Immigration: Obama Guilty of Bad “Project” Management

Posted on July 31, 2010


Here is the most frequent argument made against those (primarily Republicans) who insist a resolution to border security come before tackling the complex and emotional issue of amnesty and how it will be implemented.

…[C]alling for tighter borders is a tried-and-true tactic of politicians unwilling to confront the realities of a growing illegal population.

Sean Hannity has a segment of his show on FOX news titled “What would Reagan Do”?  On the issue of immigration – especially dealing with these large numbers of illegals, President Reagan would stand with President Obama albeit somewhat reluctantly.  Former Wyoming Senator Alan K. Simpson was a good friend of Reagan’s.  His assessment of what the President would do is:

Reagan “knew that it was not right for people to be abused,” Simpson says. “Anybody who’s here illegally is going to be abused in some way, either financially [or] physically. They have no rights.”

Peter Robinson, a former Reagan speechwriter, agrees. “It was in Ronald Reagan’s bones — it was part of his understanding of America — that the country was fundamentally open to those who wanted to join us here.”

Reagan said as much himself in a televised debate with Democratic presidential nominee Walter Mondale in 1984.

“I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and lived here, even though sometime back they may have entered illegally,” he said.

But Reagan was dealing with 3 million illegals at the time in 1986 when he signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act.  Today we are dealing with ten times that number.  Republicans hesitate to sign on to President Obama’s call for amnesty because amnesty without elements of control is an untenable approach.

Robinson says, he [Reagan] would have been so upset at the federal government’s failure to make good on the 1986 reform that he would have demanded for that law to be fixed first before instituting a new overhaul. [NPR.org]

Pretend you are running a business and have a terrible work backlog. If you don’t shut down the addition of work to the backlog, you will always have a backlog. We have a backlog of illegal immigrants and without secure borders, they will continue to add to the “inventory” of those with this status.

Securing the border would shut down or cause a large slowing of people deemed illegal immigrants.  When this has happened, working toward amnesty or a path to citizenship – in short immigration reform can take place.

A successful “project” like this is managed by tacking its parts in a reasonable order to avoid buildup of the “backlog” of work to be completed.  Similarly, allowing the “inventory of  illegal immigrants” to grow while working through the emotional and difficult issue of  amnesty would be  bad project management.

The road to understanding why it is important to first close the border has been sabotaged by other head-turning issues.  They are important issues but peripheral to solving the illegal immigration situation.

  • Open borders.  People behind this idea are growing in number.  It would be an accommodation to Mexicans who pridefully point to their native American ancestors who were able to move freely in this hemisphere unimpeded.  While Native Americans living in the US (especially those in the north) do not recognize national borders, they do respect them.
  • The Brown Berets and other loud and aggressive Mexican activists who tell Europeans to go home – that this is their land and we stole it from us.
  • Shifting Presidential priorities.  The Presidential promise to secure the border first is undercut by planned and unplanned drafts of Democrat strategies to handle the amnesty question first or concurrently. Everyone would be behind the President in his push to achieve border security.  He will agree to this and then a memo will leak that the Democrats are looking for non-legislative means to achieve amnesty.  He will push for the closed borders and then it is revealed that he is investigating his executive power options to care for the question of amnesty.
  • We also get caught up in the fears that Al Qaeda and other terrorists have and will use an open border to wreak havoc on this country and if they don’t the powerful para-military drug cartels will.

We need leadership that will clearly define the issues and the order in which we need to tackle them.  We have not seen that.  As with other issues we have faced during these troubled times, the Administration appears to operate in ways that appear alternately deceitful  or dithering ineptness.  Time is of the essence and the President needs to spend his getting the border secured.

©On My Watch…the writings of SamHenry.  Registration pending.