How would you—the frustrated immigrant who stood and watched millions flood in ahead of him—feel, if you petitioned your future government to complain, and you were simply told “Look, we’re doing this because frankly, both parties want and need the votes. You’ll get your turn.”
Funny, because that’s exactly what Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told the American people in a recent interview with NPR. “The only way we can get back in the good graces of the Hispanic community, in my view is pass comprehensive immigration reform.”
In other words, “we’d better grant amnesty if we want their votes in future.”
Is this the only incentive our nation—regardless of party—ought to have to fix the immigration debacle currently facing us? For … votes? What about for freedom? Freedom … for those seeking it AND those already enjoying it? Just like Brazil shouldn’t need an incentive (in the form of world sporting events) to clean up their country, our nation shouldn’t need an “incentive” to fix our immigration debacle. A broken immigration system cheats both the American citizen and the legal immigrant, and cheapens both the sovereignty of our nation and the value of our precious freedom. We are the nation that we are today, because we are a nation of laws. To subvert this is to subvert our very foundation. Immigration shouldn’t have anything to do with elections, and everything to do with protecting our nation and upholding our laws. Any politician who suggests otherwise must be questioned.
How did we arrive here?
As we’ve covered in Parts I and II, we have an immigration problem because we didn’t uphold the law, and weren’t responsible with the tasks given to us to secure our nation. It’s not like this problem surfaced as a result of a lack of any immigration platform. We DO have laws (though in dire need of streamlining) in place. Rather, it surfaced thanks to several primary causes:
- A complex, arduous, expensive, and near-impossible legal immigration framework (Remember Gil’s frustrating journey in Part I?)
- An unsecured border (and—as we noted in Part II, a border whose security has been subverted by its own government)
- A habitual misinterpretation and misuse of the 14th amendment (see: Part I)
- A politician class afraid to enforce immigration laws and secure the border for fear of being labeled racist
- A politician class pushing for reform because they now see an opportunity to garner votes
- Past amnesty actions (see: 1986) that have only encouraged more of the same behavior
More recently, the drug wars in Mexico have pushed more people out of violent towns and cities, and into the far safer grounds of the United States. The U.S.’s lackadaisical approach towards the cartel violence (and spillover) in Mexico has indirectly (and directly, if you consider Fast & Furious) contributed to a more complicated immigration situation. In my May 18th, 2013 blog covering President Obama’s visit to Mexico, I wrote:
“We cannot always positively influence what happens in other countries, and we certainly cannot control how other countries deal with their own corruption. What CAN be done, however, is two-fold. If you happen to be politically inclined, and blessed with the gift of public speaking and wise leadership, take up the calling and run within the Republican Party.
Work hard to get to the point where your voice is a real influence in policy and make waves. If you are not so inclined, work for people who are. Work to get them elected, and support them while in office.
Work to support leadership that is serious about our borders, and bold enough to stand up to any nation that has taken advantage of weakness like that of this President for far too long.
Support leadership that’s willing to stand up in a joint press conference at the Palacio Nacional and be firm with Mexican leadership, even when it’s not easy.
Support leadership that will lean over the shoulder of El Chapo; of La Familia; of Los Zetas … and firmly whisper, “NO MORE.” Only then will our nation—and frankly Mexico as well—see the violence slink away in the shadow of a strong America.”
Naturally, we welcome those escaping tyranny and violence. That is who we are. The problem, however, is thanks to current system; it’s terribly difficult to come here through the front door.
We’ve now been saddled with millions upon millions of illegal immigrants, a country clamoring for an answer, and a political class to quick to resort to the quick-fix policy of amnesty; a policy which not only shuns our laws and rewards those who broke them, but spits in the legal, law-abiding immigrant’s face at the same time.
A Way Forward …
As the debate heightens these next few weeks, reach out to your elected officials and implore them to consider the third alternative we discussed in this series. At present, there are at least 70 Representatives committed to standing against this approach. There IS a better way. Real border security, a streamlined legal immigration system, upholding the laws we already have, and enforcing a legal framework that makes it hurt to break the law.
After all, in balancing your checkbook, you wouldn’t just start from zero because you made a $300 mistake somewhere would you? No—you’d look for the lost money, correct the mistakes, and set the books straight. Let’s not lose this line item in our nation’s trajectory.
While you do these things, consider not only the future safety and success of this country, but also the plight of those who have upheld their end of the bargain—the legal immigrant. Do we not owe it to them to respect, honor, and reward their law-abiding choice? After all, very, very few of us do not owe our citizenship to a hardworking, dedicated, and honest immigrant somewhere in our family tree who left it all behind to venture towards a new life. We owe it to them—we owe it to ourselves. Let’s protect, preserve, and honor the American Dream.