Obama’s Welcome Courage

Disregarding threats of non cooperation from Republican Speaker Boehner and his overzealous colleagues, President Obama has exhibited courage and announced executive actions to fix at least a part of the universally recognized broken immigration system. Obama has not endeared himself to the Republicans and may have annoyed some Democrats, too, but his determination to go forward with whatever little relief he could provide to the millions of illegal immigrants is praiseworthy.

He rightly defined amnesty when he said, “Amnesty is the immigration system we have today – millions of people who live here without paying their taxes or playing by the rules, while politicians use the issue to scare people and whip up votes at election time.” Even though one wished Obama could do a little more, his constraints are understandable. He realizes that it is not for him to be offering citizenship. That is in the domain of the Congress. And he said that quite frankly.” It (the executive reform proposal)does not grant citizenship, or the right to stay here permanently, or offer the same benefits that citizens receive – only Congress can do that. All we’re saying is we’re not going to deport you.”

More than 11 million undocumented immigrants have been living in shadows, always afraid of being picked up for deportation. With what Obama is offering, it may help half of them to come out of the shadows and lead a life of freedom which they did not experience for years. I would expect both the Republicans and the Democrats to shed their inhibitions and reservations and take a step forward to work for a legislation which will provide each soul on this “land of the free and the brave” the opportunity to seek citizenship. After all, as President Bush had said, “They are a part of American life”.

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