Tag Archives: illegal immigration

Immigration

Immigration is not a topic I’m at all passionate about. I certainly have my beliefs and opinions on the matter, and I surely have concerns about our nation’s safety, but I’m not overzealous when it comes to immigration policy, illegal immigration, and immigration reform like a majority of politicians and their constituents appear to be at this time. President Trump, during his first State of the Union address, presented a plan for conquering a problem that has been debated for many, many years. Trump’s immigration proposal calls for what he deems as the four “pillars”: constructing a border wall, granting legal status for the so-called “dreamers,” reducing the family-based immigration system, and replacing the lottery system-based Diversity Immigrant Visa Program with a merit-based system.

The consensus amongst politicians seems to be that any immigration reform must start with securing our nation’s borders. I would venture to say most Americans agree with that sentiment. How to go about it is where people tend to branch off in different directions – turning the issue into a politically partisan situation. Republicans are generally in favor of a wall being built across our southern border while the majority of Democrats are opposed. A short decade ago both parties appeared to be united in favor of constructing a barrier between the United States and Mexico. In 2006, an overwhelming, bipartisan Senate majority, which included Chuck Schumer, Hillary Clinton, and then-Illinois Senator Barack Obama, were in favor of building a fence along the border. Today, it’s about building a wall which apparently is one of the sticking points for Democrats.

What good is either a fence or a wall if it can easily be breached? I recently came across a brief article on that very subject. It was just a snippet and buried deep within the pages of The Washington Times, but it was there (1/19/18) nevertheless. Prototypes of President Trump’s proposed wall has been deemed highly effective. Military special forces and U.S Customs and Border Protection special units spent three weeks trying to get past said prototypes without any success. The tactical teams utilized an array of tools and climbing gadgets including torches, saws, and jackhammers, but they found the walls’ astounding heights and durability too difficult to breach. I’m not too enthused about the cost of “the great wall,” but our government has added to our national debt in the past on more frivolous things (e.g., the Iraq War). Hey, isn’t Mexico suppose to pay for the wall anyway?

The President’s second pillar deals with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. I too have some compassion for the “dreamers.” They had no choice when brought here illegally by their parents. However, I feel much differently about the parents – the ones who blatantly broke the law and are totally responsible for putting their children in the predicament they are currently in. This unfortunate situation is neither President Trump’s nor Congress’ fault. I do not understand why illegals (and those avidly lobbying on their behalf) have so much trouble comprehending that breaking the law is wrong.

I’ve been accused of being legalistic…which I proudly am. I believe we have laws for a reason, and if they’re broken there should be consequences. Not all laws are wonderful, and some may not even make all that much sense, but when they are on the books then they need to be obeyed. Therefore, I think illegal immigrants should not be allowed to vote in our elections or receive in-state tuition at our colleges. How many other nations would go to extreme measures, and willingly risk political division, catering to the illegals in their country? Some would surely argue – but that’s what makes our country so special and America so great. I don’t think turning a blind eye to lawbreakers is what makes America great.

President Trump’s remaining two pillars are mostly about reducing the number of immigrants coming into this country and having a better idea of who exactly the ones are being allowed to enter. I view these scaling back efforts as acceptable tweaks to our current immigration policy. Using the proposed merit-based system should take some of the guesswork out of who we’re actually welcoming in to our country. I’m well aware Lady Liberty possesses an inscribed plaque, attached to the spectacular statue’s pedestal, which indeed reads, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses…,” but don’t we already have enough citizens like that legally living here?

It has been reported that Democrats, and even some Republicans, are repulsed by the possibility of Congress finally resolving the immigration problem with President Trump at the helm. Supposedly, their distaste for Trump supersedes passing any immigration reform, and giving their leader a bipartisan victory, even if they would’ve supported such a plan in the past. I hate to imagine any of our elected officials being that vindictive and petty. When giving his State of the Union speech, the President presented his proposition as “a fair compromise” in which “nobody gets everything they want, but where our country gets the critical reforms it needs and must have.” Trump went on to say, “These four pillars represent a down the middle compromise, and one that will create a safe, modern and lawful immigration system.” I concur, although I’m still not at all passionate about the topic of immigration.

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Who Was That Guy?

Who was that guy speaking to Congress and to the American public on Tuesday night? He clearly resembled President Donald Trump, but he appeared to be much different than what we are used to seeing. During his first address to a joint session of Congress, President Trump seemed to be calm, caring, and dare I say…presidential. The normally brash businessman came across as a unifier and even showed glimpses of humility during his hour-long speech. I like that guy.

Early on in his speech President Trump said, “While we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all of its very ugly forms.” And toward the end of his address he said, “We are one people with one destiny. We all bleed the same blood. We all salute the same great American flag. And we all are made by the same God.” Those were some very assuring words from our President (yes, our President). Could this be the so-called “pivot” that at least half of this country has been waiting for since after he won his party’s nomination – after his victory in November – after his inauguration? Probably not.

Trump is who he is, and many of his supporters are fond of his candidness and political incorrectness. The problem is, more often than not, the former reality star does not know when to quit or when to stay silent. For example, just one day prior to his heartfelt speech to Congress, President Trump accused former President Obama of being the mastermind behind the recent protests against the current administration as well as the leaks coming from the White House. During Monday’s interview with Fox News, when asked whether he thought Obama himself was arranging protests, Trump replied, “I think that President Obama is behind it because his people are certainly behind it.”

I believe whenever an allegation is made against someone then the burden of proof is solely on the accuser. (Like our justice system.) Therefore, some evidence must be given to lend credibility to one’s claims or else it’s only senseless chatter. Trump’s accusations against Obama, at this point, fits the bill. There is no evidence of any wrongdoing on the former President’s behalf, and I highly doubt our nation’s first Black President is secretly organizing anything against the current Trump administration. Say what you will about Obama’s policies, but former President Barack Obama is a classy guy.

What wasn’t so classy were the actions of some during President Trump’s first address to Congress. Apparently, some lines had already been drawn before Trump even uttered one word. A handful or so of lady Democrats reportedly dressed in white attire to show their disapproval of Trump’s assumed stance on women’s issues. A couple of the women then repeatedly gave the President a thumbs down, in melodramatic fashion, while he spoke about repealing and replacing Obamacare. It probably didn’t really matter what Trump was talking about because haters are gonna hate.

I always find it a bit humorous, although in a bleak sort of way, observing Congress when the President is speaking. Watching one side of the auditorium stand and applause while the other side sits in disgust is fascinating. Politicians often talk about their concern of a divided nation, especially during this past election, and many of them even offer advice (usually to the other party) as to the best way of unifying the country, yet Congress openly shows their divided state, for the entire world to see, simply by the way they’re seated during the President’s address. This behavior is certainly nothing new, and it goes both ways, but I think our country would best be served if politicians were forced to amalgamate instead of adhering to the status quo. Have any of them ever heard of leading by example?

I agree with many of the things President Trump had to say on Tuesday evening including his take on illegal immigration. I think he asked a legitimate and thought-provoking question of the elected officials seated before him concerning illegal immigration that I too would like to have answered. The President said, “To any in Congress who do not believe we should enforce our laws, I would ask you this one question: What would you say to the American family that loses their jobs, their income, or their loved one because America refused to uphold its laws and defend its borders?” Unfortunately, I think those who need to do the most soul-searching on this issue are the ones who are making a career out of being anti-Trump and have ignorantly lumped illegal immigrants in with legal immigrants.

The two main reasons I consistently hear in defense of not deporting illegals are because it breaks up families, and we need them in our labor force for a healthy economy. The first argument is a valid point because it does break up families. However, it is certainly not the government’s fault. The lawbreaker need only look in the mirror to see who’s to blame for his or her family’s sad situation. I think the solution to the second argument is so simple to solve, but I have not heard one elected official mention anything like it amidst all of the bickering and partisanship in Congress. My common sense approach would be to replace each deported illegal immigrant with a law-abiding person from the waiting list that we’ve heard so much about. If 500 illegals are sent back to where they came from then 500 people that have been doing it the right way, patiently waiting their turn, would be rewarded by being allowed to make the United States their home.

Like it or not, President Trump has softened his stance regarding illegal immigration. He has decided to keep a few aspects of former President Obama’s executive order including the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. I would think Democrats should be thrilled with the President for taking a more centrist position on this issue. Trump is first and foremost a businessman, so it should be of no surprise to anyone that our 45th President tends to view his presidency as a four-year stint (at least) of negotiations. A good businessman (heck, even an average one) knows not to start a negotiation without allowing for a bit of wiggle room.

It appears the travel ban President Trump signed into law via executive order will now be negotiated as well although the courts will likely have the final say in the matter. I’ve been a proponent of Trump’s temporary travel ban, for the sake of our national security, since he proposed the idea during his campaign. There were definitely some flaws found with the President’s order soon after the ban was announced, but some kinks should be expected when implementing something new. Anti-Trump people skewed the President’s order as hateful and racist, but I viewed it as just another way of trying to keep America safe.

Immediately after the President enacted the ban, the media began referring to the Trump administration as “turbulent,” “a mess,” and a “train wreck.” Of course, Trump responded with a little nonsense of his own by insisting his presidency is “a fine tuned machine.” I think the actual truth lies somewhere in between. As hectic as those first couple of days were, I appreciate the fact the President held true to his campaign promise concerning timetables. He publicly berated Obama, while on the campaign trail, for giving advanced notice to our enemies around the world. Nobody can accuse President Trump of doing that in this instance.

I agree with many of the policies our new President has either enacted by way of executive order or has implied during his short time in the Oval Office. However, I respectfully disagree with his plan to increase defense spending by $54 billion. We absolutely should take care of our veterans, but I don’t see the need for making our military bigger, better, and stronger than ever before like the President desires. The United States already has the greatest armed forces in the world without having to waste money that could be used in a more constructive manner: like using those funds to jumpstart the proposed $1 trillion infrastructure plan or having a financial cushion in place while Congress is attempting to modify Obamacare. I’m well aware that at times President Trump offers a mixed bag policy wise, but we should not take his every word literally because his background is indeed in business, not government, so he truly is a negotiator at heart. Regardless of Trump’s policies, I sure hope to see that guy more often.


Immigration

This is one of those rare occasions when I don’t have a strong opinion on such a hot topic. Let me rephrase that. I do not have an adamant stance, one way or the other, concerning illegal immigration. I almost always see everything as being black and white, cut and dry, and crystal clear because I often find the “gray area” to be reserved for the uninformed and frequent “flip-floppers.” I pride myself on being informed and listening to both sides of an argument before coming to a definite conclusion on any given matter. In the case of the current illegal immigration debate the answer is not so crystal clear to me since I understand the concerns presented by both sides on the issue at hand. Many times I wish I was serving my country as a congressman, aiding in the decision making process, because most problems can be promptly resolved by simply using basic common sense. This isn’t one of those times.

If we’re completely honest with ourselves we have to admit that our ancestors, at one time or another, migrated to America from numerous other countries, and most of us were just plain lucky to have been born in the greatest country in the world. Even with all her faults, there’s way too many to mention in a single blog, America still stands head and shoulders above the rest, in countless categories, also way too many to mention in a single blog. That’s why everyone wants to come here! However, this country’s population already seems to be at full capacity. That’s probably the reason why foreigners must endure a painstaking process to eventually become U.S Citizens. Apparently our nation no longer welcomes the “tired, poor, and huddled masses yearning to breathe free” as is written at the base of the Statue of Liberty. When exploring the topic of illegal immigration I find myself having more questions than finding plausible solutions to the complex problem.

In the not so distant past I viewed illegal immigration as just that – illegal immigration. I was part of the chorus denouncing illegals with the renowned, “what part of illegal don’t they understand.” I thought rounding them all up and sending them back to their homelands seemed like the correct, black and white solution, but I sure didn’t know exactly how that would work. I still don’t. How easy would it be to force millions and millions of undocumented people out of the United States? I do still think something needs to be done about the illegal immigrants crossing the U.S. border from Mexico. Most of them tend to be male adults looking for work and longing to join their wives or girlfriends, and quite possibly their U.S. born children, already living here. Many of them have been sent back only to return time and time again. Would sending away cheap labor hurt our already frail economy? Would legal citizens of this country be willing to fill all of those low paying, manual labor jobs left behind?

We most certainly have a problem with drugs and guns being smuggled into the Southern states of America from Mexico, but the current illegal immigration situation is very different and deserves to be treated as such. The recent wave of illegals are unaccompanied children migrating from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. I see the need for following laws, but I also see the necessity of showing some compassion for these undocumented children. They are purportedly fleeing from the rampant gang violence in their countries and not just into the United States for safety but into other countries as well. I do have a slight problem with the parents, who are choosing to send their children away, but I can at least understand the thought process behind their decision. I cannot fathom trying to raise a child under those extreme conditions, but I am positive I would rather fight by my child’s side than to send him away.

Unfortunately, there invariably seems to be grandstanding idiots, usually from both sides of the political aisle, who are more consumed with advancing their political careers than addressing current issues with any common sense. For example, The Arizona Republic reported that Pinal County Sheriff, Paul Babeu, recently told the media about some children who were caught crossing the Texas border and who were going to be bused to Oracle, Arizona. He then shared the explicit details of the supposed event, and the circus began. Some demonstrators showed up carrying signs, to welcome the children, which read “Return to sender,” and “Stop dumping your illegals here.” As usual, as is the case with most protests, there were protesters protesting the protesters. Sheriff Babeu was right there in the middle of it all, but he insisted he was only there to keep the peace and not as a political photo opportunity.

Likewise, Adam Kwasman, Arizona’s House Representative and congressional candidate, appeared to welcome the free publicity by showing up to the controversial event. As two school buses full of children arrived on the scene they were immediately surrounded by the demonstrators. Mr. Kwasman tweeted, “I was actually able to see some of the children in the buses. The fear on their faces. … This is not compassion.” The funny thing is the busload of migrant children never did show up as predicted by Sheriff Babeu. The pair of buses that did arrive were actually transporting local children to a nearby YMCA day camp. In Mr. Kwasman’s defense, I reckon not every child is excited to spend part of their summer vacation at camp, so there probably were some fearful faces on board the school buses.

Illegal immigration is a serious problem, in the United States, but is typically ignored until election time or when a special circumstance of great magnitude, as is currently the case, is brought to light. Is dealing with this issue worth adding $3.7 billion to our nation’s already inflated deficit as is proposed by President Obama? I wholeheartedly believe the first step in curbing illegal immigration is for the U.S. to rid itself of it’s current stance, albeit bad policy, “if you’re born here, you’re an American.” That principle should only apply to those born in this country with at least one legal parent, but if neither parent is here legally then the child should not have automatic citizenship. Other than my aforementioned proposal, which I believe is long overdue, I won’t even pretend that I know what the proper course of action to take is regarding illegal immigration. As previously stated I seem to have more questions than answers on the subject. I can’t imagine our current elected officials getting this one right, but at least I don’t have to deal with this mess.