DACA: Dreams Deferred, But Not For Long

Perhaps as a prelude to the “Border Surge” President Obama recently honored some “Dreamers” who have, in his estimation, made good. These are young people who have achieved semi legal status under DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival). This was the President’s response to the longstanding failure to pass of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors, known as the Dream Act, which would allow a “pathway to citizenship” to illegal arrivals who graduate US high schools, or have served in the military. The bill, in one form or another, has been kicking around since 2001.

Rather than go into the many controversies surrounding this and the ongoing “Border Crisis,” I would like to look at the “Dreamers” Mr. Obama chose to honor, and the venue in which he did so.  Instead of standing in the Rose Garden with young people who are working two jobs while going to community college, running a small business, becoming firefighters or cops, the president honored a group of activists, some already deployed, others in preparation, as they work towards “social change,” change, in this case, meaning many more like themselves.

What’s wrong with social change, one might ask. After all, in The U.S. we have seen massive social change in the last few decades, with Black Americans taking their rightful place as full citizens, women free to work and compete with men in the marketplace, Gays no longer harassed and entrapped by law enforcement, and much more.

Change is good, right?

Google that phrase and you get 813,000,000 his in 31 seconds.

It is a very popular phrase, and like most such bromides, is at best fatuous, and at worst, dangerous. There were more than a few people in 1917 who did not appreciate the change in Russia, and seven decades of terror and misery proved them to be quite right. France still celebrates the massive change of 1789, but prefers not to speak to the century of instability that followed.

And those mercury laden ”green” light bulbs we are forced to use instead of the venerable incandescent, really, really suck. Government enforced social change has a sorry history.

What of the end of slavery, votes for women, and the Civil Rights movement, one might ask?

I would posit that these laws lagged the actual change, merely codifying what had occurred, and reflected the moral consensus at the time. Today’s activist governments, working with a network of academics, donors, and various non state actors, work to force social change into the consensus direction of this informal coalition, and that is towards centralization, multiculturalism, and collective action. In working towards these ends they will push policies clearly unwanted by the public. Comprehensive Immigration Reform, or Amnesty, is one such, and those honored by the President are to a greater or lesser extent, all involved in advancing this unprecedented legal, social, and demographic change.

The White House’s Champions of Change program shows up as a blog on the main White house page, and I find no entries before 2011. I was unable to determine how it is funded or staffed, nor how winners are selected.

Comprising the ten DACA awardees are 5 Mexican nationals, and one each from Colombia, India, Morocco and the Philippines. This spread is close to the immigration demographics cited in a January 2013 Pew Research report, which has total immigration since the 1965 reform, as 50% Hispanic, and 30% Asian.

Among the ten are an immigration lawyer, students in social studies, as well as a biology major and two others who aspire to medicine. There is one business major, and no engineering or technical majors.  Let’s have a look at our DACA Dreamers. I order them roughly as to my estimate of how heavy hitters they might become in the social change industry.

Sarahi Espinoza

Sarahi Espinoza

Sarahi Espinoza (Mexico), a former drop out, goes to community college, and works with the Girl Scouts of America to encourage youth to complete their educations. Her LinkedIn profile shows her as a member of the Latina Coalition of Silicon Valley. Ms Espinoza, a very attractive young woman, has a web page she calls sarahtv. It’s a bit ragged and seems aimed towards qualifying as an extra-curricular for college education, and maybe raising a little cash.

Hector Salamanca

      Hector Salamanca

Hector Salamanca Arroz (Mexico)  “…has committed himself to service and advocacy to create social change.”  He is majoring in law, politics and society at Drake University where he was the recipient of a LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) scholarship. Hector aims to be an immigration lawyer.

Rhustie Macelo Valdizino(Phillipines) “…is an active member and core leader at RAISE

rhustie_valdizno

Rhustie MarceloValdizno

(Revolutionizing Asian American Immigrant Stories on the East Coast). A community college student, major unstated,e hopes ne day to be doctor. This is the lightest resume here, but Rustie is gay, which may have put him over the bar.

Dayana Torres

Dayana Elvira Torres

It’s not clear what Dayana Elvira Torres(Colombia) is studying, but she is head of the Mason Dreamers at George Mason University, and has considerable lobbying experience in the immigration field for one so young. She is a recipient of a National Hispanic Recognition Scholarship from the College Board. That’s a new one on me. Do they also have scholarships for Asian geeks?

One of these Dreamers, Anahi Mendoza(Mexico) made the Ivy League, where she is

anahi_mendoza_0

Anahi Mendoza

“..rising senior” at Harvard. Ms. Mendoza is majoring in Social Studies, with a focus on U.S. Immigration Policy and Social Change. I thought Social studies was the dumbed down combination version of what used to be Geography and History, which is bad enough, but at Harvard it looks to be something far worse.

While she is active in “immigrant” causes, Pratishth Khanna(India) has mapped out a clear plan to achieve a medical degree. Miss Khanna may be focusing on her career, but she too is an asset in the “immigrants’ rights” movement. Here she is in an interview posted on the website of SAALT (South Asia Americans Leading Together)  is committed to social justice.

If you could ask one question of President Obama, what would it be?

I would tell him my story and ask if his was just as hard. I would ask for his advice, given that he is an African American man, I am an undocumented immigrant, and we have both faced serious civil rights challenges. I would want to know how he overcame his challenges and what advice he has for me.

This is just too perfect. If there is any evidence of the president working hard, it hasn’t been

Pratishtha_Khanna

Pratishtha_Khanna

forthcoming. Mr. Obama had family issues, but he has had a comfortable upbringing. The President grew to manhood after all the major Civil rights legislation passed, and flourished in an era of racial opportunities, if not outright preferences. Ms Khanna take her victim hood a step higher for, while Mr Obama in her view achieves victim status by membership in a group that did once suffer oppression, she sees her civil rights having been violated as a consequence of her status, which is in violation of immigration law. Her rights have been violated in that she has not been afforded the full rights that her status by law denies her. While this aspiring medical student is surely harmless, her position is logically no different than a felon, being been stripped of his civil rights, complaining that his rights had been violated.

As is SAALT ,  Mi Familia Vota is part of the social justice nexus.  “…Mi Familia Vota is a national organization working to unite the Latino community and its allies to ensure social and economic justice through increased civic participation.”

Steven Arteaga

Steven Arteaga

Both Stephen Arteaga (Mexico) and Ana Zaragoza (Mexico) are associated with Mi Familia Vota. Arteaga, who mentions no education plans, works there apparently full time, and Zaragoza part time or volunteer as she pursues a degree in Business Studies( Everything is “Studies” these days.). The organization is partnered with many Latino business and advocacy groups, including media powerhouse Univison, The National Council of La Raza, and the venerable LULAC, founded in 1929, and once known for its assimilationist outlook. All work towards open borders, which they see as essential to achieving “social” and “economic” justice.” Michele Malkin has extensively documented Vota Mi Familia’s connection with the hard left and thuggish SEIU.

Ana Zaragoza

Ana Zaragoza

While claiming to be a non partisan 501(c) group, the organization ‘s efforts will benefit only one political party, as this article in the Latino Times explains.

So far, we‘ve seen young people involved with social change, and most planning to make it part of their working lives. Now we move on to someone who has firmly grasped the first rung of the ladder that one day may take her to the heights of the social change economic justice academic/NGO/governmental complex.

Esther Yu Hsi Lee(Taiwan) has an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Middle East

Esther Yu Hsi Lee

Esther Yu Hsi Lee

Studies. Now there are a lot of crazies over there, but one suspects that Ms Lee is well aware that credentialed Islamophilia is highly valued among NGOs and the permanent bureaucracy. She also has Master’s psychology and now works as an Immigration Reporter for ThinkProgress, in Washington D.C. Working for one of the foremost Soros funded online presences, Ms Yee is on her way, proof that East Asians can succeed without studying a lot of science and math.

Next comes a gentleman who is the farthest advanced of those dreamers. Kamal Essaheb(Morrocco) Is an immigration lawyer for the National Immigration Law Center (NILC). Son of a taxi driver, Mr. Esaheb graduate from Fordham and was a Stein Scholar in Public Interest Law. You can be sure that when social change activists speak of the public interest, they don’t mean taxpayers.

When still a law student, as a consequence of the post 9/11 registration, Esaheb had a run in with Immigration. This was somehow resolved, and the young lawyer has since prospered. He married Megan Horn this year on May 14. They were joined in a Muslim ceremony at Manhattan’s Islamic Cultural Center. Shariah law does not require that a woman convert to Islam when marrying a Muslim, unlike the reverse, but it is common and one wonders if Essaheb has effected another small bit of social change here.

Ms Horn, a graduate of Connecticut Wesleyan, and a also a Fordham Law graduate works at a Washington non profit, Farmworker Justice, as a lawyer and policy analyst.

“The bride’s father is a professor of technical communications at Clarkson University in

Kamal Essaheb

Kamal Essaheb

Potsdam. Her mother is a professor of global studies at St. Lawrence University in Canton” There’s that “studies” word again, and “technical communications” sounds a bit highfaluting, and may be just business writing.

In addition to earning the appropriate credentials, and working in an approved field, Kamal Essaheb has now married into the New Class.

So what, you might say? You’re just miffed that the other side is well organized and smarter than your side. And after all, the Ddemocrats have always done well with immigrants, who in time largely moved out of their urban enclaves and into the middle class.

The difference is, this same party and the left academics and activists that now control it have long worked towards, and greatly succeeded in eliminating the notion of assimilation into traditional American culture and society. Rather, they work to enlist these new arrivals in their assault on what where once commonly held notions of Americanism, in the name of both the superior authenticity of non-Anglo societies, and the enumerated – and thus, restricted – rights of collective egalitarianism, as granted by the ruling class.

What will emerge from this is not yet clear, but it will be a far more hierarchal and oligarchic society, and the great mass of immigrants who do not achieve the status of white House dreamers, are those least likely to benefit from it.

Advertisements

Let’s Play…Global Strategic Realignment!

 

wargameUnlike the computer simulation in 1983’s “War Games,” this is a board game, a combination of Risk and Monopoly.  In Risk early and bold moves are essential.  A firm grasp of strategy wins every time; the dice won’t bail you out, unless you’re evenly matched.( I’ve lost every game of Risk I’ve ever played, so why should you read this?)The same is somewhat true with Monopoly, but a bad card early on can set you back hopelessly, or derail what looked to be a winning surge.
It’s pretty clear that the U.S. is distracted, or perhaps largely indifferent to what is going on around the globe.  That goes for the current administration; as to the country’s intelligence services, who knows?

pivot

This nifty 33 page Congressional Research Service position page turned out to e a waste of time as President Obama pivoted somewhere else.

Late in 2011, the Administration announced a strategic realignment, or an intensified focus (accounts vary) de-emphasizing the Middle East and looking to the Pacific. With China continuing to make ir-redentist territorial claims, and given the chronic instability in the Middle East, and its lack of economic significance outside the energy sector, this made a good deal of sense, especially with a background of rising gas and oil production in North America, and great potential elsewhere.

Buttressing such a strategic would require a strong naval and air presence in the region, and a commitment to maximize North American energy production. We’ve seen the opposite.  The indefinite Keystone  XL Pipeline delay, slow permitting for exploration on Federal lands, and crippling EPA regulations on the use of coal for power generation, it’s clear the Obama  Administration, at best, simply does not understand correlation, or worse, suffers from crippling cognitive dissonance. In what the New York Post calls “Obama’s Incredible Shrinking Pacific Pivot,” the President instead places his faith in adherence to international norms.

As to U.S. Naval strength. expert debates rage, and are beyond the non-specialist – this one, at least, but one does get the sense the U.S. is still more than capable. However, the administration seems to have given the Navy little attention, other than the installation of gender neutral heads, and arranging for some of  the fleet to be fueled on algae, at substantial cost.

.
Like so many of Mr. Obama’s pivots, from jobs, to immigration, to gay whatever, and back again, the Pacific pivot in the end is reduced to no more than an interpretative dance move depicting a world that exists only in the CIC’s imagination.

Now, let’s game this.

senkaku

Some of the Senkaku Islands, near Taiwan, in the South China Sea. Picturesque, but it’s about oil and gas.

An administration distracted by midterm elections, border chaos, and perhaps new revelations in ongoing scandals, and fresh ones yet to surface, presents an opening to China, who grab the Spratlys, and if they are feeling particularly bold, the Senkakus.  With Japan moving to a more robust defense doctrine, and the weakest U.S. posture since before the Second World War there will never be a better chance.

Japan and China fight a short naval conflict, with both taking losses, but neither fully committing.  War with China is not an option for the Japanese, who retire with honor intact. VietNam and the Philippines  are chased from the Spratlys.

One of the man atolls in he Spratlys.  Claimed by pretty much everyone around the South China Sea, but china is the big dog

One of the many atolls in the Spratlys. Claimed by pretty much everyone around the South China Sea, but china is the big dog

The U.S. tut tuts like a worried grandmother surrounded by squabbling grandchildren, but it is apparent  American security promises are worthless.  India, which has been in a naval race with China, its navy, offers strategic guarantees to Southeast Asian nations, and acquires bases, with a forward position in the Philippines.  Australia, after initial reluctance, realizes it is far from any other allies, and joins India, in combined naval operations, and provides basing rights.

Does China then make its play for Taiwan?  Amphibious invasions are expensive, bloody, and highly risky affairs. Beijing strikes a deal with Taipei for autonomy within the PRC in return for withdrawal of U.S. forces from the island.

Japan builds a nuclear deterrent, and announces its deployment.  Tokyo abrogates the U.S. Japan security treaty and U. S. forces withdraw.

Where is Europe in all this?  Busy dealing with the rising chaos as migrants pour in, spurred by violence and disruption in the Middle East and Africa as world tensions and currency crises buffet already fragile economies. Nationalist governments rise in Britain, and in newer EU members from the former East Bloc.  Germany is happy to be Moscow’s banker as Russia and China form an entente cordiale.  The U.S. fades from the world scene, as two far lesser powers divide most of Eurasia and dominate its maritime periphery.

frigate

Indian Shivalik class Frigate

India waits, and is riven by dissension over the massive cost of its new hemispheric defense posture.

One of the man atolls in he Spratlys.  Claimed by pretty much everyone around the South China Sea, but china is the big dog

One of the many atolls in the Spratlys. Claimed by pretty much everyone around the South China Sea, but China is the big dog

Latin America continues to be Latin America, with weak institutions and unbalanced economies.  In the South, Brazil dominates, while to the North, the United States, Mexico and Central America are joined in a de facto Anschluss driven not by American power, but migration northwards. Canada realizes that its southern neighbor is lost, and plays itself between China and the Anglosphere as best it can.

In my scenario, China is the precipitating actor. One asks immediately, why would they do it? Are some small scraps of territory and national honor worth the enormous risk?  I have no idea what competing factions within the PRC, in both the party and the military, might militate for or against such aggressive action.

In the light of rational thought, it seems insane.  First it requires absolute confidence that the current administration in Washington would not meet its commitments; next, that the Chinese economy could weather the economic disruption sure to follow its action.  And, as Messrs Obama and Kerry indignantly point out, this is the 21st Century, as they protest Putin’s 20th Century moves in the Ukraine.  Meanwhile, ISIS has has gone all 19th Century in setting up their Islamic state,  and different to the Sudan back then, there is no Kitchener to set things right; not even a Gordon, for that matter.

As we approach the centenary of the Guns of August, it is wise to reflect on how often before, leaders have miscalculated, and to recall the catastrophes that followed.

Now, play the game yourself!

Your wild cards are: Pakistan, Iran, and North Korea.