US President Donald Trump returned to what appears to be one of his favorite activities yesterday, deftly trolling his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, using Obama’s own words in 2005.
Back when he was a Senator in 2005, Obama slammed illegal immigrants for disrespecting the rule of law and disregarding those who follow the law and enter the country legally. He had said:
“We all agree on the need to better secure the border, and to punish employers who choose to hire illegal immigrants. We are a generous and welcoming people here in the United States but those who enter the country illegally and those who employ them disrespect the rule of law and they are showing disregard for those following the law.
“We simply cannot allow people to pour into the United States undetected, undocumented, unchecked and circumventing the line of people who are waiting patiently, diligently and lawfully to become immigrants in this country.”
The following year, Obama repeated those strong words in a speech on the Senate floor. He stressed:
“The American people are a welcoming and generous people. But those who enter our country illegally, and those who employ them, disrespect the rule of law. And because we live in an age where terrorists are challenging our borders, we simply cannot allow people to pour into the United States undetected, undocumented, and unchecked. Americans are right to demand better border security and better enforcement of the immigration laws.”
By the time he was in his second term of his presidency, though, Obama’s tune had changed significantly. From exhorting how it is unacceptable that illegal immigrants bend the rule of law, Obama went to state in 2014 that his administration will cherry-pick which illegal immigrants to enforce immigrations laws on:
“Even as we are a nation of immigrants, we’re also a nation of laws. Undocumented workers broke our immigration laws, and I believe that they must be held accountable -– especially those who may be dangerous. That’s why, over the past six years, deportations of criminals are up 80 percent.
“And that’s why we’re going to keep focusing enforcement resources on actual threats to our security. Felons, not families. Criminals, not children. Gang members, not a mom who’s working hard to provide for her kids. We’ll prioritize, just like law enforcement does every day.”
That same year, Obama initiated the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA, policy which allowed as many as five million illegal immigrants who were the parents of citizens or lawful permanent residents to be exempt them from deportation.
Since he announced his intention to contest the last presidential election in 2015 – just a year after Obama initiated the DAPA policy – Donald Trump promised to be hard on illegal immigrants unlike Obama’s light touch approach.
Riding the wave of American dissatisfaction over liberal policies, Trump was carried to victory against establishment favorite Hillary Clinton at the polls and became US President in 2016.
Yesterday, President Trump threw shade at Obama’s flip-flopping views on illegal immigration in a tweet. Sharing a video of Obama’s 2005 speech in which he blasted illegal immigrants for disrespecting the rule of law, Trump jibed: “I agree with President Obama 100%!”