Trust Me

Tuesday, 14 October 2014 00:00

Politics is an ugly process to watch. 
Ethics and kindness are often set aside in the quest for power.


I have been reluctant to write a new post for Rational Immigration Movement since September 6, 2014. That was the day that President Obama reneged on his promise to take executive action to cut through the gorgonian knot of immigration reform before the summer ended. Many people from across the political spectrum had reluctantly supported the idea of executive action to relieve the real suffering of the law-abiding undocumented. All executive actions distort the balance of powers. Large scale executive actions have large effects on that balance and so are inherently dangerous. But we supported it because the risk was intangible and the relief is real. And then the President reneged and I felt betrayed.

September 6, 2014 wasn't the first time that the President has reneged on his promises to the supporters of Immigration Reform. In 2008 when he was campaigning for President the first time he told Latino audiences that he would pass immigration reform during the first 100 days of his Presidency. After he was elected with control of both houses of Congress he did nothing for a year and a half. Then in the waning days of the Congress he failed to hold together the Senate Democrats on the Dream Act and even though the House had passed a bill it couldn't even get to a vote in the Senate.

Then for two years there was nothing happened on immigration reform. Finally during the re-election campaign of 2012 the President used executive action to effectively implement the Dream Act. He was re-elected with overwhelming Latino support. After the election in 2013 the Senate passed a bipartisan Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill that was unpalatable to a large number of the House Republicans and so the Senate bill was never brought to a vote in the House.

During all of these recent maneuvers very little effort, on either side, has gone into finding a compromise. Possibly because immigration reform has worked so effectively as a campaign issue for both sides. To use the words of former Sacramento Police Chief Arturo Venegas's “Our friends have betrayed us.”