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With Republicans Poised To Take Over Congress Is Comprehensive Immigration Reform Dead?: Left of Center View

While some may be ready to stick a fork in the Democrats I think there is still a good chance that they can retain control of the Congress in November. Funny enough, it may be the Tea Party that will be the undoing of the Republicans. In their rush to move to the right they seem to have forgotten that most voters tend toward the middle. If Democrats do retain control it is imperative that they address comprehensive immigration reform as soon as possible because there will never be a better time to make the process fair for all immigrants.

Some on the right portray immigration rights advocates as ďopen bordersĒ supporters. While some people do support open borders to the north and south some do not. I can say that I donít think completely unguarded borders are wise. Because of differences in laws and law enforcement between countries having a completely open border policy is not a good idea. We need to have some control over what comes in and goes out of our nation and we should know who is coming and going across our borders. That being said, I do think that our current system is broken and needs to be fixed because it does not provide for real security at our borders and is not set up to be fair to would-be immigrants.

When we talk about security we have to look at what we are trying to guard against when we are securing our borders. We know that we donít want weapons or illicit drugs coming into the country so we need policies that work to prevent those things from hitting our streets. We know that undocumented workers who donít pay taxes hurt revenues for the government so we need to crack down on employers that hire people ďunder the tableĒ, skirting employment and tax laws. Those are real issues that can be addressed in comprehensive immigration reform.

At the same time we are addressing the border security issues we need to look at how we allow people to legally immigrate to America. The current process is slow and cumbersome when it is not necessary for it to be so. We can screen people without taking months to vet potential immigrants. By eliminating bureaucratic red tape that does not serve the people we can streamline the process and allow people to get a yes or no answer about immigrating to America quickly. When you consider that many of the undocumented immigrants in America had been going through the legal process you have to think that maybe if we fixed the system we would eliminate a lot of illegal immigration. Whether Congress is led by Democrats or Republicans after November we need comprehensive immigration reform and we need it as soon as possible.


LJ Finstermore - World Citizen | E-mail Comments on this column. | Click icon to Digg this article

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With Republicans Poised To Take Over Congress Is Comprehensive Immigration Reform Dead?: Right of Center View

What it seems liberals want people to think is that Republicans donít want immigration reform passed. Nothing could be further from the truth. Some of the greatest immigration reformers have been Republicans. People like John McCain and Ronald Reagan have done more for immigrants in America than any Democrats out there. The difference between Democrats and Republicans is balance or lack of balance in their approach to reform.

On the left there seems to be a mindset that we have to have open borders to have fair immigration policy. On the right we take a more balanced approach. We do welcome legal immigrants but we donít think that people should be rewarded for breaking the law with amnesty policies. Republicans tried amnesty and it unfortunately did not work out. When we gave the benefit of the doubt to people it was interpreted by others to be an invitation to break the law and then wait it out until the next amnesty. We cannot continue that cycle. It sends the very wrong message to our citizens and to potential immigrants. We need people to understand that as well as being a nation of immigrants we are a nation of laws.

The shape of immigration reform will be unquestionably different under Republican leadership but it will serve the best interests of America in the long run. Conservatives want security, sensible immigration regulations and positive economic growth for the nation. We are not some group of hateful people that donít like people that are different from us despite what liberals would have you believe. We care about our neighbors and have friends of every stripe. We simply want to have policies that are fair to everyone. When everyone has to play by the same rules it is fair and thatís all we want.

Immigrants should welcome Republican plans. We want to make immigration more accessible to people that just want to come over for work with guest worker programs. We support the use of skilled workers from overseas when American workers cannot be found with the right skills to do the job as long as we work to make American workers ready to do the jobs of tomorrow at the same time. We support sustainable immigration levels based on jobs, resources and infrastructure stability. The thing we donít support is free-for-all immigration with no controls to protect American jobs and security for the American people.

If Republicans do indeed win control of Congress in November the real winners will be the American people. When the new majority takes up immigration reform it will be fair and balanced in its approach and will make sure that the President gets a bill worthy of his signature.

The Realist - Patriot at Large | E-mail Comments on this column. | Click icon to Digg this article

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