On Friday’s “Special Report” on the Fox News Channel, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer offered a scathing rebuke of President Barack Obama’s unilateral immigration policy actions.
According to the Post columnist, Obama’s justification for acting, which is to bring in high skill labor, fails to meet the definition of “comprehensive,” which he said was irrelevant in dealing with the crisis at the southern border in stemming the flow of illegal Central American youth.
“I think it’s completely undeniable,” Krauthammer said. “The president unilaterally decided to override the meaning and letter of the immigration laws and essentially to grant asylum and amnesty to young illegal immigrants. The message is received in Central America. It’s not exactly received correctly, but obviously it’s been received. That’s why we have this amazing wave crashing against our shores, that if you’re young and come to America you’re going to stay. In fact it’s true 90 percent of these kids are never going home. Everybody understands that. The word that’s used now, they are being ‘processed.’ That means they are being sent to relatives all over the interior of America and they are never going home. So actually it’s a correct message.”
“But what the president is talking today about I want to keep attracting the best and brightest from beyond our shores, he’s completely disconnected from reality,” he continued. “He’s talking about his legislation that is totally unrelated to this inundation from the south. If you’re worried about the best and brightest, we know what that is. It’s extending the visas allowing work permits or residents for smart engineers or entrepreneurs from around the world in our universities, Ph.D.’s, and doubling, tripling, making it easier for them to say. If you proposed that rather than so called comprehensive, which involves all kinds of other stuff which is controversial, if you proposed only the best and the brightest, the kind of thing that Canada and Australia already have, it would be approved quickly. But he’s not doing that. He’s making that hostage to the amnesty program he wants for all the illegal immigrants in the country, and it is totally irrelevant when it comes to stemming the tide of those coming from Central America.”
Krauthammer’s statement drew a rebuttal from his co-panelist Juan Williams, who argued it would do more than Krauthammer said.
Partial transcript as follows:
KRAUTHAMMER: If he passed the law today he wants to pass it would have zero effect.
WILLIAMS: That’s not true. It would have tremendous effect because we have 10 to 12 million illegal immigrants in the country. And part of that problem is people who overstay visas, people who fly in here. We need to fix that problem. I think everybody should agree on that.
WILLIAMS: Hang on. With regard to best and brightest —
KRAUTHAMMER: It’s not going to stop the wave of illegal immigrants from Central America.
WILLIAMS: There’s a wave of children right now, there’s net minus migration people trying to sneaking across, we’re talking about a refugee crisis, a human crisis. What I was going say about the best and brightest is big companies, corporations, chamber of commerce, are all saying we’re not getting the ability to keep those best and brightest and it has to be part of comprehensive reform.
KRAUTHAMMER: Juan, comprehensive reform is a way of saying amnesty and legalization.
WILLIAMS: That’s talk radio rhetoric.
KRAUTHAMMER: Of course it means that. It doesn’t mean anything else. Let me assume that’s a good idea, it’s a humanitarian idea. It’s a lovely idea. But even though those who say that have to admit the fact, the undeniable fact that if you grant amnesty, as we granted amnesty in ’86, of course it’s a magnet to other people in Central America the rest of the world to come here illegally because it tells them if you stay here, succeed in staying, you’ll get amnesty.
WILLIAMS: We are changing the laws. We have more security. The walls, the amount of money we’re investing in that kind of security you’re talking about is unprecedented.
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor