In an ocean of contradictions, doublespeak, and outright lies, the Obama administration will never top what it did to working families on November 20, 2014. Are we watching some sort of Machiavellian grand plan unfold? Was the White House so obsessed with winning its amnesty war with Republicans that it never considered that it was setting up working families and undocumented immigrants for a fight that can only lead to discrimination and prejudice?
Legal or illegal, working families are losers
There is no reason for Barack Obama to make life better for low income families. Their failure to thrive gives Democrats a reason to feign concern. When the president made this remark, he probably didn’t spend much time thinking about how executive amnesty would cheat all working families, whether they belong in the U.S. or not:
Families who enter our country the right way and play by the rules watch others flout the rules.¹
Now he is going to reward flouting the rules. How is America going to respond? For some, coming out of the shadows with work permits will invite discrimination and prejudice from citizens and businesses fed up with demands to throw working families under the bus for the sake of those who, like the president, ignore our laws. Others, like the politicians who run sanctuary city Chicago, will step up the plate to make sure that whatever taxes can buy will be available to our new temporary Americans.
Out of the shadows means taking advantage without fear
Chicago was gearing up for the executive amnesty surge long before Obama made his speech. Mayor Rahm Emanuel confirmed the city’s commitment to “making Chicago the gold standard that achieves record numbers of relief”² as illegal immigration champion and House member Luis Gutierrez got the word out:
For the past few months the Emanuel Administration has been working with immigration leaders from community based organizations, legal service providers, colleges and universities, as well as labor, government, faith-based and business institutions to discuss how the City of Chicago would prepare to help tens of thousands of people take advantage of administrative relief.³
What does “take advantage” mean? Working families will have more competition for a host of scarce necessities that the undocumented may not have taken advantage of as they slunk around behind the scenes.
Let’s start with jobs. With cities and states taking up the call to raise the minimum wage, employers have a host of options. They can pay the bare minimum because they know they can hire illegals with work permits who will be willing to settle for it. They could decide not to hire amnestied immigrants, knowing that Obama’s order could be cancelled or ruled illegal at any time and force them to rehire. They could even do the right thing and opt in favor of hiring citizens instead of applicants brandishing work permits, which will be met with charges of racism, prejudice, and discrimination. There are plenty of organizations banging the immigrants’ rights drum that have already taken up the call.
Health care? Low income families compete for health care services. When amnestied immigrants come out of the shadows and don’t have to worry about being found out during a trip to a clinic or emergency room, the availability of health services for low earners will be impacted. Illegals won’t qualify for federal benefits, but they will compete for the same providers used by the Medicaid eligible.
Housing? Low income housing isn’t always easy to come by. When out of the shadows means no worry over filling out rental applications there will be more competition for cheap places to live.
Social services? Just because you don’t qualify for federal benefits does not mean you don’t qualify for other social services. If Obama is right and illegals have been hiding out of fear of discovery, what will happen when we erase that fear? Strained social services will be stretched even further, to the detriment of American citizens in need.
Will discrimination and prejudice be the answer?
Are we being set up by the left to charge Americans with all manner of discrimination and prejudice when citizens push back because their country has been pushed too far? Ask Labor Secretary Tom Perez, who talks about Obama’s basic bargain with low income families while his boss sells them down the river:
He believes more strongly than ever that no one who works full-time should have to raise a family in poverty. He believes that the current rate of $7.25 per hour undermines our basic bargain, failing to reward hard work with a fair wage.4
The Department of Labor has always been explicit about labor rights and minimum wage protections: illegals get them. Now we have cities and states jumping on the bandwagon and raising their minimum wage rates apart from the federal mandate. Fast food workers who demand an ever higher living wage will have only the Americanism they oppose to protect them when work permits start being brandished in the hiring lines.
Who will benefit most from discrimination and prejudice?
Legal protections will make it easier to go after American citizens and businesses for discrimination. Obama’s order isn’t special. The Senate’s comprehensive bill, S.744, would have resulted in the same thing.
Executive amnesty begs to be met with prejudice, so if the measure survives the time will come to add a few enhancements to Obama’s fiat to make sure illegals can get jobs as easily with their work permits as they could with their counterfeit IDs. If you listen hard, you can already hear immigration and labor lawyers rubbing their hands together while laughing Democrats slap them on the back.