Guy W. Farmer: President Obama and immigration reform |

Guy W. Farmer: President Obama and immigration reform

Guy W. Farmer
For the Nevada Appeal

President Obama and his ultra-liberal Justice Department didn’t do any favors for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., or other Democratic candidates last Tuesday when Justice filed a lawsuit against Arizona’s new and popular immigration law. The feds assert “pre-emption,” which means that federal law trumps state statutes. I love Arizona’s response: Bring it on!

The lawsuit came a few days after Obama went trolling for Hispanic votes for Reid and other Democrats by delivering a major speech on “comprehensive immigration reform” (conditional amnesty) at American University in Washington, D.C., of all places. But if the president was really serious about immigration reform he would have given his stirring speech somewhere along the increasingly dangerous U.S.-Mexico border, preferably in embattled Arizona, which is challenging Obama and the feds to get serious about border control.

Although the president has found time to make several well-publicized trips to the Gulf Coast to check on the huge BP oil spill, he can’t seem to find the time to visit our southern border, which has been turned into a looming national security threat by violent Mexican drug cartels. Meanwhile, with 37,000 American troops still stationed on the border between North and South Korea, Obama is sending only 1,200 National Guard troops to perform “administrative” duties along the U.S.-Mexico border, which presents a much more immediate threat to our nation. That’s why I think our president’s national security priorities are out of whack.

President Obama’s recent speech was full of false assumptions, such as the idea that most of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants currently residing in our country want to become American citizens. No they don’t; they just want to work and send money to their families back home, and have little interest in assimilating or learning English, which is a citizenship requirement.

Another false assumption is that Hispanic votes are critical in Western states like Arizona and Nevada. Think again, because although 25 to 30 percent of the population in these states is Hispanic, Latinos account for only 10 to 12 percent of those who will actually vote in November. That’s because immigrants can’t vote. Simple.

And finally, although the president said he wants to attract the “best and the brightest” immigrants from abroad, he closed with that outdated Emma Lazarus poem urging Third World nations to send us “your tired, your poor (and) your huddled masses ” – people who expand welfare rolls and have lots of babies. No thanks! That was a noble thought in 1883 but it no longer applies to 21st century America in the midst of a full-scale economic recession.

• Guy W. Farmer, of Carson City, is a retired diplomat who follows immigration issues closely.