Monday, July 28, 2014

Time to end the finger pointing and fix the problem

I don't know if it's just me but it seems that the way things are going for President Obama, he will be lucky to leave the White House with the dignity that was afforded Richard Nixon. The latest blow to the administration has been its appalling bungling of the migration of tens of thousands of undocumented children into the United States.

While it's been front page news around the country in recent weeks, the surge of undocumented children - most of them teens - has been going on for more than a year. Unlike what some conspiracy theorists are saying, this is a humanitarian crisis and the majority of these children are fleeing poverty and unspeakable violence in their home countries - they are runaways and many of them are candidates for asylum. Sadly, they were inspired to make the dangerous journey north with the knowledge that they could slip across our weak border and that if they were caught, there would be few repercussions. Much of the surge began after President Obama announced during his reelection bid that the U.S. Would stop deporting certain undocumented children living in the United States. I'm not sure what was lost in translation, but clearly some viewed it as a opening to head north.

Immigration reform has been a front-and-center issue for several years, but partisan feuding (and there is plenty of blame to go around) has prevented anything from getting done. Whether it's hubris or stupidity, the Obama administration has refused to budge towards the middle and now - with a humanitarian crisis in his hands and on his watch - he is in the unenviable position of having to beg Congress for the money to handle a problem that he has been trying to sweep under the rug for many months. Recent news stories reveal that the White House was warned in 2012 about the high number of children coming across the border but the administration did little to acknowledge the crisis until it began looking for places to house these children around the country when facilities in border states were overloaded.

Justifiably many governors - even Democrats- have told President Obama publicly and privately that their states cannot afford to take on the burden of housing and caring for thousands of parentless children. Controlling immigration and processing those that cross into this country - even to seek amnesty - is the responsibility of the federal government and falls to a system that needs to be reformed.

While the Obama administration has surfed through many scandals, I think this is the one that may damage his legacy. Hiding a humanitarian crisis at one's border for political reasons is something a third world dictator would condone - not a U.S. President. There's time to turn the tide by showing some decisive leadership but the clock is ticking.

1 comment:

  1. This article is a totally unfair characterization of our President. Many of my Liberal friends would like to see President Obama behave more like a dictator but he is not anywhere close to the dictator the Republicans make him out to be. He is constrained by laws and an intransigent House of Representatives who block him at every step on this and so many other issues.

    I would level those accusations at the obstructionists in Congress. George Will, a conservative Republican clearly criticized his own Party for hampering any progress with dealing humanely with the refugee children, and he is not in the habit of supporting the President.

    It has become very fashionable for certain types of Democrats to criticize the President to show that they have not drunk the “Kool Aid” as is the slogan used against anybody defending this President.

    I have to admit that the Republicans have been most successful at demonizing this President, using the gridlock they created to demonstrate the President's “ineffectiveness” and whining when he uses his executive powers to actually help people in need.

    You are inadvertently playing right into their depraved hands by “piling on” rather than support his efforts to do right by people with little power. The scoundrels of this world enjoy picking on the defenseless. Our President is the only person who tries to stand in their way and hardly needs more flak from those of us who voted for him. Legitimate criticism is one thing, reinforcing the boorish among us is not the way to solve anything.