On Friday, at the Las Vegas, Nevada high school where then-candidate Barack Obama pivoted to his “Si, Se Puede” (Yes, we can) message in 2008, President Barack Obama celebrated his executive amnesty in which he essentially declared, “Yes, I can.”
After announcing his executive amnesty at the White House on Thursday evening that will give temporary amnesty and work permits to millions of illegal immigrants, Obama went to Del Sol High School in Nevada and became the salesman-in-chief. Obama will reportedly try to “aggressively” sell his executive amnesty in the coming weeks across the country, including next Tuesday in Chicago with Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
He sold his executive overreach by claiming that his executive amnesty was not “amnesty” but actually “accountability” for illegal immigrants.
“It’s not amnesty,” Obama claimed. “What we are offering is accountability.”
Obama also said that illegal immigrants “shouldn’t get rewarded for cutting in line” and conceded that “undocumented workers broke our immigration laws.” He even conceded that “some are dangerous” criminals.
Obama said that since illegal immigrants who qualify for his executive amnesty will have to register with the federal government, pass a background check, pay their fair share of taxes, they will be held “accountable” even though Obama is rewarding them for breaking the country’s immigration laws and treating them differently under the rule of law. All that was still not enough for a heckler who felt Obama did not go big enough on his executive amnesty.
Obama also said America was exceptional not because of its rule of law but because “we welcome” illegal immigrant DREAMers. Obama said he believes in “fairness” and mentioned that the “immigration system feels fundamentally unfair” even though Obama’s executive amnesty rewarded illegal immigrants at the expense of legal immigrants who have been waiting in line for years or decades to come lawfully to the United States.
Obama then declared that he thought “borders mean something” and he believed in “secure borders.” Obama’s own immigration enforcement officials, though, have sued the administration for preventing them from deporting illegal immigrants who are not some of the most violent and dangerous criminals. Obama’s former ICE director, John Sandweg told the Los Angeles Times earlier this year that, “if you are a run-of-the mill immigrant living here illegally, your odds of getting deported are close to zero.” According to the Department of Homeland Security’s own data, “only 0.08% of the nation’s 12 million illegal immigrants were removed from the interior in 2013 who were not convicted criminals or fugitives.” On Friday, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) said that, “if you get past the border, you’re home free under Obama’s orders.”
Obama again said he would not give up on comprehensive amnesty legislation and called for Congress to pass a bill that gives illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship and would reward high-tech companies with more high-tech guest-worker visas even though America has a surplus of high-tech workers.
This was Obama’s third trip to Del Sol High School–and each trip has been significant. Obama’s first trip was after his 2008 primary loss to Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire after Obama won in Iowa. Though Obama lost New Hampshire, his “Yes we can” concession speech may have won him the primary and the general election. “Yes we can” translates to “Si se puede” in Spanish, which Cesar Chavez made famous. And when Obama first visited Del Sol High School in 2008, he road-tested his new stump speech. In 2008 before the Nevada caucuses, Obama said that “change for me is not just rhetoric… It’s been the cause of my life.” And he then declared, “Si, se puede!” Obama’s second trip to the high school was in January of 2013 when he announced his comprehensive amnesty plan that he wanted Congress to pass.