The Immigration Dilemma
If you are like me, you have not devoted a large amount of time and energy into understanding the immigration process in the United States. As a 4th generation American, I don’t have family members and loved ones who are struggling to become a U.S. citizen. You may consider it callous, but I think most of us realize that we are most concerned about the circumstances that most directly impact our day to day lives. You may be completly oblivious to the things that concern me the most, such as the best interest of my wife and five daughters. If so, I would appreciate it if you would join me in my concerns as I now join you in yours.
For me, immigration has been an issue for the government, after all, that is the Federal Government’s job. It is up to the professionals to determine how and when someone can enter the country and then it is up to the professionals to decide how and when someone can be officially recognized as an American citizen. Prior to January 21st, I had little chance to influence any policy decisions anyway, not that I have any better voice now, but since change is in the wind, it is a good time to brush up on the issue and foster some discussion.
Everyone knows that the current immigration system is broken. Yes, broken. And when something is broken it must be abandoned or fixed. Unfortunately, President Trump is no better equiped to deal with this issue than was Barack Obama, George Bush or any other past President I know of. The legislative branch has proven woefully inept as well.
“…we have to pull together and resolve the outstanding issues around our broken immigration system.”
That is a quote from Hillary Clinton on May 5, 2015. You can find it on her official website. She also promised to introduce comprehensive immigration reform within her first 100 days in office. Keep in mind that her closest advisor had significant connections to the Muslim Brotherhood and had the undeniable poor judgment to marry Anthony Weiner. It is therefore, reasonable to question if Hillary could have changed so much as the color of the carpet in the White House hallways since her campaign promises were the equivalent to promising that she was going to be the President of “business as usual” (and they are still wondering how Donald Trump could have won the election?). Add to that, the fact that administration after administration has experience immigration failures over and over again. So should President Trump simply follow the formula created by his predecessors or should he try something different? The current system is broken. Should we nurse it along, apply more bandages, or should we take it out of service for a bit and see if we can’t really fix it?
“We must regulate the future flow of immigrants by modernizing the visa system and rewriting bad trade agreements.”
That is from Bernie Sanders’ campaign website. “Regulate the future flow of immigrants”. Modernize and rewrite…?
“We are a nation of immigrants. … But we’re also a nation of laws. So what I’ve said is, we need to fix a broken immigration system.“
That is from former President Barack Obama on October 16, 2012. A broken system is unfair (or at least ineffective) to the refugees and a security threat to U.S. citizens.
Is an immigration freeze in the best interests of our nation and is it the least harmful means of achieving true improvement? Time will tell, but to cry “injustice” and to claim that the sky is suddenly falling, is to frustrate improvement and reform. If you are pulling your hair out and stomping your feet… If you are complaining to your friends and family… If you are encouraging resistance… You are part of the problem, not the solution.
I say we give the administration a little time to really fix the broken system. And I say that during this time, those who are clearly being victimized should still be allowed into the U.S. on a conditional basis. It sounds like some refugees will be allowed in, regardless of the Executive Order.
If they do this right:
Families will not be separated between legal and illegal. Those who wish to become Americans will be able to do so efficiently and permanently. Those who follow the laws and regulations will be treated justly. People will not live in fear of being deported. We will respect the dignity of all people and everyone will contribute their fair share to the financial needs of the country. Victims of religious and ethnic persecution will be given priority. Criminals will be turned away before they enter the country. Those who refuse to follow our laws and become part of our society will be deported. Any terrorists who make it through the vetting process will be caught by domestic law enforcement and Homeland Security and prosecuted. People will not be shamed into silence for voicing concern that a co-worker, neighbor or acquaintance, who happens to be from a Middle East country, is behaving in a way that would lead a reasonable person to be concerned that they are involved in some sort of illegal activity.
We know that there are hundreds of thousands of people who are still trying to flee refugee camps, persecution, ISIS, other groups within the radical Islamic terrorism network and war. We also know that terrorists are entering (or at least planning to enter) the U.S. disguised as refugees. It is safe to conclude that other criminals and terrorists are entering the U.S. without passing through any official entry point. It is also safe to conclude that criminals and terrorists are radicalizing people who were born in the U.S. or who have entered legally and that these radicalized domestic terrorists pose a serious threat to our neighbors, friends and family.
I’m writing this on January 31, 2017. I expect that the next violent massacre or attempted massacre in the United States, will be carried out by an individual or group who praises radical Islamic terrorism. The only way to help the persecuted and to protect all of us from the criminals and terrorists, is to fix a broken immigration system and change the way we deal with violent criminals, including but not limited to radical Islamic terrorists.
My hope is that President Trump can do this quickly and effectively. I’m going to give him time to do this, but each day that passes will move me closer to concluding that he too has failed in this effort, as everyone prior to him has failed. If that is the case, where does America turn? I don’t think we can turn to those who advocate for a continuation of the current broken system. We can’t turn to those who can only offer criticism because the decisions are being made by members of the wrong party. We can’t turn to those who shame people into silence by labeling others as Islamophobes and we can’t turn to those who suggest that there should be less vetting and scrutiny of those hoping to immigrate.
I think that as long as the President’s current Executive Order is temporary, it is the best decision for the next month or few months. If you disagree, I’d love to hear your solution, but please spare me the rhetoric of panic and fear that the DNC is selling.