Watching the debate taking place these days concerning immigration reform brings to my mind the image of a whining, screaming baby, with Barack Obama reduced to the level of someone making “choo choo” train noises with a spoon to get the stubborn infant to eat their baby food.
I don’t doubt the sincerity of those people who are engaging in the loudest rants. But I can’t take too seriously their complaints that their food is “yucky” and “gross.”
BECAUSE THAT’S ABOUT the level of discourse the opposition to serious reform of the nation’s immigration policy has taken.
Perhaps that is why assorted polls don’t show overwhelming backing for the ideologue types who wish they could seriously impeach Obama, then convict and remove the president from office for daring to refuse to view the roughly 11 million undocumented residents of this nation as a scourge in need of eradication!
There is the poll conducted by Hart Research, which found some 67 percent of those questioned were supportive of Obama using his executive order powers to implement limited reforms without first getting Congressional approval.
Yes, much of that two-thirds support comes from those who identify themselves as Democrats, but 57 percent of those who call themselves independent and 41 percent of Republicans were backing Obama’s actions.
FOR WHAT IT’S worth, 47 percent of GOPers who don’t identify with the Tea Party activist movement think the president got it right. It’s mostly those hard-core ideological critics who are the whiners (64 percent in opposition) on this issue.
That particular poll was done for the Americans United for Change group, which may have its own agenda in wishing to show strong support for Obama’s response to the fact that Republicans in Congress have used all their efforts to thwart any reform efforts on the issue.
But others also show support for the action itself.
Take the poll done by CNN/ORC that showed 50 percent of those questioned thought Obama’s actions were “about right,” compared to 22 percent who thought Obama’s actions weren’t wide-ranging enough (some six million undocumented individuals will not be impacted).
ONLY 25 PERCENT were interested in condemning Obama for his actions; not that far off from the 28 percent who were critical of the president in the Hart Research poll.
Although the CNN/ORC poll also asked for what people thought of Obama’s tactic to get this issue past the Congressional opposition – which will intensify once Republican interests concerned with catering to the ideologue opposition.
Forty-one percent of the public were supportive, compared to 57 percent opposed – although only 16 percent said they were “angered” by the act. Most of the so-called opposition described their level of displeasure as being closer to apathetic than anything else.
In fact, some 60 percent of those questioned said they do not want a legal challenge in the courts by Republican interests to the immigration policy change. And 76 percent wish Congress would get off its collective duff and pass some sort of binding policy change.
IT ALSO IS interesting to see the poll by Latino Decisions that shows 95 percent of Latinos who identify as Democrat and 76 of Latinos who call themselves Republican view Obama’s actions favorably.
Yet Obama seems so fearful of triggering ethnically-motivated opposition that his strategy for touting his plan is to emphasize all the non-Latinos who also will be impacted.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported this week how Obama doesn’t want this to be perceived as a Latino benefit – even though the bulk of those who will be impacted have Latin American ethnic origins in their family trees.
I understand the concept of compromise in government as much as anyone else. But the point of immigration reform is to bring people out of society’s shadows – not to tell some people that they have to stay tucked away in the closet because of where they originate!