Senator Grassley Should Take down the Lightning Rod

Senator Grassley Should Take down the Lightning Rod


by Paul Deaton

Senator Grassley has indicated that
he is a member of the party of “no,” this time offering no solution on
what to do about over 6 million undocumented immigrants who have been in
the United States for more than ten years.

Senator Chuck Grassley had gotten into the habit of a one word answer about immigration in his town hall meetings: “amnesty.” Maybe two words were more explicit, “no amnesty.” Maybe it is because of the coming election, or perhaps with the prospect of the Congress taking up immigration reform this year, the senior senator from Iowa has begun to expand on his position and his first response was to put up the lightning rod of “amnesty.” On his official web site, Senator Grassley outlines his position, which is basically, “amnesty for illegal immigrants is a non-starter.” Once again, Senator Grassley has indicated that he is a member of the party of “no,” this time offering no solution on what to do about over 6 million undocumented immigrants who have been in the United States for more than ten years.

In what has become a common practice, Grassley mentions the “word around Washington.” The word is that President Obama “may go around Congress and grant de facto amnesty to millions of undocumented immigrants residing in the United States.” As the author suggested when the senator used this language with regard to the New START Treaty in Williamsburg earlier this year, he should let these Washington words go out the other ear.

If Senator Grassley truly believes the administration would grant amnesty to millions of people without action by the Congress this indicates that senescence is setting in. Nonetheless, Senator Grassley, along with six other senators sent a letter to President Obama expressing concern “about the potential expansion of deferred action or parole for a large illegal population.”

What is in it for Senator Grassley when he invokes the anonymous speakers of the “word around Washington” to create doubt that President Obama would follow a constitutional process in dealing with these long term residents of the United States? In the author’s opinion, he is representing the interests and intent of the Senate Republican caucus to put up a lightning rod regarding immigration reform to discredit the efforts of the administration and delay action. One suspects that when the caucus was drawing straws in the cloak room to determine who would obstruct what administration initiative, Senator Grassley drew the immigration straw.

Undocumented immigrants in the United States represent a real problem that requires real solutions. It is time for Senator Grassley and the rest of his colleagues to take down the lightning rods intended to stir up chatter about immigration. I know that the Washington crowd just voted Senator Grassley as hard working. Maybe he should quit worrying about Washington, roll up his sleeves and work with the Senate majority towards resolution of issue of the millions of undocumented immigrants who on any given day call the United States home.

~Paul
Deaton is a native Iowan living in rural Johnson County and weekend
editor of Blog for Iowa.
E-mail Paul
Deaton

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