyperion many of my guys plan on retiring there. Their kids aren’t ever going back but they will.

            2. @zeb the hardest people hit by immigration will be the lower/middle class in this country. My only problem with the amnesty/pro immigration people is that if it was college educated people immigrating here the border would be a 100ft tall wall with machine gun nests and mine fields.

              1. Why would they want to come here? The upper class in those countries live like kings.

          3. That actually where you get in trouble. Most illegals in this country are already paying payroll taxes.

            1. Not sure if it’s most, but some are.

              1. It’s most in northern va all they need is a maryland license and they overstay their visas.

            2. Not if they’re being paid in cash.

        2. Meh, I’m for it I just wish we would see major welfare reforms before we did it.

    2. (leaving aside that this would split the Republican caucus asunder)

      The Democratic caucus would never vote to repeal the Health Care Act and there then there would not be the votes to override the Presidential veto.

  9. “Despite the bizarre choice of venue to thumb his nose at the opposition”

    Its not bizarre at all. He’s blatantly claiming “Moral Authority” by standing next to an anti-authoritarian dissident. Clearly he pulled some strings; the Dalai Lama could unfortunately not be had (he’s golfing), Bono was on tour, and Malala whatshername wont shine his knob until he stops Droning her people. So he called on someone ‘generically famous’ in proggy circles for being a Moral Paragon … even though most people don’t have the slightest fucking clue WTF politics in Myanmar are actually about.

    No one will note the irony of his imperial decree being made next to someone who has agitated for greater democracy under a repressive, authoritarian regime.

    1. So he called on someone ‘generically famous’ in proggy circles for being a Moral Paragon … even though most people don’t have the slightest fucking clue WTF politics in Myanmar are actually about.

      “Libertarian” actually defending the military dictatorship in Burma so they can attack someone for standing next to Obama.

      1. WTF?

        I’m *defending* the regime in Myanmar? Where? please to clarify.

        I was pointing out that he was using the opportunity of standing next to a *legitimate* anti-authoritarian… to make authoritarian decrees.

        If that wasn’t clear enough… it should have been

      2. Also – for the record…

        “Aung San Suu Kyi” is indeed ‘generically famous’ in the world of liberal elites.

        By which i mean, my ex girlfriend used to work at the UN. And we went to lots of ‘UN employee’ parties. And the subject of Aung San Suu Kyi would frequently come up and everyone would have nice things to say. And then I’d ask, “Can you summarize the issues in Myanman and her backstory”?

        And no one would have the first fucking clue about Myanmar politics. and these were people with masters degrees in Foreign Affairs who worked professionally in international relations.

        I bought my ex-GF a book about the history of post WWII burma so she could rub it in their faces at cocktail parties.

        Pointing out that most liberals don’t really know *why* Aung San Suu Kyi is such a Moral Figurehead is not an ‘attack’ on the woman nor an attempt to discredit her – its simply pointing out that beyond a very-general attitude that “stuff in Myanmar is bad”, no one in the US has any specific policy goals or interests or spends much time wondering why the hell nothing has ever changed there.

        I’d like to toss in a ‘go fuck yourself’ as well, but i’m still not sure how you misread me so entirely

        1. As governments go the Burmese one is bad but hardly the worst or even one of the worse. Western Liberals just like to talk about it because Aung San Suu Kyi is an attractive well spoken woman that appeals to them. That is it.

          1. And they don’t even like to talk about it that much. Before they started to open up, no one had a whole lot to say about Myanmar/Burma.

        2. “Um, something something religious and cultural persecution, something something military junta, something something Chinese exportation of resources” is the closest thing I’ve ever got to an answer.

          Though it’s better than the bloody Joseph Kony thing. People who don’t know a damn thing about the past decade of Central African conflict lecturing that ‘we have to do something’. You’re about eight years late on Kony guys.

          1. Exactly. The Myanmar thing is a lot like a lot of African ‘tragedies’ which liberals love to make a lot of Strong-Feeling noise about, but which they lack the actual effort to get into the weeds of the details of what’s really going on and what – if anything – can be practically done about it.

            – i mean, in this particular example = US policy vis a vis Myanmar? Has consisted of a Phone Call and a Visit. “Photo Op”-policy if ever there was one.

            IOW, they use these people/issues as convenient symbols to project their *moral narcissism* onto… which is all they are good for. Actual policy? They don’t even bother looking into what possible options there are, as that is actual ‘work’ compared to simply letting your heart bleed profusely about it in front of other liberals.

            ‘its useful as something to ‘look good’ on, but its not important enough to *do anything* about…’

            1. You can criticize Obama for being their without implying Aung San Suu Kyi activism is merely a pose because she wants to be popular with progressives.

              1. ” implying Aung San Suu Kyi activism is merely a pose because she wants to be popular with progressives.”

                This is entirely your misreading of what i said and has zero to do with anything i actually wrote, which should have been far more apparent to you in the context you lifted that quote from.

                I specifically cited Kyi as an *actual* authoritarian. How did that suggest to you that i thought she was a ‘fake’?

                And i never suggested that her popularity with progressives had anything to do with her *intent*, but rather the progressive lazy/feel-good approach to world affairs, where they pat themselves on the back for having *right opinions*, but are utterly unconcerned with actual policy.

                I honestly can’t see how you teased this ridiculous POV out of my comment at all.

                1. “actual *anti-authoritaran*”


                  “someone who has agitated for greater democracy under a repressive, authoritarian regime.”

                2. The capitalized “Moral Paragon” came across to me as sarcasm. If that was incorrect, I apologize.

                  1. Ah.

                    yeah, the sentence after that should have cleared that up

    2. The picture of her looking at him with a “WTF?” expression is priceless.

      “I’m here to support people opposed to a dictatorship. I’m also going to talk about my new powers as Dictator of the United States.”

      1. and, as i said = no one will point this irony out.

        “Obama appears to reject the idea Republicans have a mandate for change at all. He stressed in his post-election news conference that two thirds of Americans did not even vote and he was “the guy who’s elected by everybody.””


  10. Obama Immigration Plan: Won’t Know What’s In It Till He Announces It, Or Maybe Not Even Then

    He won’t know what’s in it until he reads about it in the paper six months from now.

  11. 42% of Medicaid signups are immigrants or their children. So much for the “immigrants don’t get welfare” argument.

    1. They do. Most of them work and work hard, but when our government is coming right out and telling them, hey, here’s some free shit! It’s your right to take it, they just assume there’s nothing wrong with taking it. Keep in mind, they mostly come from very corrupt countries with socialist style governments.

      1. they mostly come from very corrupt countries with socialist style governments

        Which is why Obama wants more of them, because they’ll vote for more statism. Which is why the GOP would be idiotic to go along with amnesty, and why Cytotoxic, for all his talk about “freedom,” is actually advocating policies that reduce freedom.

    2. Over the time frame of the study 879,000 immigrants signed up for Medicaid. Meanwhile, 2.379 million native americans signed up. But let’s just focus on the immigrants becuase, apparently, UNCLEAN BLOOD!

      Also note the immplication that US born children of immigrant parents are somehow less fully American than US born children of native parents. Again because, apparently, UNCLEAN BLOOD!

      1. You’re on a fucking “Straw-Man Hayride” today, arent you?

        1. And he is waving around a can of lighter fluid…while reaching for the Zippo.

        2. I’m not the one quoting immigration studies from one John Tantor’s anti-immigrant groups like it’s objective research.

      2. I’d also add –

        as a ‘libertarian’ I actually support (in theory) some of the actual content of Obama’s proposal. i think we need to reform immigration law in the US to account for both the realities of the large undocumented labor force, as well as to reform the fucked-up immigration bureaucracy horror-show we created.

        as a ‘libertarian’, I entirely oppose him shoving changes to immigration law past congress by means of executive authority.

        I also think the idea of him expanding entitlements to non-citizens is pretty bullshit, as is your comparison with Native Americans – as though the issue were ‘brown people’, regardless of their legal status.

        1. The study in question is of all immigrants, and makes no distinction between authorized immigrants and non-authorized immigrants.

        2. It may be about legal status for you, but for the “Center for Immigration Studies” it is a “brown people” issue.

          1. So that means “crying racism” at actual non-racist arguments about entitlement expansion makes sense?

            Ignoring the fact that ‘the messenger’ quoting this particular fact is politically-incorrect = is their actual point *wrong*?

            1. No, my point is that I’m crying racism at actual racist arguments.

              The CIS study is isolating “immigrants” whether they be legal, illegal, or even fully naturalized US citizens. If someone’s pulling out subsets of the US citizenry as being somehow less citizenish than others based purely on their national origin, then yes, they are making a racist argument.

              I’ll accept you thought CIS only meant illegal immigrants; that misconception has now been corrected twice. If you keep defending the study after being made aware what it’s actually about, then yes, it is more about “brown people” to you than legal status.

              1. Your logical error (or one of them) is to think all objections to “brown people” are “racist.” If someone objected to 10s of millions of poor women immigrating, would that be “sexist”? If it were millions of old people, would objections be “ageist”? The objection is (largely) to the “millions” part.

              2. “The CIS study is isolating “immigrants” whether they be legal, illegal, or even fully naturalized US citizens.”

                No, this wasn’t immediately clear.

                I think i get it now. and that is pretty lame. Particularly, ‘and their children’. As though 1st generation kids weren’t as american as you or i.

                I think we can call now it an even day in the “who misunderstood who”-contest

                1. It does not change my point at all if the legal immigrants or their children are citizens. My point is that it’s stupid to import people who will be on welfare, or whose children will be on welfare. As you may have heard, the country is going broke.

      3. Many American citizens are poor, so it’s irrational and racist to object to importing more of them? I suppose your logic applies to gang members and people with contagious diseases, as well. After all, we already have lots of those, too.

  12. How likely was it that Republicans were going to enact meaningful immigration reform in the next Congress? Not very. But this all but assures that they won’t. And would it have hurt Obama and the Democrats politically to give the new Congress a chance? I don’t see how. So this is terribly bewildering. But it’s going to hurt people here illegally in the long run by pushing true reform that much farther out of reach. It’s hard not to think that Obama and Republicans see illegal immigrants as little more than pawns in a poorly played game of chess.

    1. If we hit that bullseye, the rest of the dominoes should fall like a house of cards. Checkmate.

    2. So what is “meaningful immigration reform”?

      I keep hearing that phrase but those who use it ever give details.

    3. This is too important to wait!!!

      (Ignore the fact that Senator Obama never sponsored an immigration bill and President never asked the Democrats in Congress for any legislation.)

  13. “DEY TRK R JERBS” is the stupid open borders equivalent of the “trickle-down economics” phrase. Read up on supply and demand, dude. The TL;DR version: if you add millions of uneducated people to the labor supply, it drives down wages and drives up unemployment, especially among people at the bottom.

    Notice that the original “DEY TRK R JERBS” actually did portray the workers loosing their jobs. It’s not so much to argue that immigration doesn’t harm the native workers, as to ridicule the working class White people who can’t talk good and don’t recognize that they have a moral duty to give up their jobs to immigrants.

    1. Damn peasants don’t know what’s good for ’em.

    2. If you grew up in the richest country on earth and after squandering hundreds of thousands of dollars in education find yourself completely unable to compete with an uneducated third world peasant fresh off the truck, it’s not clear to me why I should feel more sympathetic to you than to them?

      1. hundreds of thousands of dollars in education

        What, public school? Just because that’s what it cost doesn’t mean that’s what it’s worth.

        1. Hence the “squandering”.

          1. Okay then, tell me the percentage of Blacks who “squander” their “education” compared with the Whites. It’s hard to be anti-poor and PC at the same time.

      2. This comment shows my point, here’s another version:…..46841/Haha


    That sounds like a bunch of union thugs talking.

    There isn’t any risk of unskilled migrants taking American jobs. American won’t work in unskilled jobs, they just get on welfare instead. The real problem is giving benefits intended for American citizens to those who are not even legally here. I’m all for not even giving those benefits to Americans who are able to work, but just don’t want to.

    1. There’s no such thing as unemployed people. Americans just got much more lazy around the year 2008. Must have been something in the water.

      And don’t even get me started about how easy it is for a man with no children to get enough “welfare” to not have to work.

    2. Having the labor market be a bit tight at the bottom causes wages there to rise naturally, thus encouraging people to enter the job market and reducing the need for welfare.

  15. As to why I think libertarians are nuts to favor mass uncontrolled immigration from the Third World: I think they are nuts because their enthusiasm on this matter is suicidal to their cause. Their ideological passion is blinding them to a rather obvious fact: that libertarianism is a peculiarly American doctrine, with very little appeal to the huddled masses of the Third World. If libertarianism implies mass Third World immigration, then it is self-destroying. Libertarianism is simply not attractive either to illiterate peasants from mercantilist Latin American states, or to East Asians with traditions of imperial-bureaucratic paternalism, or to the products of Middle Eastern Muslim theocracies.

    There are a number of responses a libertarian might make to that. Not included in those responses, I think, given the current state of our national affairs, is the argument that Providence has inscribed a yearning for liberty on every human heart.

    A libertarian might, though, say that while libertarianism could indeed be a hard sell to immigrants from very illiberal political traditions, it will appeal to their Americanized children, to the second generation. Possibly so. Even setting aside the great strengthening of the welfare state caused by the preferences of that first generation, though, to sell libertarianism to the second generation would need a tremendous missionary effort.


      So is libertarianism a truly American doctrine?

      1. It is mostly stuff white people like, yes. There are not any Libertarians running around the rest of the world. There just are not.

        1. But I was assured that Somalia was a libertarian paradise!

          1. For some strange, inexplicable reason, all African nations are struck the scourge of “socialism.” Even when they don’t appear to have any government at all, they are still socialist and that’s the only possible reason they are so damn poor. To say otherwise would be, well, you know. Meanwhile, European nations are all capitalist with only a few socialist policies.

            1. Fuck off american.

        2. There are some.

          There aren’t all that many in the US either. So I guess we should just give up on the whole idea.

          1. No it just means you shouldn’t live in fantasy land and think importing people who are in general even less Libertarian than Americans is going to end in anything but disaster.

            1. Like I said, give up on the whole idea. If you put practicality above principle like that you aren’t much of a libertarian (and yes, I know you don’t generally claim to be a libertarian).

              We somehow managed to import huge numbers of immigrants from non-free societies in the past and they managed to catch on to the American values of hard work and individual responsibility. I think it could happen again. The problem is that the right in the US is doing everything it can to turn off poor immigrants. Most do come to work hard and get ahead that way. If more conservatives would welcome them and congratulate them on their initiative and hard work, then I think a lot fewer would automatically side with the left wing Democrats.
              Whatever the immigration policy is, lots of people are going to come here to work. To really control the borders and effectively remove illegals, you would need an unacceptable police state.

              1. In John’s world, a libertarian isn’t someone who actually implements libertarian policies. It’s someone who just tells you how bad they feel about it while they’re oppressing you.

  16. the president’s actions on immigration could help bring millions of people living and working in the U.S. out of extralegal status

    Short-term vs long-term.

    If Obama enacts this as part of an executive order, you can kiss goodbye to any goodwill for liberalizing immigration or illegals on the part of the general public. Formalizing these changes will thus not happen; likely the opposite will take place (immigration restrictionism). While this might have dubious value for those who are already here, if it prompts Congress to pass a bill further restricting immigration and enforcing those restrictions that will not be of benefit to the overall liberality of our immigration regime.

    Reason’s writers should be less myopic on such issues; the manner in which an issue is carried out often affects the stability and expansion of the action at play.

    1. All of that. This is going to end up being a disaster for open borders advocates. It will associate them with lawlessness and contempt for the public for the next decade or more.

    2. Are Reason writers in favor of Obama’s forthcoming executive action? I don’t see anything to suggest that in this article.
      Seems like Reason as well as open borders commenters are pretty well against it for the reasons you give (as well as some constitutional reasons). I certainly am.

  17. raises for immigration officers

    Yeah, that’s what’s wrong with current immigration policy.

    LIVING WAGE!!!1!1!

    1. Let’s make them all billionaires. That’ll shut ’em up.

  18. my classmate’s step-mother makes $76 hourly on the laptop . She has been out of work for 5 months but last month her pay check was $21931 just working on the laptop for a few hours. visit the website….


  19. Americans are too stupid to be told what’s in it. Duh!!

  20. You see, this is one of the cases where remembering there is an actual difference in meaning between the term “illegal immigrant” and the pseudo-euphemism “undocumented immigrant” is important. A documented-by-executive-order-but-still-illegal immigrant is the kind of person the next President will be able to deport more easily after reversing a “deferred action” executive order than an undocumented one.

  21. When you can’t trust others to get things done right, let alone get anything done, then do it yourself. I like it. Since there has only been 10 years of talking about reform, finally Obama is going to do something about it. Repubs can’t see the forest for the trees. Nor will they ever. Obama has spent more money on border control than is even reasonable. 11 million undocumented “workers” are part of the underground economy, creating billions of dollars for a multitude of industries. They also send millions of dollars into your social security system. Manufacturing and agribusiness benefit the most, year in year out, for the past 30 years, from low wage workers, and pass the savings on to you. So what are you bitching about.

  22. Oregon voted against immigration reform by 2 to 1. It was passed by their legislature before the voters voted it down.

    Oregon immigration vote is a warning for Obama…..23803.html

  23. “…could help bring millions of people living and working in the U.S. out of extralegal status…” and spur one Hell of a backlash.

  24. Over the mountain dude, oh yeah!

  25. Awe never liked what Reagan or bush did as their policies failed? Congress failed. Obama is also a failure in the making on this immigration thing. Let’s just add it to list of his incompetencies.

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