Sunday, February 3, 2013
The Illegal Immigration Issue is Back
A week ago, a bipartisan delegation of senators rolled out their version of a comprehensive immigration reform package that is very similar to the one that was rejected in 2007. This new plan is just the skeleton framework of the one which will eventually pass. The real sausage making will take place in the House of Representatives.
The GOP sent out their Hispanic representative Cuban –American ,Marco Rubio but their other Cuban –American,Ted Cruz said “I appreciate the good work that senators in both parties have put into trying to fix our broken immigration system. There are some good elements in this proposal, especially increasing the resources and manpower to secure our border and also improving and streamlining legal immigration. However, I have deep concerns with the proposed path to citizenship. To allow those who came here illegally to be placed on such a path is both inconsistent with rule of law and profoundly unfair to the millions of legal immigrants who waited years, if not decades, to come to America legally” which is quite honestly the position that derailed the last proposal? Texas’s other senator, John Cornyn, agreed with Cruz because he’s up for reelection in 2014, so until then he will echo whatever the junior senator has to say.
This Senate version excludes the LGBT community of a pathway to citizenship. The plan also calls for border security first, and I’m ashamed to say that the Democrats signed off on that. The 2007 immigration plan had more security first... front and center and this administration has surpassed the metrics of that plan. I can understand why the GOP wants it in the plan, but Democrats need to point out that net migration into this country has dipped to zero. President Obama is setting deportation records. For example, in 2010, his administration deported 392,000 people and last year they surpassed that by deporting 410,000 people. A record $18 billion(more than any other Federal law enforcement) was spent on border security. We now have about 21,000 border agents, 5000 ICE agents and 207 immigration judges, but it was our weak economy that made the southern border manageable. It's not about higher electrified fences, more drones, or more restrictive policies.
Now is the optimal time to discuss comprehensive immigration reform.It's a known fact that we have an aging population, and our birth rate is dropping and so is those of our immigrants.
I heard a republican say that instead of giving immigrants in the high- tech field citizenship; we should be training our own in those jobs. The concept is not a bad one, but it's a little late on saying what we should've done and besides, we should practice what we preach. Why weren't the republicans asking for more money for high tech job-training programs? They do control the purse strings.
It's understandable since 58% of those that come into this country illegally come from Mexico, that most of the conversation would be centered on them. That being the case, those who are advising the GOP -have to do more than tell them not to use the words, illegal, amnesty, alien and anchor baby when discussing illegal immigration because the advisers are being disingenuous. Those derogatory terms have been passed down for generations and are ingrained into the hearts of those people who use them. Skirting the issue for political gain never works unless you think Americans are stupid and can't see through that. Marco Rubio can suger-coat the word amnesty all he wants and Chuck Shumer can say that they will pay a fine,learn English and all that but it's forgiveness because we don't have a will,plan or the resources to deport 11 million undocumented people.
You only need to read the latest copy of the National Review to see what I'm talking about. The National Review article was right when it stated that, politically, it's not a good move for republicans. It's a myth that Hispanics tend to be more conservative, but the harsh rhetoric will keep the wavering moderates away. The GOP needs to read the latest Tina Dupuy (which is in today's Advocate)article where she explains the difference between a person of Mexican descent and one of Cuban descent. There is a world of difference and the first being, Mexico is at at our doorstep and the culture has been part of this country for a very long time.
The Senate version had a laughable clause on border security. A commission of border governors such as Brewer and Perry would let us know when the metrics on border security were met. Governor Brewer has a lot of brand-new detention centers, so her bar would be extremely high. Governor Perry wants to run for governor again( although polls indicate he shouldn’t)so expect him to take the self- deportation route. Again, I don't know why the democrats signed off on this, unless they just wanted to keep the ball rolling.
One thing is certain,this battle won't be like the 2007 one, where everyone caved in to the extreme right because this time the Dreamers will be on the front line using 21st Century methods to keep pressure on Democrats and Republicans .