White House.org: “Our nation’s immigration system is broken. Fixing it is an economic and national security imperative.”
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) during a radio interview in North Dakota in August 2014: “We have a broken immigration system. Broken in hundreds of different ways.”
Former President George W. Bush speaking at the Bush Library in July of 2013: “The laws governing the immigration system aren’t working; the system is broken.”
The phrase, “Our immigration system is broken” has become a cliché. A cliché is a substitute for rigorous thought.
How is it broken? If, as Boehner says, it is broken in “hundreds of different ways,” just name one.
If, as President Bush says, the laws aren’t working please tell us how. Specifically, what isn’t working?
If, as the White House says, changing our laws is a national security imperative, tell us specifically what part of our current law is posing a security risk.
A counter-protestor holds a sign supporting immigration outside a US Border Patrol facility in Murrieta during an anti-immigration protest in Murrieta, California, on July 7, 2014. Protestors are opposing the arrival of buses carrying undocumented women and children migrants for processing at the Murrieta Border Patrol Station. Deportations of illegal migrants crossing the US border are being stepped up, a top Obama administration official said on Sunday, defending the White House's handling of a flood of undocumented children. AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck
How in the world can we write a law to correct a problem that they can’t define? Or won’t define.
I assume that the proponents of fixing the broken system will not argue that it is too difficult to get into our country. Over 300,000 came across our southern border in the last four months.
I assume they will not argue that once here it is too difficult to stay. About 12 million people have proven that not to be the case.
I assume that they will not argue that those who are here illegally are suffering indignities in the “shadows” of our cities. President Barack Obama has asked Congress for $3.7 billion to care for them; $1.8 billion of that is for housing.
No, they will just keep repeating the cliché that the system is broken and sooner or later we will believe them. Then they will have the political cover to anoint 12 million or so more citizens and we will begin to understand what this is all about.
For all of the sympathetic concerns about fixing the broken system and getting them “out of the shadows,” this is really about populating new plantations.
Republicans hope to deliver them to the Chamber of Commerce plantation for cheap labor. Democrats want them on the Democrat plantation for dependable votes.
For most of the history of our nation immigration was treated as serious public policy. It was important that those who came to our shores wanted, not only to share in the American dream, but also to be Americans. They learned our language and our founding documents and principles so that they could be assimilated into our communities.
Demonstrator Alex Ferguson holds a sign reading 'No Vacancy, Try The White House' during a protest near the entrance to the US Border Patrol facility in Murrieta, California on July 7, 2014. The protestors are opposing the arrival of buses carrying women and children undocument migrants for proecessing at the Murrieta Border Patrol Station. Deportations of illegal migrants crossing the US border are being stepped up, a top Obama adminstration official said on Sunday, defending the White House's handling of a flood of undocumented children. AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck
From 1915 to 1964 we allowed no immigration at all. It was determined that the nation needed time for the large numbers of immigrants who had arrived at the end of the 19th century to be assimilated.
During those 50 years we fought three wars, survived a depression and enjoyed a sustained period of economic growth.
We saw the numbers of people in poverty decline between 1948 and 1964 by over 50 percent in general and by over two-thirds among blacks. We saw the largest immigration of blacks into management positions in history.
All of that happened without a new immigrant gaining citizenship. Those who tell you today that welcoming new immigrants is necessary for our economic growth are either ignorant or lying.
The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 was strongly promoted by and managed on the floor of the Senate by Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.). It was the first time we shaped immigration policy through a political prism rather than the public good. For nearly 200 years immigrants to America came from Europe. They were part of the community of people from which the first Americans issued. After 1965 they came from Africa, Asia and Latin America.
The National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), the National People's Action and the National Day Labor Organizing Network (NDLON) hold a rally calling for the end of deportations of illegal immigrants in front of the White House in Washington,DC on April 28, 2014. The US Senate passed comprehensive immigration reform last June, but the issue is languishing this year, with skittish Republicans reluctant to jeopardize their chance to gain full control of Congress. AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM
Within 20 years our immigration system was broken again. The Simpson-Mazzoli Act of 1986 reformed our system by providing for a guest worker program, penalties for employers hiring illegals, fines for those here illegally and provided amnesty to about three million illegal immigrants. Border enforcement was promised in the future.
Another 20 years have passed. We are told that we need a better guest worker program, penalties for employers who hire illegals, fines for those here illegally and a path to citizenship for 12 million illegal immigrants. We are assured that border enforcement will follow.
This time it’s going to work!
I offer a modest proposal. Why don’t we return to what worked in the past? We allowed no immigration for 50 years. Let’s try that again. We can focus on assimilating those already here.
In the meantime we might build a fence on our southern border. This effort has been ridiculed for years, but we have some history on this. The fence from San Diego to the east works. The fence between Gaza and Israel has dramatically reduced individual terrorist episodes across that border.
Even our State Department seems to approve of fencing to protect borders. They recently released a bid for fencing to enhance security between two nations. Unfortunately they plan for the fence to be constructed on the border between Crimea and Ukraine.
I wonder if the Department of State has shared with the Department of Homeland Security how highly they think of fencing between nations that have dissimilar interests?
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