President Obama is speaking his mind, and he isn’t holding anything back. The President took Republicans to task during a town hall in Iowa for their un-American immigrant bashing behavior.
The President said:
And this whole anti-immigrant sentiment that’s out there in our politics right now is contrary to who we are. Because unless you are a Native American, your family came from someplace else. And although we are a nation of laws and we want people to follow the law, and we have been working — and I’ve been pushing Congress to make sure that we have strong borders and we are keeping everybody moving through legal processes — don’t pretend that somehow 100 years ago the immigration process was all smooth and strict and — that’s not how it worked.
There are a whole bunch of folks who came here from all over Europe and all throughout Asia and all throughout Central America and all — and certainly who came from Africa, who it wasn’t some orderly process where all the rules applied and everything was strict, and I came the right way. That’s not how it worked.
So the notion that now, suddenly, that one generation or two generations, or even four or five generations removed, that suddenly we are treating new immigrants as if they’re the problem, when your grandparents were treated like the problem, or your great-grandparents were treated like the problem, or were considered somehow unworthy or uneducated or unwashed — no. That’s not who we are. It’s not who we are.
We can have a legitimate debate about how to set up an immigration system that is fair and orderly and lawful. And I think the people who came here illegally should have the consequences of paying a fine and getting registered, and all kinds of steps that they should have to take in order to get right with the law. But when I hear folks talking as if somehow these kids are different from my kids, or less worthy in the eyes of God, that somehow they are less worthy of our respect and consideration and care — I think that’s un-American. I do not believe that. I think it is wrong. And I think we should do better. Because that’s how America was made — by us caring about all our kids.
Logic and facts have no impact on Republicans, so maybe calling out their racism disguised as fake patriotism will have an impact. President Obama was correct. Republicans aren’t engaging in a legitimate debate. A debate on immigration policy has been replaced by a furthering of the centuries old ugly American tradition of immigrant bashing.
Obama is speaking his mind. The rhetoric that Republicans are engaging in is an attempt to hide the real source of the nation’s problems. Republicans are blaming immigrants to hide their role and responsibility for the nation’s problems. As Bernie Sanders said, “It was not undocumented people in this country whose greed and recklessness on Wall Street drove us into the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression. It wasn’t undocumented people in this country who got us into a war in Iraq that we never should have gotten into. It wasn’t undocumented people in this country who gave huge tax breaks to billionaires and are fighting to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. And I think they’re being used as a punching bag, and I resent that.”
The Republican behavior is embarrassing and very un-American. Luckily, we have a president who will not allow the promotion of hatred and bigotry without pushing back.