Immigration is in the news again, but are all sides actually talking about the same things?
Those on the left see immigration one way, those on the right another. Some on the left see millions of potential future Democratic voters and illegality is irrelevant. Others appeal to the “humanity” of it all. The right sees things as legal or illegal — people wanting to access our opportunities to eventually become Americans or those who come but have no intention of assimilating, and in the meantime access government financial aid.
With all the talk about DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) right now, we should remember in 2010 President Barack Obama spoke out against the idea, before in 2012 writing the executive order for it, overriding Congress’s responsibility. All President Donald Trump is saying now is, halt to Obama’s executive order, and give Congress six months to fix it.
In the past, Congress and every president (even Obama) have stopped, adjusted and reworked immigration policy, including the number of people allowed from different parts of the world. These facts of history became irrelevant when Trump became president and pledged to make his own changes. Suddenly every action he proposed was declared unprecedented, unconstitutional by immigration activists and rogue federal judges who never actually ruled on points of law but rather what they felt Trump meant when he said things during his campaign about Muslims.
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Setting the stage for our current immigration crisis is the fact that the Obama administration in 2009 said it would not enforce immigration law. The illegal flow of immigrants, which did not start under Obama, continued unabated.
Our legal immigration system has been broken for decades. It needs to be fixed, but agreement on anything reasonable may be impossible because of the entrenched positions.
Immigration is a very complex issue and arguments that we are a nation of immigrants and have always welcomed the downtrodden don’t explain what is happening now. These arguments do not justify the influx of people who are in our country illegally.
Why do people want to come to America and not go to Venezuela, Mexico, Turkey, India or China? People come here because of our liberty, our freedoms, our opportunity, our welcoming character, and yes, our rule of law. The vast majority come here to create a better life for themselves and their family through the myriad of opportunities our country provides. Most come here to work.
We should welcome as many people as we can, people who want to contribute positively to our country, but we have the legal responsibility to ourselves to manage all arrivals as we see fit. We should also expect those wanting to come here to respect us and our laws. There is a legal path to citizenship. Those who want to exploit our system can turn around and go home. Why should these folks be allowed in?
Mike Fullilove of Long Beach writes about local, state and national issues from a conservative perspective.