Congress Must Address Our Broken Immigration System While Recognizing the Severe Human Toll

Immigration reform is a complicated issue that neither Democrats nor Republicans have been able to solve. More than that, it’s an issue that neither side wants to address. That needs to change. Everything said and written refers to blame. It’s partisan politics but partisan politics and blame don’t solve issues, although it may win elections. Governor’s Abbott and DeSantis have been dealing with it by sending the migrants to sanctuary cities like New York. That is not a long-term solution. It’s purely political. So, what is the answer to this growing problem? Congress must put this crucial issue on the agenda and make it transparent to its constituents. Title 42 is not the long-term solution.

Title 42 was established to limit immigration during the pandemic in order to slow the spread of Covid. It specifically states in short, “Suspension of entries and imports from designated places to prevent the spread of communicable diseases,” U.S.Code 42, section 265. Title 42 essentially allowed the U.S. to restrict the number of incoming migrants as a safety measure against the spread of the pandemic. The US Supreme Court has now decided that Title 42 will remain in effect while a legal challenge is taken up by the Court in its next session. It will be until at least June before this issue is decided, although two of the four dissenters, Neil Gorsuch and Ketanji Brown Jackson, made it very clear that it wasn’t the Court’s job to make policy.

We must be sensitive to people looking to escape their plights and precarious situations but it must be done in an orderly fashion so we can track where all of these people are going. While most are probably looking for a better life, there will always be someone, looking for an opportunity that involves criminality. One can only imagine what motivates someone to leave their homes, with nothing but the clothes on their backs, children in tow, and untold dangers, and to trek north, unsure of what lies ahead at the border. It’s especially daunting if no relatives or place to go, is available to them on the other side.

Most of our ancestors left their countries for the very same reasons, oppression and opportunity. However, my family was sponsored by other family members and emigrated through Ellis Island. We even know what ship they arrived on. They had a place to go when they arrived. While they were not welcomed with open arms, they did manage to meld into the fabric of society. They were treated poorly. They didn’t speak the language but quickly learned English. They had no choice. I’m sure they were despised by some segments of society. My grandparents, Russian immigrants, were uneducated and essentially illiterate. But they proved, in one generation, why they sought to come here. My father served this country in the United States Navy in WWII and went on to become a doctor. All three of his children graduated from college and became productive, tax paying members of society. That’s the Amercian Dream!

There is one large gap in the discussion of immigration, and that’s the countries from which these immigrants are fleeing. Their government’s need to be held accountable for the desperation of their citizens. While I’m no proponent of getting this country involved in conflicts, uncontrolled immigration is a serious threat to U.S. national security. The liberal media will only focus on the women and children, rather than the potential threats. Who would be cruel enough to turn away helpless children? I get it, but we must also assure that no one with a criminal record in their country, or with nefarious intentions, is permitted into this country. That requires background checks, and proper vetting, and that requires time and resources.

The United States Government, the Congress, needs to pass immigration reform laws as well as laws that hold these countries accountable for their horrible governance. There must be new, larger, technologically advanced processing centers at the border, with adequate staff, and temporary shelters, meaning proper and adequate allocation of funds. Countries like Venezuela, Ecuador and Nicaragua, are dysfunctional states, and they must be held accountable. They are clearly within the U.S. sphere of influence, and we need to exercise that influence. There’s a significant difference between wanting to move to America for the American Dream and another because your country is so dangerous, there’s no option. That doesn’t necessarily mean military intervention, but it does mean sending advisors or insisting on American involvement to help cease the mass emigrations.

While attempting to fix this serious issue, we must never lose site of the fact that most of the people fleeing are innocent human beings, with families. The decision to leave one’s home, one’s country, with nothing and to make the arduous journey to our southern border, screams of desperation. It’s incumbent on our lawmakers to once and for all deal with this issue, so that we can control our borders while helping people, not unlike our own ancestors, to start new and better lives in the place that has been the refuge, and new beginning, for so many.

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