We have a serious moral dilemma going on right now at our southern border and if we don’t do something to fix the problem, the conundrums we will face in the near future will get much worse.
We already had a serious moral dilemma with regard to illegal immigrants – What do we do with those families who have been living in the US for years, earning a living, paying taxes and sending their children to our schools? But now we have a bigger problem – Children, who have been smuggled over the border from Central America (without their parents) are sitting in a holding area in the US and we don’t know what to do with them.
And the frustration with the situation is not just coming from Conservatives this time. NPR reporter Steve Inskeep (hardly an Obama foe) interviewed White House advisor Cecilia Munoz and you can see from a few of the questions below, Mr. Inskeep is upset.
INSKEEP: If we assume Congress gives the president what he asks – which is a large assumption, as you know. If I’m not mistaken, the Administration is asking for dozens of additional judges to hear cases. But we’re talking about an increase of tens of thousands of young people. Are dozens of judges really going to make that much difference?
INSKEEP: So what is an acceptable amount of time for a young person to be held before they get a deportation hearing and a judgment? Right now, if I’m not mistaken, it’s commonly two years?
INSKEEP: There’s no guarantee of status at the end of the day. And you’re correct about the rumors being spread by smugglers. We’ve heard that from reporters we’ve talked with in Central America. But there’s also an underlying fact of U.S. immigration policy and practices right now that seems to be coming to bear. Young people come into the United States. They are captured or even turn themselves into the border patrol. There’s going to be some kind of period while they wait for a hearing. And during that time, they may be released into the United States, released into the custody of a relative. Essentially, they get what they want for a period of years. Are you going to stop doing that?
INSKEEP: Of course there’s a flipside to speeding up the deportation hearings and that is that some kids or their advocates may be able to make a case for them to stay because they have relatives here, because they’d like to seek political asylum, any number of other reasons. Are you prepared for the possibility that a very large percentage of the children that you’re dealing with may actually end up staying permanently in the United States?
There are smugglers in Central America who are tugging at the heart strings of parents who want a better life for their children and they’re promising to get the children across the border in the US where they’ll be granted asylum and live in paradise. Unknown to the parents, the children are raped and abused along the way and there is no guarantee they’ll stay in the US but the ignorance of the Obama administration is enabling these evil smugglers to traumatize more children.
The dithering of the Obama administration to provide more security at our southern border is encouraging more and more immigrants to come across and we have to confront the brutal fact now that we need to seal our southern border. And we need to do it yesterday!
Before I go too far, do not confuse my desire to seal the border with a desire to deport all illegal immigrants that are living in the US today. I wrote in 2011 that I was in favor of a path to citizenship for those illegal immigrants in the country today. It’s unrealistic and, in my opinion, immoral to think we can deport millions of people who are predominately living upstanding lives (working, paying taxes, sending their kids to school, etc.) and are for all intents and purposes, living up to the standards of traditional US society. Why would we not grant citizenship to a family who is law abiding, contributing to the economy, starting businesses and educating their children in our schools? I think that many Latino families have a stronger moral foundation and Faith than many natural born citizens in the US so why not let them become citizens?
The path to citizenship for these current illegal immigrants I envision would be a multi-year approach where the US would employ a ‘trust but verify’ method where we’d monitor the illegal immigrants over a period of time and if they remain law abiding citizens for say 3 years, then they can be granted citizenship. Anyone who didn’t voluntarily register for this program or anyone who committed a felony during that 3 year period would be deported.
But that plan (or any immigration reform/path to citizenship plan) will only work if the border is sealed first!
Cecilia Munoz and the Obama administration think we don’t have to seal the border but instead just provide a path to citizenship to the people in the US and the problem will be solved. From the NPR interview (emphasis mine):
MUNOZ: Look, we are not going to be able to make this process an immediate process. And we shouldn’t because, again, we have to adjudicate humanitarian claims. But the fact of the matter is we’ve been trying to fix a very badly back-logged system for a very long time. That’s part of the reason we’re pushing for an immigration reform bill.
The reason we have a back-logged system is because we haven’t addressed border security!
We can’t begin to confront the moral dilemma of the illegal immigrants currently in this country until the border is sealed. When you have a leaking pipe in your home, you don’t solve the problem by buying more buckets to catch the water! You have to stop the leak first!
Expect even more difficult predicaments on the immigration front until we confront the brutal fact that our southern border must be sealed.