t-willard-fair_web.jpgI hold the office of the president in the highest regard, and I respect Barack Obama as the president of the United States. I also understand that he has a duty to act in what he believes is the best interest of all Americans.

I only wish that some of his self-proclaimed “friends” treated him with the same respect, rather than considering him their personal errand boy.

The advocacy groups that push for amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants and the end of immigration law enforcement think they delivered the White House to Barack Obama. Even though that’s untrue, they think he owes them obedience and defies them at his own risk. Here are a few examples:

• The director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights threatened that “[w]e voted in the millions, and now we’re going to demand progress in the millions.”

• The National Immigration Forum warned that “our new President should not take for granted the support of the immigrant vote, because it is not an unconditional support.”

• The Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) stated that immigrants and Latinos “are the electorate that helped put Obama in power and guess what – one of their top priorities is immigration.”

• Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, a campaign that seeks to win immigration reform, asserted that “immigrants want action on their priorities . . . . and if the party that controls Congress and the White House fails to deliver, it could lose [their] support      . . . .”

• David Bacon of the Nation magazine wrote that “communities with large immigrant populations voted for Barack Obama by huge margins. . . . The constituency that won the election will support a change in direction, and in fact is demanding it.”

These “demands” are outrageous. President Obama needs to focus on the worst economic environment in many decades, not on pandering to the pro-amnesty crowd. Obama needs to act in the best interest of the 12 million unemployed American workers – rather than the interest of the seven million illegal immigrants who have taken jobs from Americans in the U.S.

When the Obama administration didn’t immediately abandon immigration law enforcement in its first weeks in office, the pro-amnesty groups were outraged. Commentator
Roberto Lovato wrote that “Homeland Security [Secretary] Janet Napolitano’s – and Obama’s – version of ‘hope’ and ‘change’ on immigration means pressing down on the undocumented with even more boots and guns . . . .”

They were even more outraged when officers in Washington State, after arresting an illegal immigrant gang member and discovering that he worked illegally at a factory, investigated the employer and arrested 28 more illegal immigrants working there. FIRM proclaimed that “[a]fter so many Latino and New American voters showed up at the polls to vote for Obama, after promises of changes to immigration policy . . . I CANNOT believe the administration is allowing this to happen.” Lovato stated that “Obama and Napolitano’s loud roar of ‘Si se Puede Redar’ (Yes We Can Raid) was received with . . . uniform and vociferous condemnation . . . .”

The National Immigration Forum stated that “[w]hat are Latino and immigrant voters to think?  They turn out in massive numbers and vote for change and yet ‘change we can believe in’ turns out to be ‘business as usual.’”

Napolitano caved in to these objections, and the pro-amnesty groups quickly claimed credit. FIRM went so far as to say that: “[w]e responded and the administration listened.
The day after the Raid, after thousands of calls into the White House and meetings on the Hill, Janet Napolitano called for an investigation into the raid. . . . There you have it folks. We yelled and the administration answered.”

How demeaning is this – they tell the administration to jump and it asks “how high”? President Obama and Secretary Napolitano need to remind everyone that they answer only to the American people, not special interest groups.

What could the future possibly hold?  Unfortunately, only more of the same.  Roberto Lovato predicts that “the immigrant rights movement and growing numbers of Latinos will start politically attacking Obama . . . .” 

Deepak Bhargava, Executive Director of FIRM, stated that “we are not agents of the Obama Administration.”

True enough. But he and others also need to remember that the Obama administration is not a wholly-owned subsidiary of the pro-amnesty movement.
T. Willard Fair is president of the Urban League of Greater Miami.