- The Washington Times - Monday, November 7, 2011

This isn’t your father’s America. As promised, President Obama is “fundamentally transforming” the nation with a plan to flood the United States with individuals whose hearts belong to other lands. The message to illegal immigrants is if you can get in and keep out of further trouble, you’re welcome to stay. The Land of the Free has become the land of the home-free.

On Oct. 31, the Justice Department sued South Carolina in federal court to block the state’s strict new immigration law, set to take effect Jan. 1. The move mirrors earlier Justice actions to halt toughened rules in Arizona and Alabama. In all three jurisdictions, legislators were attempting to deploy state statutes to enforce federal immigration law that U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has refused to uphold. In this manner, the Obama administration is placing greater importance on protecting the rights of illegals than those of American citizens wishing to maintain an orderly immigration process.

The new South Carolina statute would require that law enforcers alert federal immigration officials when a detainee is suspected of being in the country illegally. It would also mandate that businesses use the federal government’s E-Verify computer system to confirm legal status of new hires. The Justice Department argues such measures are unconstitutional and would divert resources from more critical security needs. As if it weren’t already clear where its sympathies lie, the department set up a hotline in Alabama for illegals to report instances of purported discrimination resulting from the state’s new law.

In August, the administration also announced that it would no longer deport persons whose only crime was illegal entry into the United States. A federal task force was established to review about 300,000 pending deportation cases and would use “prosecutorial discretion” to dismiss those not involving habitual lawbreakers.


House Republicans have finally found their footing and are resisting these efforts to weaken border rules. On Friday, a House Judiciary subcommittee issued a subpoena ordering Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to provide records of cases in which deportation proceeding have been halted. “The American people have a right to know what crimes these 300,000 illegal immigrants committed after ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] intentionally chose not to detain them,” said Texas Rep. Lamar Smith, chairman of the Judiciary Committee. Mr. Smith set a Nov. 10 deadline for Ms. Napolitano to produce the information.

The United States is the most ethnically and culturally integrated society the world has ever known. One of this country’s strengths has always been its heritage as a “melting pot” that welcomes those who want to come to the country, learn its language and partake of the American Dream. In a crass political move, leftists are looking to reward those who ignore the laws with an eventual amnesty designed to swell the Democratic voting ranks. This comes at a great cost to society.

Far from progressive, Mr. Obama’s leadership is a throwback to 19th century Marxism, characterized by the politics of resentment that pits groups against each other - in this case, illegal occupiers against legal Americans. By challenging states attempting to observe immigration laws, the Obama administration hastens the fundamental change that is unmooring the nation from its founding principles. That’s not the change voters wanted when they sent Barack to the White House.