On Immigration, the President Wants an Issue, Not a Solution

President Barack Obama (photo via Wikimedia Commons)
President Barack Obama (photo via Wikimedia Commons)

On Tuesday, a Federal Court of Appeals ruled against lifting an injunction against President Obama’s executive order to halt deportations. This latest ruling represents a small portion of a much larger problem with the President’s handling of immigration policy.

When it comes to immigration, the President clearly wants an issue, not a solution. Sadly, the President chose to play with the hopes and aspirations of millions of undocumented immigrants for political purposes, instead of trying to work with the new Congress to find a real and permanent solution to our immigration problems.

This unfortunate circumstance, however, presents Republicans with an extraordinary opportunity to show that they are compassionate and capable of rising above the President’s political games. If they decide to deal with the issue constructively and pass legislation to begin fixing our dysfunctional immigration system, rather than sitting on their hands out of sheer frustration with the President’s disregard for the constitutional process, they can show the American people that they have the leadership to accomplish what Democrats have so far only talked about.

As Republicans move forward, however, they should understand that they do not have only two options — Obama’s executive amnesty, on one hand, or Romney’s self-deportation, on the other. However, this is a false choice. There is a third way — a conservative way — to approach immigration that is based on the rule of law and on the realization that immigration is good for the country and for our economy.

Last week, American Principles in Action released our five point plan for immigration reform. Our plan is an example of how immigration reform can be pursued in a common-sense manner that is still in line with conservative principles. Republicans in congress need to lead on the issue of immigration, and stop allowing the President to shape the narrative.

Alfonso Aguilar is the executive director of American Principles in Action’s Latino Partnership.