Obama thinks so. In his Twitter town hall yesterday he said,
We’ve got an immigration system that’s broken right now, where too many folks are breaking the law but also our laws make it too hard for talented people to contribute and be part of our society. And we’ve always been a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. And so we need comprehensive immigration reform, part of which would allow entrepreneurs and high-skilled individuals to stay here -- because we want to be attracting that talent here.
Tell that to the 100 immigrants who took their oath during a naturalization ceremony at Mount Vernon on July 4. Or to the 77 who took the oath at Monticello the same day. And to the 680,000 who are sworn in year round:
Each year, about 680,000 U.S. immigrants from all corners of the globe take the Oath of Allegiance, in which they promise to "support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies," says the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which conducts naturalization ceremonies year-round.
"Too hard"? I don't think so. If these people to which he refers are so "talented" then they can figure out how to go through proper channels.
Victor Davis Hanson points out:
The old liberal ideal of a racially blind, melting-pot society where the law is applied equally across the board has descended into the new postmodern practice of enforcing many laws only selectively — and based entirely on politics, matters of race, ethnic chauvinism, and national origin.And Hanson has plenty of questions:
Why does the present administration oppose new anti-illegal-immigration laws in Arizona and Georgia that are designed to enhance existing federal law — but not so-called “sanctuary city” statutes that in some municipalities deliberately contravene federal immigration law?Read the whole thing.
Hanson points out that the people who go through the legal channels are bound to be resentful of those who don't:
In the old immigration narrative of the 1960s and 1970s, affluent, profit-minded white American employers often exploited cheap workers from Mexico. But that matrix has been largely superseded. So-called whites are no longer a majority in California, where large Asian and African-American populations often object to illegal arrivals from Mexico who cut in front of the legal-immigration line, tax social services, and raise costs to the detriment of American citizens.
Yet Obama contends that our laws are "too hard." If "too many folks are breaking the law" you don't just change the law - you enforce it. If "too many people" started robbing banks because the economy is too tough, would you change the law and open the banks? If "too many people" found the laws restricting drug smuggling "too hard" would you declare amnesty for drug dealers?
He's right about one thing: "We've always been a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants." So you enforce the laws. You don't abandon them. It's good enough for the 680,000 plus people each year who get it done.
Update: In a semi-related issue, here's the Memeorandum thread on Obama's statement about White House salaries in the Twitter Town Hall.