Last Friday, announcing his amnesty by executive decree, President Obama said:
This is a temporary stop-gap measure that let’s us focus our resources wisely while giving a degree of relief and hope to talented, driven, patriotic young people.
Makes me wonder if there is any group of foreigners who would like to move here that Obama is not willing to describe as “talented” and “driven” who would not be absolutely exited about the opportunity to become Americans. Yet I feel slanted because the executive amnesty was an obviously a ploy to psych up the Mexican vote.
In 2011, the majority of H1B visa seekers were Indian, who, together with other Asian immigrants, now comprise the largest demographic of newcomers. Considering their educational level, it’s hard to make an argument that they are not talented and driven. DH talks to Indian Americans at work (super anecdotal, I know). They say that the reason Indians like to come to the United States is for the property rights and the rule of law. Turns out, in India when one tries to buy land from the government, the government takes the money, but the transfer of property sometimes takes years. Here, on the other hand, once an immigrant gets established, buying a home is easy.
The rule of law was something that we coveted in the Soviet Union. There was precious little of that behind the Iron Curtain, of course, and before the Bolshevik Revolution, Russia was governed by men, not laws. The destiny of the imperial subjects were decided by whims of the lords and the bureaucrats. It’s not much different today under Putin, and the circumstances of the Russian people are unlikely to change for the better with the coming ascent of the newest reincarnation of The Black Hundreds.*
In May 2011, a record 22% of adult Russians told posters that they wish to immigrate. In an article that made rounds among Russian speakers worldwide, 25-year-old Viktoria explained that she wants to leave because of her countrymen’s lack of respect for the individual “bordering” on fascism. Bordering? Another blogger countered that the Russian dream of immigration will not end well because Russians themselves will not survive in a land governed by laws, not dough. (X-rated Russian expressions in his post, but pretty darn funny). So please note, I’m not advocating absorbing 22% of population of the Russian Federation into this country because in a mass migration of this kind, half of these new green card holders will be proud America-hating Russian nationalists somehow affiliated with one pogrom movement or another. But, given how Russian speakers trend Republican at the moment, nobody is interested in letting us here in large numbers anyway.
Those who come to the American shores from Russia and India are highly educated. The peasants from Cancun or Guatemala, on the other hand, might think of the US as the land of milk and honey, but might lack the sophistication to make the connection between prosperity and the rule of law. Something tells me that Barack Obama is hoping that they don’t, which is kind of racist.
In the US, everyone is supposed to bound by law, including the President who can’t pick and chose which laws to enforce. Yet Obama decided to bypass Congress and grant Amnesty to Mexicans. If the President does not wish to obey the law in this instance, who is to say that we are not going to find ourselves at his mercy in other circumstances. Without the checks and balances designed by the Founders, it is all to easy for an executive to send some goons to your house and take it away. This is not why we come here.
*While I was looking for a link to The Black Hundreds, I found a hipster doofus band from Lincoln, NE under that very name. Another hipster doofus band, The Black Hundred, is located in Melbourne, Australia. I suppose since the name Joy Division was taken decades ago, hipsters are reduced to naming themselves after semi-obscure (unless you are a Russian or a Jew) pogromshchiks.