Three hundred thousand people in America should be cheering Obama, as should we all. Fed up with Congress refusing to fix our immigration law, Obama just did it by himself. Or at least part of it. This past week his administration announced that there would be no more deportations except those of criminals.
The immediate effect is that 300,000 immigrants already in the deportation system can breath more easily. It will still take an act of Congress to change their "illegal" status, but for now they can go on with their lives. Raising their families. Loving their loved ones. Finishing college. Serving in the military. Working at jobs they care about. Starting businesses. Being Americans. In one cancelled deportation case, a young man in Florida can now continue his studies for the priesthood. No knock on the door in the night. No more frightened groups of people hiding in Catholic Churches for sanctuary.
And, yes, the new policy will respect same sex unions.
Other "illegal" immigrants not yet tagged by the deportation system - the millions of them - are also delivered from fear. At least for now.
And the boss of Intel, CEO Paul Otellini, can smile too. He took a bit of time off from running his giant company to serve on Obama's commission re improving the economy. He urged that foreigners who are educated in America be allowed to stay and work here. Why train doctors, nurses, engineers, scientists, etc. and then boot them out. We need them!
Among the foreigners educated here are the ones who are going to create jobs with "the next big thing" in electronics or who-knows-what. Immigrants start more companies than the native-born. Go to Silicon Valley and check that out. And they contribute in other ways. They pick the food that goes on our tables. There is no more honorable nor harder work than to feed the people. And immigrants contribute ideas. It was a science student from China who got the idea of the "cocktail" approach in treating HIV/AIDS. And because of immigration we are one of the few industrial nations that is not shrinking in population. These are the folks who could help pay YOUR Social Security and Medicare!
So now they can stay. But for how long? Only for as long as Obama is president. The reprieve may only last seventeen months.
If the GOP gets the presidency in 2012, heartache will follow for millions of our fellow residents. We can't let that happen to the brothers and sisters, can we? Think about them when you get cross with Obama not running things the way you think he should. Work hard for his re-election for their sake and for the sake of what they can contribute to our country.
Hey, forty thousand of the illegal immigrants are my Irish cousins!
And how can we make the terror of deportation go away permanently? First, we have to change 24 seats in the House from GOP to Democratic. There will NEVER be reform of the immigration law while the Tea Party-controlled GOP holds the House. With the House out of Tea Party GOP control, the reform of immigration law becomes at least a possibility.
So the Great Lady is smiling now out there in the harbor, her arm still lifting her lamp beside the golden door. We are all the children of immigrants (except our Native American brothers and sisters, of course). Let's not forget that the Great Lady has smiled on us by accepting our kin when they arrived. If we forget what we owe this country and begrudge it to others, may the Native Americans send us all back where we came from!
Let's pay it forward by re-electing Obama and changing those 24 seats in Congress! Yes, we should!