By Jordan Buie
Since the days of President Barack Obama’s campaign, he vowed to tackle health care and financial reform, pass a wide-ranging stimulus package and push for a new energy policy. So far he has actively pursued these goals.
However, one area where Obama seemed to fall behind was immigration reform. When he did give a speech in late June he said Congress did not currently hold the power to make any large-scale changes without wide-spread political support. What Obama must have meant from these statements is that he felt he could not find support for his views on immigration from within the country, and instead he would have to look for outside help.
When Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed a controversial immigration law in April, saying all immigrants in Arizona must carry their alien registration documents and police have the right to question anyone they think may be in the United States illegally, Obama immediately spoke out against the law.
When his voice was not heard, Obama went to the United Nations, forgoing the sovereignty the United States has long held over its domestic policies, to submit the bill as a violation of human rights. Although Obama’s actions allow him to score political points within his own party and gain U.N. and international support, they have not been well-received by the country as a whole.
A recent Rasmussen poll showed that 61 percent of Americans would back Arizona-style laws for their own states, and only 28 percent supported a challenging of the law.
In effect, Obama is trying to gain U.N. support for his views on immigration that will put pressure on Arizona to reverse its policies. These actions undercut America’s image as a self-governing nation abroad, and place the Obama administration’s policy procedures in line with those of European countries.
The greatest tragedy of Obama’s decision to seek outside help on issues he has felt uncomfortable dealing with, or would cost him votes, is who will now be weighing in on the issue. By submitting the Arizona Law to the U.N. Human Rights Council, human rights abusers such as China, Libya, Russia and Saudi Arabia will have the right to pass judgment over the United States.