I believe America has an absolute right to protect its borders. To have an open border policy would be a violation of our democracy. It would mean that people who don’t pay taxes and contribute to our healthcare system would have just about all the rights Americans have without contributing to our way of life. An open door policy would render any vote on immigration reform meaningless if we can’t control our boarders.
However – and there is a big however here. What the republicans in the house did last night just highlights why they lost the presidency and may lose it again in 2016. The economy is horrible; Obamacare is a failure; and our foreign policy is a disaster, and yet President Obama won a second term. It seems the only word the republicans know when it comes to immigration reform is “deportation”. It is absolutely amazing to me that the bill they passed in the house yesterday mainly focuses on deportation. They just can’t seem to figure out how to secure our boarders and be humane at the same time. The fact is if Mitt Romney received the same votes from the Hispanic community than President Bush did in 2004 he would be president today. However, it’s pretty difficult to win the Hispanic vote when your policy is to deport grandma!
So what do we do about the recent inflow of children coming through our southern border?
We should take care of them in a humane manner. It really is that simple.
Don’t miss understand me. I didn’t say the children should stay in the U.S. forever. I simply said we must take care of them in a humane manner – that’s where our focus should be.
In my opinion, this what I feel we should do:
a. Demand reparations from the countries that are allowing the children to cross into the United States. That's right, bill them for the cost. If they don’t pay up we should implement sanctions against those countries.
b. Speed up the due process hearings and return those children who can be safely returned to their country. However, those who have a genuine fear of returning to their country should be permitted to file for asylum.
c. Do a better job in securing our borders so we do not have to constantly revisit this problem.
d. Finally, Americans must also accept responsibility for this problem. The drug problem in the U.S. is feeding the corruption and the violence in South America. If we focused more on the illegal drugs in this country rather than the illegal immigrant, I think we would be far better off. Many of these children are fleeing drug infested countries filled with violence and corruption. We have to do a better job in controlling the flow of illegal drugs coming from our southern border and demand enforcement from foreign governments. But let’s not kid ourselves - it is the appetite for illegal drugs in our own country that is playing a major role in this problem.
The above suggestions I’ve outlined are reasonable. Unfortunately, most of the house republicans are not reasonable when it comes to immigration. Not only does their bill focus mainly on deportation, but it also targets children who have been in this country for years. This is coming from a party that says it believes in family values. It’s amazing to me how the house republicans can figure out how to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. The way they are acting, they may not even win the senate in the midterm elections. Incredible!
Instead the republicans spend their time closing down the government and suing the president. You don’t win elections by holding grandma’s social security check hostage; you don’t win elections by threatening to deport grandma; you don’t win elections by wasting the people’s time by suing the president; and you don’t win elections by simply throwing red meat to your constituents.
What the house republicans did yesterday was shameful. They voted on a bill they knew didn’t have a chance in hell of passing the senate, and then they went on vacation – unbelievable.
Did I say the democrats are any better? Of course not. But if we don’t learn how to work together to solve the real problems this country faces, I just might want to be deported!
So yes, Americans have an absolute right to secure and protect its borders.
William A. Streppone