Ira Mehlman

Under the rubric of setting priorities, the Obama administration has essentially nullified broad sections of the immigration code by simply refusing to enforce laws against broad classes of immigration lawbreakers. In 2012, President Obama went even one step further, asserting executive authority to implement key provisions of the DREAM Act amnesty – a bill he supported – even though Congress had rejected it just 18 months earlier. Under his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the president unilaterally decided that perhaps as many as 2 million illegal aliens would be allowed to remain in the U.S. indefinitely and be given authorization to work here, in spite of explicit legislative prohibitions against the employment of illegal aliens.

It is rare when the American people can feel confident that a politician is telling them the truth. This is one of those times. During his first four years in office, President Obama has both told us and demonstrated to us that he will not enforce immigration laws. It does not matter, then, what enforcement provisions Congress may include in an amnesty bill. President Obama will not carry them out, Congress will not hold him accountable, and people around the world will have even less reason to respect our immigration laws.

In the end, comprehensive immigration reform will mean amnesty for countless millions of illegal aliens, followed by crushing social costs to support this largely low-skilled and poorly educated population, and a crippling blow to already embattled American workers. In exchange, the American people will receive promises of future enforcement that the president has already assured us he will not keep.

Unlike 1986, the last time Congress granted amnesty in exchange for promises of future immigration enforcement, we will not need to wait a decade or more to discover that we got amnesty without enforcement. President Obama is telling us that right now. We should believe him.


Ira Mehlman

Ira Mehlman is the Media Director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform.