Remember the early 1990s when “family values” became a mantra for politicians seeking to return to the core values of our nation?
Vice President Dan Quayle once chided the TV character “Murphy Brown” for having a child out of wedlock. The debate was joined.
Two decades later, the term “family values” has taken a new turn. It became part of President Barack Obama’s pitch to fix a broken immigration system.
The president’s pitch is nearly perfect.
Obama went on national TV today to tell the nation he would sign an executive order that keeps families together. Mom and Dad may have entered the nation illegally, but brought their children along when they were small — or perhaps bore their children in this country, an act that gave the kids instant U.S. citizenship.
The president’s order defers the deportation of some 5 million illegal immigrants. His aim, among other things, is to keep families together. Obama told the nation that it’s impractical to deport all those who came here illegally. Must we deport their children? And what about those children who are citizens simply by virtue of their birth in the United States of America?
This won’t deter Republicans from challenging the president. The new Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner are vowing unspecified actions to fight the president’s action.
Well, let’s have that fight and let’s allow the public to decide whether it’s right to separate families, or to uproot entire families after they’ve found a better life in the Land of Opportunity.