‘The Audacity Of’ Obama’s Plan For ‘Fundamentally Transforming’ America Via Amnesty

Neil Munro | White House Correspondent

President Barack Obama knows his planned amnesty is unpopular and he knows it threatens the wages and communities of many Americans — including many African-Americans — who backed him in 2008 and 2012.

He announced that he knew it back in 2006 when he was one of the senators who killed off President George W. Bush’s amnesty bill.

“This huge influx of mostly low-skill workers provides some benefits to the economy as a whole… [but] it also threatens to depress further the wages of blue-collar Americans,” he wrote in the 2006 book, “The Audacity of Hope.”

But Obama has a more audacious goal than Bush’s “any-willing-worker” plan for a free market in labor.

Obama is pushing his 2014 amnesty because he thinks it will help bind Latinos to the Democratic Party, just as President Lyndon Baines Johnson captured the African-American vote for the Democratic Party.

“As a young organizer, I often worked with Latino leaders on issues that affected both black and brown residents, from failing schools to illegal dumping to unimmunized children,” he wrote.

“In my mind, at least, the fates of black and brown were to be perpetually intertwined, the cornerstone of a coalition that could help America live up to its promise,” he said.

But he knew the migrants were cutting Americans wages and were winning jobs once held by blacks and whites.

By 2000, “tensions between blacks and Latinos in Chicago had started to surface,” he wrote. “Everywhere, it seemed, Mexican and Central American workers came to dominate low-wage work that had once gone to blacks — as waiters and busboys, as hotel maids and as bellmen — and made inroads in the construction trades that had long excluded black labor. Blacks began to grumble and feel threatened; they wondered if once again they were about to be passed over by those who’d just arrived.”

So Obama’s dream of a black-brown alliance found its literary symbol in a Latino girl he says he met in Chicago.

“I attended a naturalization workshop at St. Pius Church in Pilsen, sponsored by Congressman Luis Gutierrez… At one point a young girl, seven or eight, came up to me, her parents standing behind her, and asked me for an autograph; she was studying government in school, she said, and would show it to her class… And as I watched Cristina translate my words into Spanish for them, I was reminded that America has nothing to fear from these newcomers, that they have come here for the same reason that families came here 150 years ago.”

“Ultimately the danger to our way of life is not that we will be overrun by those who do not look like us or do not yet speak our language. The danger will come if we fail to recognize the humanity of Cristina and her family— if we withhold from them the rights and opportunities that we take for granted, and tolerate the hypocrisy of a servant class in our midst.”

“That’s not the future I want for Cristina, I said to myself as I watched her and her family wave good-bye. That’s not the future I want for my daughters. Their America will be more dizzying in its diversity, its culture more polyglot.”

“Cristina will learn about Rosa Parks and understand that the life of a black seamstress speaks to her own,” he wrote.

“The issues my girls and Cristina confront may lack the stark moral clarity of a segregated bus, but in one form or another their generation will surely be tested — just as Mrs. Parks was tested and the Freedom Riders were tested, just as we are all tested — by those voices that would divide us and have us turn on each other.”

“And when they are tested in that way, I hope Cristina and my daughters will have all read about the history of this country and will recognize they have been given something precious.”

The precious opportunity for another political crusade will trump all the pain, chaos and turmoil Obama described and admitted: “America is big enough to accommodate all their dreams,” he said.

Maybe not, if GOP leader simply treat Latinos like other Americans.

Numerous polls show that Americans don’t want mass immigration, and lopsidedly oppose his immigration policies. On Nov. 4. the voters sent four, and likely one more, Democratic senators who backed his 2013 immigration bill out the Senate’s back door.

Naturally, many second and third-generation Latinos worry about mass immigration and don’t want to be in Obama’s black-brown coalition.

When prodded to express solidarity with other Latinos, a huge majority of Latinos say immigration is important for the Latino community.

Like their fellow Americans, most Latino Americans are worried about the economy, jobs, education for their kids and health care.

Only 36 percent said in a Pew survey they won’t vote for politicians who oppose more immigration. And only 14 percent of Hispanics and 9 percent of all likely voters said they strongly approve of how Obama is handling immigration issues, according to a September poll of 1,605 likely voters by Paragon Insights. Thirty-nine percent of likely voters strongly oppose his immigration policy.

Worse, 36 percent of Latinos said they would be much more likely to support GOP political candidates who declare that “the American people are right to be concerned about their jobs and wages [in immigration debates], and elected officials should put the needs of American workers first.” Only 18 percent of Latinos said they would be much less likely to vote for a GOP candidate who puts Americans first.

Among white voters, who are roughly 70 percent of the electorate, the corresponding numbers were 51 percent and six percent.

So without major public support, Obama is trying to muscle a newly elected Congress aside and build his coalition by handing out at least four million work-permits to illegal immigrants. Those work permits will anchor the illegals in the United States, and wrap their families and communities into the Democratic coalition.

He’s handing out those four million work-permits even though Congress rejected his demand for an amnesty, even though he lost the 2013-14 public debate on immigration, even though he got crushed in the 2014 midterms and even though four million of his fellow Americans will begin looking for their first jobs in a bad economy this year.

He’s pushing the amnesty even though many recent polls show the public strongly oppose his plans by at least two to one.

He’s also planning to hand out the four million work permits even though the nation already accepts one million immigrants and 650,000 non-agricultural guest-workers each year.

He’s giving out the four million permits even though he’s already given “DACA” work permits to 600,000 younger illegals.

And he has promised work permits to roughly 50,000 of the unimmunized Central American adults who crossed the border with roughly 130,000 unimmunized youths and children since 2011. (RELATED: Obama’s Border Policy Fueled Epidemic, Evidence Shows )

He’s also promised work permits to 100,000 spouses of guest workers, and to 110,000 Haitians.

Ten million of his fellow Americans are unemployed; only one-in-two young black men have full-time jobs; wages are flat because so many people are unemployed; and many college graduates are taking minimum-wage jobs. Obama is also going to provide work-permits to perhaps 500,000 foreign university graduates, providing they compete for the professional jobs sought by the 800,000 debt-burdened American graduates who will graduate next summer.

READ some of the most revealing passages in Obama’s “Audacity of Hope” book.

In 1983, Latino support was critical in the election of Chicago’s first black mayor, Harold Washington. That support was reciprocated, as Washington helped elect a generation of young, progressive Latinos to the Chicago city council and the Illinois state legislature… as a young organizer, I often worked with Latino leaders on issues that affected both black and brown residents, from failing schools to illegal dumping to unimmunized children.

In my mind, at least, the fates of black and brown were to be perpetually intertwined, the cornerstone of a coalition that could help America live up to its promise.

[By 2000,] tensions between blacks and Latinos in Chicago had started to surface… Everywhere, it seemed, Mexican and Central American workers came to dominate low-wage work that had once gone to blacks — as waiters and busboys, as hotel maids and as bellmen — and made inroads in the construction trades that had long excluded black labor. Blacks began to grumble and feel threatened; they wondered if once again they were about to be passed over by those who’d just arrived.

I shouldn’t exaggerate the schism… Still, there’s no denying that many blacks share the same anxieties as many whites about the wave of illegal immigration flooding our southern border— a sense that what’s happening now is fundamentally different from what has gone on before. Not all these fears are irrational. The number of immigrants added to the labor force every year is of a magnitude not seen in this country for over a century. If this huge influx of mostly low-skill workers provides some benefits to the economy as a whole — especially by keeping our workforce young, in contrast to an increasingly geriatric Europe and Japan — it also threatens to depress further the wages of blue-collar Americans.

For most Americans, though, concerns over illegal immigration go deeper than worries about economic displacement and are more subtle than simple racism… Immigrants are entering as a result of a porous border rather than any systematic government policy; Mexico’s proximity, as well as the desperate poverty of so many of its people, suggests the possibility that border crossing cannot even be slowed, much less stopped. Satellites, calling cards, and wire transfers, as well as the sheer size of the burgeoning Latino market, make it easier for today’s immigrant to maintain linguistic and cultural ties to the land of his or her birth… Native-born Americans suspect that it is they, and not the immigrant, who are being forced to adapt. In this way, the immigration debate comes to signify not a loss of jobs but a loss of sovereignty, just one more example — like September 11, avian flu, computer viruses, and factories moving to China — that America seems unable to control its own destiny.

It was in this volatile atmosphere — with strong passions on both sides of the debate — that the U.S. Senate considered a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the spring of 2006.

Under the leadership of Ted Kennedy and John McCain, the Senate crafted a compromise bill…. [that] created a long, eleven-year process under which many of them could earn their citizenship.

But with the public in a sour mood, their fears and anxieties fed daily by Lou Dobbs and talk radio hosts around the country, I can’t say I’m surprised that the compromise bill has been stalled in the House ever since it passed out of the Senate.

And if I’m honest with myself, I must admit that I’m not entirely immune to such nativist sentiments. When I see Mexican flags waved at proimmigration demonstrations, I sometimes feel a flush of patriotic resentment. When I’m forced to use a translator to communicate with the guy fixing my car, I feel a certain frustration.

I attended a naturalization workshop at St. Pius Church in Pilsen, sponsored by Congressman Luis Gutierrez… At one point a young girl, seven or eight, came up to me, her parents standing behind her, and asked me for an autograph; she was studying government in school, she said, and would show it to her class… And as I watched Cristina translate my words into Spanish for them, I was reminded that America has nothing to fear from these newcomers, that they have come here for the same reason that families came here 150 years ago.

Ultimately the danger to our way of life is not that we will be overrun by those who do not look like us or do not yet speak our language. The danger will come if we fail to recognize the humanity of Cristina and her family— if we withhold from them the rights and opportunities that we take for granted, and tolerate the hypocrisy of a servant class in our midst.

That’s not the future I want for Cristina, I said to myself as I watched her and her family wave good-bye. That’s not the future I want for my daughters. Their America will be more dizzying in its diversity, its culture more polyglot. My daughters will learn Spanish and be the better for it. Cristina will learn about Rosa Parks and understand that the life of a black seamstress speaks to her own. The issues my girls and Cristina confront may lack the stark moral clarity of a segregated bus, but in one form or another their generation will surely be tested — just as Mrs. Parks was tested and the Freedom Riders were tested, just as we are all tested — by those voices that would divide us and have us turn on each other.

And when they are tested in that way, I hope Cristina and my daughters will have all read about the history of this country and will recognize they have been given something precious.

America is big enough to accommodate all their dreams.

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