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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Alienating promise to illegals

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Barack Obama, the accidental president, still hasn't mastered the political art. For evidence of this, look no further than the speech Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet A. Napolitano made, announcing the administration would not seek out illegal-alien students for deportation, assuming they may have qualified for citizenship had the Dream Act passed last year ("DHS: Illegal immigrant students not a target for deportation," Web, Friday).

Why say anything at all? By proclaiming he has no interest in immigration-law enforcement, Mr. Obama enraged Republicans and alienated large numbers of moderate Democrats and Independents, many of whom voted for him 2008 and most of whom he'll need again in 2012.

Among liberal Democrats, Mr. Obama gained nothing. He didn't produce his long-promised, comprehensive immigration-reform package, so his liberal base will not be impressed by Ms. Napolitano's public-relations speech declaring hands-off on "young adults," regardless of their immigration status. Neither did this move curry any favor with moderates.

After the Dream Act died, Mr. Obama should have heeded Shakespeare's Prince Hamlet: "The rest is silence."

JOE GUZZARDI

Bradford Woods, Pa.

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