By Katie Kieffer
Bill Clinton is the one exception to the Constitutional rule that U.S. Presidents may only serve two terms.
When President Obama went to El Paso, Texas last week and pitched his immigration reform plan to Hispanics, I felt like I was watching a movie called “Bubba’s Third Term.” The President did not sound like himself. I detected a faint Arkansas accent as he stood at the podium and outlined amnesty objectives disguised as immigration reform.
In his El Paso speech, President Obama avoided using the word “amnesty” and referred to illegal immigrants as “undocumented immigrants.” However, he promoted amnesty objectives and minimized the need to increase funding for border security.
Essentially, the President proposed to solve border security issues and the influx of illegal immigrants into the U.S. by providing illegal immigrants with better-looking documents and ignoring hundreds of miles of fenceless border.
Sadly, President Obama is making the same economically devastating mistake that former President Clinton made in the 90’s: Throw Hispanics under the bus in order to win the Hispanic vote.
President Clinton was, and still is, an extremely likable fellow. The problem with people who want to be liked more than they want to be respected is that they often make bad decisions based on politics or emotions. For instance, Clinton let a voluptuous intern in a blue dress obliterate his sense of Presidential norms.
More disappointing, Clinton bowed to intense pressure from America’s first Hispanic HUD Secretary, Henry Cisneros, and loosened home ownership requirements for low-income Americans. Clinton relaxed appraisal rules, eliminated the five-year stable income requirement for first-time homebuyers and lowered the standards of Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac.
Clinton’s policies opened the doors to home ownership to an additional 10 percent of the U.S. population that did not qualify to become homeowners. But, they qualified to vote, and that’s what matters to a politician seeking a second term.
Many Hispanics and African Americans became first-time homeowners who were financially unqualified. Admittedly, many Hispanics were “willing victims.” But, it’s hard to blame them for trusting government policies approved by America’s first Hispanic HUD Secretary.
Clinton’s choice to bow to Cisneros over common sense destroyed the housing market and had a devastating ripple effect on the entire economy. Rather than increasing home ownership among Hispanics and African Americans, foreclosures sprang up and communities were broken. Eventually these policies played a key role in driving down consumer spending, freezing the credit markets and destroying jobs.
Today, President Obama is repeating Clinton’s mistakes by reintroducing subprime mortgages to minorities, and, pushing for new immigration policies that will hurt Hispanics in the long run.
Like Clinton, President Obama is caving to intense political pressure from high-profile Hispanic activists such as Eva Longoria and Hispanic politicians. Longoria may be naïve, but politicians know that most Hispanics favor amnesty over deportation for illegal immigrants. Politicians also know that 68 percent of Hispanics do not vote, according to the Pew Hispanic Center. So, “immigration reform” is an issue that politicians rally behind when they chase the Hispanic vote.
There are approximately 11.2 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. today. The unemployment rate recently increased to 9 percent and applications for unemployment assistance are at an eight month high. How can the U.S. provide a high standard of life for millions of illegal immigrants if she already cannot provide enough jobs for her legal citizens?
Some argue that immigrants fill important jobs that Americans refuse to take. I contend that Americans will gladly clean houses or take fast-food orders if they get the chance: McDonald’s received over a million applications for just 62,000 jobs on its national hiring day last month.
In El Paso, President Obama mocked conservative politicians who push for greater border security: “Maybe they’ll need a moat. Maybe they want alligators in the moat! They’ll never be satisfied, and I understand that. That’s politics.” Meanwhile, armed drug cartels are driving Texas ranchers and farmers off their own land.
Listening to the President tell El Paso that the 700-mile border fence is “basically complete” when it is really only five percent complete five years after approval feels a bit like hearing Clinton dismiss the notorious blue dress and stretch the truth for political gain: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.”
President Obama offers Hispanics a false sense of hope and security by pretending he can provide jobs for countless illegal immigrants, reintroducing subprime mortgages to minorities and ignoring border security. When President Obama stops worrying about getting re-elected, he will stop sounding like Bill Clinton and his speeches will begin to offer authentic solutions.