Gentlemen,” Herbert Hoover told visiting dignitaries in June of 1930, “you have come six weeks too late.” The Depression, he declared, was over. Sadly, for him and for the country, he wasn’t correct.
Still, sometimes you do arrive too late and miss all the action. Take the group of immigration reform activists who crashed Rep. Eric Cantor’s “victory” party in June. “What do we want? Immigration reform! When do we want it? Now!” they chanted. Two problems: Cantor had, like Elvis, already left the building. And because of the primary results, the former House Majority Leader will be leaving Congress in January.
Even if Cantor had prevailed at the ballot box, this would have been an odd protest. His defeat was, at least partly, because he was working to push through a “comprehensive” immigration reform measure.
Cantor spoke about immigration last year, in the midst of a long speech at the American Enterprise Institute. He touched on many excellent ideas over the course of that speech: Education reform that favors students rather than teacher unions. Reducing regulations to make new, better medicines available more quickly. Simplifying the tax code.
But he also addressed immigration.
“A good place to start is with the kids,” he announced. “It is time to provide an opportunity for legal residence and citizenship for those who were brought to this country as children and who know no other home.”
Well, that sounds an awful lot like the DREAM Act, which has been introduced some 30 times in several Congresses but never approved. President Obama, vastly overstepping his constitutional bounds, basically enacted such a policy via executive fiat in 2012. He ordered the Department of Homeland Security to defer deportation proceedings against an estimated 1.7 million illegal aliens.