After suffering through the platitudes, inaccuracies and falsehoods of Barack Obama’s immigration speech last week, I’m not holding my breath to hear what he’ll say about Independence Day.

Inasmuch as I write this before July 4, I’ve no idea what he might have in mind. What I hope is that he keeps his ever-present teleprompters in their closet and spends the day on the golf course, instead of piling his usual pablum on the rest of us.

I don’t know about you, but I’m quite sick of his condescension to the citizens of this country, his outright manipulation of facts and his rewriting of history to suit his political agenda.

Agenda he has, and political it is.

For the man who is president of this country to say that “being an American is not a matter of blood or birth. It’s a matter of faith” illustrates the contempt he holds for the intelligence of American citizens.

Faith has nothing to do with it.

We aren’t American because “we believe.” We’re American because of the legal definitions of that citizenship.

Being an American, in fact, is a matter of birth. If you are born here of citizen parents, you are automatically a citizen. But after that, you must be educated in the obligations and responsibilities of citizenship. Birth isn’t a free pass.

It’s a two-way street, and each citizen’s participation in the functioning of the country enables us all to succeed and survive as a free nation.

You are also an American if you apply for citizenship, complete the paperwork, the investigations and the citizenship classes and tests – and, ultimately, stand and take an oath to leave your old loyalties behind and go forward as a full-fledged American citizen.

These people were legal immigrants who became legal American citizens.

I’m not certain Obama understands the distinctions between them and people who jump ship or steal across our borders, and live, as he put it so quaintly, “in the shadows.”

For some reason – and we know what that is don’t we – Barack Obama wants to reward these shadow dwellers with an easy path to citizenship.

What I want to know is, if these people are all “in the shadows,” why is it they’re so visible in the streets demanding rights they’re not entitled to? Why are they so visible in our workplaces, towns and cities, welfare offices, hospitals, schools and, yes, prisons?

Some shadows!

In his speech, after he declared American citizenship is a matter of faith, Obama went on to say, “It’s a matter of fidelity to the shared values that we all hold so dear.”

Really? Just what are the “shared values” of generations of American citizens and the illegals who stream across our borders every day?

What of those who’ve been here for years and made little or no effort to assimilate into American culture and society? What of the millions who have “American” children but who speak only Spanish (or whatever their native language) in the home and make no effort to learn English?

What of those who work under the table to avoid immigration authorities, pay no taxes, use stolen or fake Social Security numbers, drive illegally without a license and, despite the length of time “in the shadows,” make no effort to get legal?

Why should they? They’ve got a good deal – lots of benefits and not a lot of downside – especially, since they seem to be on the road to getting the whole enchilada. (Sorry. I couldn’t resist.)

Actually, if you think about it, why should they want Obama’s “citizenship” path? It’ll end up with them having to follow all our pesky laws, pay exorbitant taxes and get buried in bureaucratic paperwork.

Does anyone really believe we can require millions of illegals to learn English as one of the requirements for their free citizenship? We can’t even teach decent English to the illegal kids in our schools now.

If past is prologue – and it is – the “path to citizenship” will quickly turn into a landslide of expediency.

Obama takes us for such fools – especially with his repeatedly used figure of 11 million illegals supposedly here now.

Sorry, Barack. The common estimate is 30 million to 40 million. That’s a considerable and formidable difference.

In his speech, Obama foisted the red herring that deportation would not work.

Sorry, Barack. The only people using the word “deportation” are those who argue for amnesty, or to use your jargon, “comprehensive immigration reform.”

No one is asking for that, but thoughtful people agree that if you eliminate the jobs, illegals will go home. They’re here for the work and the money to send back home.

They’re not here burning with the desire for citizenship. If they get that perk, it’s just icing on the cake and will be used to have their extended families at home make the move north.

If we need seasonal labor for agriculture, then set up a program for it. We once had the Bracero program. Why not now?

Oh, forgive me. That might work – so never mind!

Obama keeps talking about our immigrant population being the best and brightest from other countries.

Really? Then why is it Mexico held classes in poor villages teaching people how to make the trek north?

Why are huge numbers of illegals illiterate? Oh yes, they can speak their own language but can’t read and write it. As for English? Forget it!

Obama dumped on Arizona for passing a law (S.B. 1070) that mirrors the federal law that Obama’s feds ignore.

When Obama praises Labor Secretary Hilda Solis for her public-service spots equating citizens and illegals in workplace protection – you have to ask, whose side is she on?

In fact, whose side is he on?

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