What Michelle Obama SHOULD have said …

The 7-year-old told the first lady during a visit last week to New Hampshire Estates Elementary School in the Washington, D.C., suburbs that her mother had said President Obama was “taking everybody away that doesn’t have papers.”

The girl then adding that her mother “doesn’t have papers.” Mrs. Obama tried to reassure her that the president was working to solve the immigration problem and “everybody’s got to work together in Congress to make sure that that happens.”

Mrs. Obama’s response should have made these points:

– Parents are responsible for following laws

– Parents are responsible for teaching their children that we are a nation of laws

– Parents without papers are not legally living in the United States; they are breaking the law

That doesn’t necessarily make the parent a bad person, but it does make the parent a criminal.   “Criminal” means “breaking the law.”

Criminals are those people who choose not to follow laws.  Adults are responsible for the choices they make.  If they make choices that hurt their families, they are still responsible for the choices they make.

America welcomes immigrants.  Many, if not most, Americans trace their ancestry to immigrants within just a few generations.  Immigrants bring incredible diversity to a melting-pot nation.

As it was, Mrs. Obama told that little girl that everything would be okay; that people would be rewarded for breaking the law; and that Congress would overlook all kinds of lawbreaking if it got them votes.

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. What you think she should have said is obviously your opinion, but you’re misrepresenting the facts when you say that “As it was, Mrs. Obama told that little girl that everything would be okay; that people would be rewarded for breaking the law; and that Congress would overlook all kinds of lawbreaking if it got them votes.”

    She didn’t say anything of the sort. She acknowledged that there was a problem (“Mrs. Obama tried to reassure her that the president was working to solve the immigration problem”), and that people in Congress need to work on it (and “everybody’s got to work together in Congress to make sure that that happens.”). Nowhere in that answer did she say that it would be okay, or that she thinks people should be rewarded for breaking the law, or any opinion about what our congresspeople are overlooking in favor of votes. You inserted that connotation all on your own.

  2. Ayup. The “immigration problem” is that illegals are to be deported.

    So, “solving the problem” involves changing things. What does that say. C’mon, use some logic.

    • Okay, first off, people themselves cannot be illegal. They can illegally be in a geographical location, but they cannot themselves be illegal. So if you’d like to be logical, say “people who are in America illegally” instead of “illegals”.

      Second, logically speaking, “illegals are to be deported” is not a problem, it is a proposed solution. The problem I think you’re referring to is that illegals are NOT being deported.

      ““solving the problem” involves changing things” Right. And Mrs. Obama said that Congress needs to work together to change things (i.e., start deporting people who are here illegally, if that’s how Congress chooses to solve the problem). Still, I don’t understand how her comment insinuates the meaning that you mentioned above. How does ‘we need to fix this problem’ = ‘people should be rewarded for breaking the law’?

  3. Semantics. The point was clear. You phrase things your way …

    The girl was whining that her mom didn’t have any papers and was going to have to go away. That’s deported, no matter your semantics. (Of course, since this made mainstream news, there’s one more person who will NOT be deported, thus will have been rewarded for breaking the law. “It’s for the children”) This is not the first time the news picks up on an illegal immigrant, and then that person gets to stay.

    Illegals, by definition, are willing to break American law. It’s the very first thing they do when they step on American soil, and those who remain indicate a willingness to continue to do so.

    Ms. Obama should have told the child that it is sad her mother placed her into this situation, and that if she wanted an answer to her question, she should ask her mother why she thought it was okay to break the law.

    • I’m sorry, I figured semantics was important to someone who implored me to use logic.

      Like I said before, you’re entitled to your opinion on what you think Mrs. Obama should have said. But, again, that’s not what I have a problem with. What I had a problem with was your insertion of false meaning into her words and the resultant ‘spin’ you put on her comments.

      Your insistence on following the law intrigues me. Am I to assume that you have never, in your life, gone even 1 mph over the speed limit? Never, in your life, jaywalked across the street? I admit to having done both of these things. But I am not labeled as “speeder” or “jaywalker”, as to replace of my own identity. I am told that I was speeding, or I was jaywalking. A cop has never pulled me over and said, “you are a speeder”. S/he says, “you were speeding”.

      Hopefully you can see the big difference. “you are a speeder”/”you are an illegal” implies that the person has no other identity or “being” other than as a speeder or an illegal. “You were speeding” / “you are in America illegally”, on the other hand, more accurately describes the situation because the act (of speeding, or being in America) is illegal, not the person.

      Look at the way you described “illegals”. You said they are “willing to break American law”. That is an action, not a state of being. “It’s the very first thing they do when they step on American soil” – here you are saying that they do something, rather than are something.

      So, this goes beyond mere semantics. By characterizing these individuals as having only one identity (being illegal), you are distancing yourself from them which makes it easier to demonize (and, in turn, harder to empathize with) their actions. It is easy to say that immigration is a black and white issue when you do not see the people involved as unique individuals with histories and experiences and fears and dreams.

  4. Thank you for putting words in my mouth. I’m so very glad you are willing to spend your time describing my opinions and beliefs.

    You don’t like what I say. OK. No skin off my nose.

    So I’ll keep expecting these people to dream to come to America LEGALLY.


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