November 19, 2013

Obama to WSJ: Let's do piecemeal immigration deal!

From the transcript of a new interview between the President and the WSJ editorial board:
SEIB [WSJ Washington Bureau Chief]: Some of the CEOs here had a working group earlier today, the mission of which was to address the question of how do you stay competitive. Interestingly, at least to me, their first priority — first priority was this: immigration reform. The U.S. needs immigration reform to retain talented workers educated in the U.S. and attract talent to the U.S. Immigration reform could provide an instant jolt to the U.S. economy, which we need. I know you agree with that statement, but it’s hard to see that happening right now. You’ve got the Senate off on one track. It’s passed a comprehensive bill the House won’t even agree to take up. Democrats want to do comprehensive reform; Republicans want to do step-by-step reform. It’s a poisonous political atmosphere. Can you make it happen? 
PRESIDENT OBAMA: I am actually optimistic that we’re going to get this done. I’m a — but I am a congenital optimist. I would have to be; I’m named Barack Obama; I ran for president. So the — (laughter) – 
SEIB: And won. 
PRESIDENT OBAMA: And won twice. 
(Laughter.)

Why is that funny?

I mean, other than that the President's repartee seems a little demented? He wants us to know he "won twice"? Is that really not widely known in the circles in which the Chief Executive travels?

Psychology researchers have recorded conversations that included much laughter and then had them transcribed and ... virtually nothing anybody said was actually funny. Most conversational laughter is a sort of fear reflex to disarm uncomfortable situations. If you are the President and have drones and the NSA at your disposal, I guess you get especially boffo laughs all the time.
So look, keep in mind, first of all, that what the CEOs here said is absolutely right. This is a boost to our economy. Everywhere I go, I meet with entrepreneurs and CEOs who say, I’ve got, you know, these terrific folks; they’ve just graduated from Caltech or MIT or Stanford; they’re ready to do business here; some of them have these amazing new ideas that we think we can commercialize, but they’re being dragged back to their home countries, not because they want to go but because the immigration system doesn’t work. 
The good news is that the Senate bill was a bipartisan bill. And we know what the component parts of this are. We’ve got to have strong border security. We’ve got to have better enforcement of existing laws. We’ve got to make sure that we have a legal immigration system that doesn’t cause people to sit in the queue for five years, 10 years, 15 years, in some cases 20 years. We should want to immediately say to young people who we’ve helped to educate in this country, you want to stay? We want you here. 
And we do have to deal with about 11 million folks who are in this country, most of them just seeking opportunity. They did break the law by coming here or overstaying their visa. And they’ve got to earn their way out of the shadows, pay a fine, learn English, get to the back of the line, pay their back taxes, but giving them a mechanisms whereby they can get right by our society. And that’s reflected in the Senate bill. 
Now, I actually think that there are a number of House Republicans, including Paul Ryan, I think, if you ask him about it, who agree with that. 
They’re suspicious of comprehensive bills, but you know what? If they want to chop that thing up into five pieces, as long as all five pieces get done, I don’t care what it looks like, as long as it’s actually delivering on those core values that we talk about. 
SEIB: Democrats have been pretty suspicious that all five pieces, once it’s done – 
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, and — and — and — and that’s the problem. I mean, the key is — you know, what we don’t want to do is simply carve out one piece of it — let’s say, agricultural jobs, which are important, but is easier, frankly, or the high-skilled jobs that many in your audience here would immediately want to do — but leave behind some of the tougher stuff that still needs to get done. We — we’re not going to have a situation in which 11 million people are still living in the shadows and potentially getting deported on an ongoing basis. 
So we’re going to have to do it all. In my conversations with Republicans, I actually think the divide is not that wide. So what we just have to do is find a pathway where Republicans in the House in particular feel comfortable enough about process that they can go ahead and meet us. 
This, by the way, Gerry (sp), I think is a good example of something that’s been striking me about our politics for a while. When you go to other countries, the political divisions are so much more stark and wider; here in America, the difference between Democrats and Republicans — we’re fighting inside the 40-yard line, maybe –

I'll say.

38 comments:

Auntie Analogue said...


President Obama sez: "We’ve got to have strong border security. We’ve got to have better enforcement of existing laws."

Well, Mr. President, those are YOUR jobs. Why have you not been doing them? Why have you, in fact, not completed the border fence that was legislated several years ago? Why have you ordered ICE not to deport illegal aliens according to existing laws? Why have you done everything you could do - and not done everything you should have been doing - to see to it that our existing laws are not enforced?

The gall of our Dear Rulers - on both sides of the aisle (in between the 40 yard lines!) - is simply astounding.

Matthew said...

"I meet with entrepreneurs and CEOs who say, I’ve got, you know, these terrific folks; they’ve just graduated from Caltech or MIT or Stanford; they’re ready to do business here; some of them have these amazing new ideas that we think we can commercialize, but they’re being dragged back to their home countries, not because they want to go but because the immigration system doesn’t work."

He leads with the "best and brightest" argument, because he and the rest of the open borders lobby know it's the only part of their argument that *may* make a lick of sense. We'll set aside the question of whether importing 200,000 more STEM workers a year will completely destroy any incentive American students have to major in those fields.

If it does make sense to import lots of STEM grads, and if the argument for their admission really is so compelling, then it really comes down to a matter of compromise. What are you willing to give up to get all these budding Einsteins through the door? Fewer refugees? Fewer illegals? Fewer diversity lottery visas? Fewer family reunification immigrants?

The answers to those questions, in order, are: no, no, no, and no.

It's of pressing importance to get these STEM workers into our country, but they won't yield jack shit to do it. The only immigration "reform" they'll accept is reform that means "more, more, more." Obama and his Marxist allies will not accept an immigration bill that results in fewer immigrants, or even one that holds immigration constant but reallocates the visas.


"The good news is that the Senate bill was a bipartisan bill."

No, it wasn't. 100% of Democrats voted for the bill, and 70% of Republicans voted against. Getting 30% of Republicans to vote for your bill does not make it "bipartisan," especially when many of the Republican assholes who voted for it - Hatch, Flake, McCain, and Rubio, among others - all told the voters during their last election bids that they would oppose amnesty.


"We’ve got to make sure that we have a legal immigration system that doesn’t cause people to sit in the queue for five years, 10 years, 15 years, in some cases 20 years."

This is a common complaint about our current immigration system. We already have an extremely high rate of legal immigration, but even then we don't allow in as many people each year as want to come. That means we can either make them reapply each year, or we can let them wait in line (the real line - the one outside the country).


"We should want to immediately say to young people who we’ve helped to educate in this country, you want to stay?"

Sure. What we should do is hand over our immigration policy, the keys to our country, to our corrupt, overpriced, grade-inflated higher education system. That won't lead to fraud. Not at all...

Cail Corishev said...

"I meet with entrepreneurs and CEOs who say, I’ve got, you know, these terrific folks; they’ve just graduated from Caltech or MIT or Stanford; they’re ready to do business here; some of them have these amazing new ideas that we think we can commercialize, but they’re being dragged back to their home countries, not because they want to go but because the immigration system doesn’t work."

It's too bad we don't have some way for people in different countries to communicate and share ideas and work for each other. If we could somehow connect computers together, people could talk to each other, even share documents from anywhere in the world. These brilliant foreign products of our tax-funded educational system (which supposedly can't teach our own kids anything useful) could work from their own countries, sell us their ideas, and use their productivity to make their own countries better. That way, returning to their own countries wouldn't have to cut them off from using their talents for profit in the modern world.

Someone ought to develop something like that: an international network of computers. We could call it the Internetwork, or something like that.

wren said...

I think Obama likes to joke that Americans are too racist to elect someone named Barack Obama to president.

That is what he finds funny.

I think.

I guess the joke is on us.

notsaying said...

None of this computes.

Either we are a great country and the richest country in the world, or we're not.

A great country of over 300 million people cannot have lack of enough immigrants -- of any kind, shape or form - as its #1 concern.

These people can keep self-reinforcing the groupthink until the cows come home.

What they claim makes no sense.

Unless, of course, they are willing to say we are not a great country anymore, that we can't cope on our own and need outsiders to prop us up.

That admission would open up all kinds of thoughts to explore, such as why would the smartest people in the world come here and want to stay, if we were not a great country.

notsaying said...

If all these companies want is people from top 25 schools, then why do they keep saying "give green cards to ALL tech MS and PhD grades?

If they only want the people from the top 25, then why do they beg that all the people from Engineering School #302 also be allowed to stay?

Titus Didius Tacitus said...

wren: "I think Obama likes to joke that Americans are too racist to elect someone named Barack Obama to president."

Right. He's mentioned that before.

Also: ...just weeks after taking office, Obama said, "There was justifiable pride on the part of the country that we had taken a step to move us beyond some of the searing legacies of racial discrimination."

Then he joked, "But that lasted about a day."

So there's a continuing nervous laughter about the brutal, searing racism of white Americans. It has not gone away. And what is fearful and makes one tense can occasion the release of laughter.

What releases the tension is a happy, triumphant laughter: they are racist, especially against me, but I won anyway.. twice!

(How great is Barack Obama!? Great enough to triumph over the searing legacies of racial discrimination... twice!)

That joke is never getting old.

Dave Pinsen said...

Someone has to do the jobs Americans won't do, like trying to blow up Times Square.

Dave Pinsen said...

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that Walmart's new DC store got nearly 50 applications for every job opening it posted.

Anonymous said...

When you go to other countries, the political divisions are so much more stark and wider; here in America, the difference between Democrats and Republicans — we’re fighting inside the 40-yard line, maybe...

Isn't this the problem, that America is practically a single-party state? There is no real organized opposition here at this time. It's that simple.

Anonymous said...

If all these companies want is people from top 25 schools, then why do they keep saying "give green cards to ALL tech MS and PhD grades?

If all these companies want is people from top 25 schools, then why do we get 11 million Mexican peasants along with them?

A Working Class American said...

it is funny because generally to run for president you have to have a short, american sounding name--bush, clinton, romney, dole, gore, etc.

Barack Obama is not american sounding, but foreign sounding, and also obama sounds like osama, a figure who is much hated in america because he was supposedly involved in the airplane-crash bombing of the world trade center buildings (which were located in NYC).

So he defied conventional wisdom regarding presidential candidate names, and he even won.

So, yes, the line is funny...and so is my witty and understated repartee....right?

A Working Class American said...

notsaying said...

If all these companies want is people from top 25 schools, then why do they keep saying "give green cards to ALL tech MS and PhD grades?

If they only want the people from the top 25, then why do they beg that all the people from Engineering School #302 also be allowed to stay?


==============


because Capital wants all the hardworking, intelligent workers and consumers it can get. Just like all ranchers want more livestock. If you go to a pig farmer with some pigs and say "here are some free pigs," do you think he is going to turn you down? He wants them pigs! And Capital wants hardworking, intelligent livestock. Young, intelligent healthy humans from overseas are just what Capital wants. Maybe they won't get jobs as scientists, but, hey, Capital needs ditch diggers, too.


The USA is a livestock operation.

You are either either livestock or a livestock owner.

Now, squeal, boy!

Rhee! Rhee!

You sure do got a purty mouth...

Anonymous said...

I think I am all for an immigration reform that closes the Southern Border, deports all illegals and green card immigrants on welfare/SSI, fixes birthright citizenship to not apply to illegals, tourists and others not under American jurisdiction, and gives open admission to European, Asian, and South American graduates of top-100 American Universities/Colleges.

Ummm ... oh ... wait, that is NOT what is actually in the bill?

Okay, since recent immigration for the past 50 years has been favoritistic to equatorial 3rd worlders, how about a 50 year time-out for more of them, and instead a 50 year period where only people from north of latitude 35 degrees north, or south of 35 degrees south are allowed in?

What, you mean that is not what is on offer either?

Anonymous said...

Ala Arnie Duncan, most immigrants or would-be immigrants aren't brilliant, even in the high tech field. By definitions, geniuses are rare. These CEOs probably just want cheaper wages.

Anonymous said...

It would be nice if these chaps simply stated their agenda and asked for approval through the democratic process.

But they would not receive approval if they stated plainly their real aims, hence they must control the debate to prevent open discussion.

GC

DJF said...

To Auntie Analogue, don’t forget the non-enforcement of tracking visa users, its been the law since 1986 to track them leaving the country and they still don’t. Up to 40% of illegals don’t sneak across a border, they walk thru customs with a visa and then just stay.


Cail Corishev said “””Someone ought to develop something like that: an international network of computers. We could call it the Internetwork, or something like that.”””’

If we had such a system wouldn’t companies export their manufacturing, design work even their customer services to cheaper countries?????. Oops wait they already do that :)

Anonymous said...

Well, I would say even in immigrant California the whites are responsible for a lot of small businesses that don't show up in the stats. That's why I don't trust the job creation stats for the lower skilled jobs because Obama wants to legalized millions of Mexicans. Many of the Asians with bucks come in on the investment Vista. They might live here part time and have a business overseas this doesn't show up on the stats.

Thomas Aquinas said...

Don't worry Steve! Canada proved IQ doesn't matter (http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/iq-myth-debunked-by-canadian-researchers-1.1264832). Just open them borders up to everyone and anyone and watch everything progress rapidly. I'm thinking we'll move most of the Sudan to Silicon Valley, let Pakistan run D.C. and put some Australian Aborigines in charge of our Nuclear Power Plants.

josh said...

World War T news:

A special announcement and moment of silence at the public school where I teach in honer of "Transgender Day of Remembrance".

Remember kids, whitey is still out there randomly offing people for no good reason. You could be next! White must be destroyed!

Anonymous said...

"Psychology researchers have recorded conversations that included much laughter and then had them transcribed and ... virtually nothing anybody said was actually funny. . . . If you are the President and have drones and the NSA at your disposal, I guess you get especially boffo laughs all the time."

Or a talk show host. Studio audiences laugh out loud at just about anything they think MAY have been MEANT TO BE funny.

PC Makes You Stupid said...

They're laughing at what's not said. It's like how you resort to sarcasm when you censor yourself. The difference is that they're laughing at people like you, whereas you make a clown of yourself.

d..... said...

Obama is lucky in his enemies.

The latest is conflating Obama's supposed omission of the word "God" from his recitation of the Gettysburg address, with his skipping of the ceremony to honor the 150th anniversary of the speech.

The first was some Ken Burns thing that traced the evolution of the speech through various iterations. Obama did the non-God version. It's a non-issue.

The second issue has some merit, but I think the ceremony was slightly crass and I don't blame him for skipping it. The actor dressed up as Lincoln was cringeworthy.

Scalia swore in a bunch of immigrants. Remind me, he's the most conservative of the Supremes?

Kocour said...

When you go to other countries, the political divisions are so much more stark and wider;

Other countries like Austria where they speak Austrian? Like Sweden where the Social Democrats ruled for half a century after WWII? Obama's actual knowledge of other countries or history in general is pitiful.

Anonymous said...

The Modern Corporate Harem

http://heartiste.wordpress.com/2013/11/19/the-modern-corporate-harem/

Ichabod Crane said...

>I mean, other than that the President's repartee
>seems a little demented? He wants us to know he
>"won twice"? Is that really not widely known in the
>circles in which the Chief Executive travels?

He is tickled that he won, and he feels everyone else must also be tickled. Poor me, with my weird name that must infuriate all the racists, I won! I won! Ha ha ha! He expects everyone else to experience the triumph vicariously, and to feel heady delight.

Anonymous said...

I’ve got, you know, these terrific folks; they’ve just graduated from Caltech or MIT or Stanford.

I don't know about the other two, but MIT has about 10% foreign enrollment and graduates about 1,000 undergrads/year. Let's say half of the foreign students would like to remain in the US. That's about 50 per year. Times 3 for the other schools mentioned - that's 150. I'm fine with that, as long as the other 11 million illegal aliens are deported to their native countries.

Overall, Obama talks to people as if they are really stupid and can't see thru his every obvious lack of good faith. It's just stunning how he gets away with this.

Anonymous said...

Contra to what BO said the gap between Democrats and Republicans on most issues seems as wide or wider than in Europe. What is different is that in Europe and Australia they are allowing themselves to discuss immigration openly and honestly in a way that is not happening in North America.

AKAHorace

Anonymous said...

Is it really the case that American lose money on educating foreign students?

The insinuation of Obama and the CEOs is that we've sunk such a huge investment into these foreign students, so we might as well get our money's worth.

I would have to imagine, though, that educating foreign students is profitable for American universities at the margin. I doubt a Chinese student imposes costs on Harvard in excess of the six-figure tuition. So even if we lose these precious little snowflakes that we have labored to educate, we still come out ahead.

(Also, notwithstanding that I'm the son of a skilled South Asian immigrant myself, the last thing Americans need is further ethnic and cultural discontinuity between the ruling class and the people. That can only benefit the transnational cultural left.)

Anonymous said...

"We’ve got to have better enforcement of existing laws...And we do have to deal with about 11 million folks who are in this country, most of them just seeking opportunity....giving them a mechanisms whereby they can get right by our society."

This is so blatantly contradictory, it can only be called a lie. How can the man talk about enforcing existing law and then, moments later, claim that it's a moral and economic imperative to avoid enforcing existing law?

It's mind-boggling how transparently deceitful our leaders are when they talk about border security. They never give any indication that they understand why citizens would even want to have a secure border. Indeed, they celebrate people who have violated our immigration laws, and demand that they be allowed to retain the fruits of doing so.

And then they turn around and say, "Yeah, we'll secure the border and build your dang fences." Why? To stop the people they claim are vital to our economy? To stop wonderful folks from putting food on their families?

Enforcement of immigration laws is decidedly not the logical conclusion of our leaders' stated beliefs about immigration.

They're bald-faced liars, and anyone who believes them is a fool. To borrow a line from Zoolander, "Doesn't anyone notice this?! I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!"

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wC8y0HoopVE)

Anonymous said...

We — we’re not going to have a situation in which 11 million people are still living in the shadows and potentially getting deported on an ongoing basis.  -- Obama

Oh – how sweet – another politically motivated victimization screed.

The problem with Obama is that he is dishonest - his “spoken goodness” is a ruse - his legislation is always a bait and switch operation.

Clearly, Obama is NOT interested in fixing this sorry situation - he is interested in 11,000,000 new votes!

p.s. It’s always that extra thousand pages that get you - the devil is in those thousand pages of detail.

E. Rekshun said...

@Anon: "Studio audiences laugh out loud at just about anything they think MAY have been MEANT TO BE funny."

Or when the White male is ridiculed.

Harry Baldwin said...

Studio audiences laugh out loud at just about anything they think MAY have been MEANT TO BE funny.

Don't be so sure. I was in the studio audience of the David Letterman Show once and watched the show that night. Whenever audience reaction had been tepid and half-hearted, it was "sweetened" and amplified so it sounded uproarious for broadcast.

Luke Lea said...

Obama says, "I mean, the key is — you know, what we don’t want to do is simply carve out one piece of it — let’s say, agricultural jobs, which are important, but is easier, frankly, or the high-skilled jobs that many in your audience here would immediately want to do — but leave behind some of the tougher stuff that still needs to get done. We — we’re not going to have a situation in which 11 million people are still living in the shadows . . ."

Of course if he would just credibly commit to a bullet-proof enforcement mechanism (say, a biometric Social Security card for US citizens and biometric green cards for all legal immigrants, both cards to be fully in place inside of two years) then that would make accepting those 11 million already here a lot easier. They would be the ones who applied for a card, could show they had been living in the country for some time (with children born here for example), but who could not produce documentation to show they had immigrated legally. Does anyone doubt that once the ID cards were in place there would be political support for taking care of those left standing?

Of course not. The problem is that they (ie, the "donor class" that bankrolls both parties) don't want illegal immigration to stop. In fact they are quite happy enough with the (non-functioning) system the way it is right now. The status quo is good enough for them.

Or at least this is the conclusion I am gradually coming to.

Luke Lea said...

Why doesn't the President have an obligation to faithfully execute the laws? Shouldn't that be written into the Presidential oath of office? It would take a constitutional amendment but it sounds like one that might pass.

Anonymous said...

Making some comment about his name seems to be one of POTUS's go-to "jokes" (along with: "Kanye West is a jackass;" and "We can't just go to the casinos in Vegas every weekend")--viz. from the WSJ article on the Medal of Freedom ceremony today:

Mr. Obama, in introducing Ms. Winfrey, mentioned that she had once gotten a piece of dubious advice to change her name to something that might sound more accessible to audiences: "Susie."

Mr. Obama quipped that he had once gotten similar advice.

Stilicho said...

Diversity: it's why we can't have nice things.

Anonymous said...

"If they only want the people from the top 25, then why do they beg that all the people from Engineering School #302 also be allowed to stay?" - Because they are chinese boxes. All the noise about the top 25 is merely a set of squiggles, that they probably don't even understand, to try to get the rest of us to agree to their end goal.