Skip to comments.Fixing America’s Welcome Mat
Posted on 08/25/2013 1:47:21 AM PDT by iowamark
They say history has a way of repeating itself. That certainly came true in June when the U.S. Senate approved a sweeping reform bill to revamp the nations immigration laws. Unfortunately, the U.S. Senate failed to learn from the mistakes created by the 1986 overhaul.
Consider the 1986 bill that President Reagan signed into law.
At that time, about three million people who were living in the country illegally were granted citizenship.
Today, 27 years later, the U.S. estimates 11 million undocumented immigrants are living here.
What should that tell us? It says that the 1986 law failed to stem the flow of illegal immigration. It sent the wrong signal by granting legal status to millions while ignoring the need to secure the border. It gave the green light to millions of others that it was okay to break our laws because enforcement wouldnt be taken seriously.
I voted for the 1986 law. And by looking through the rear-view mirror, I dont need a crystal ball to tell me what would happen on the road ahead if we repeat the mistakes of the past. I saw how legalizing before securing our borders turned out. It turned Americas time-honored welcome mat into a timeworn doormat.
Americas immigration system is broken. Its time to fix it so that a legal flow of immigration can help the economy and bolster areas of the workforce that are short of workers, from low-skilled to high-tech workers. But, immigration laws should not come at the expense of American workers or cause them to be disadvantaged, displaced or underpaid. Rooting out fraud and abuse from many of our visa programs should be a priority.
We need to secure how people enter the United States through legal channels. For instance, it makes sense to allow foreign students who have been trained and educated on U.S. soil to remain here. We need to enact solutions that ensure we keep those highly skilled and sought after students here. At the same time, we need to ensure that we protect American students and encourage them to explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields. We also need to close any loopholes with the student visa process in order to protect our national security.
Unfortunately, the bill passed by the U.S. Senate wont fix whats broken and is chock-full of loopholes that make the legalization system far from ideal.
Thankfully our system of self-government protects representation of, by and for the people with a bicameral Congress. Now the U.S. House of Representatives has a chance to get it right.
Heres what Id like to see:
border security first and its verification by elected and accountable members of Congress, not the federal bureaucracy or administration;
meaningful interior enforcement that empowers federal, state and local authorities;
stronger laws to deter criminal offenses, including identity theft and gang-related activity; and,
policy to ensure qualified Americans have the first opportunity at U.S. jobs.
Finally, as a taxpayer watchdog, I cannot support a bill that does what Congress seems to do best: throw taxpayers money at the problem without actually solving the problem. Originally, the bills price tag started at $6.5 billion. At final passage, the Senate sponsors jacked that up to $46.3 billion, essentially to win support. And, in the end, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said that the bill would only reduce illegal immigration by one third to one half.
For more than 200 years, immigrants have looked to Americas shores as the beacon of hope, freedom and opportunity. Immigration has played a central role in the social, cultural and economic fabric of our communities and neighborhoods for generation after generation.
Thats why its so important for Congress to fix Americas welcome mat. We can learn from the lessons. We need immigration laws in place that welcome law-abiding immigrants to share their entrepreneurial spirit, build better lives for themselves, and help make America a better place for generations to come.
Is he up for reelection?
Not broken. Unenforced.
All the ‘things he’d like to see should be enforced under current laws and empty promises.
If he was my Senator I’d primary his windbag ass.
It no longer matters what the laws say. Obama has demonstrated that the law is what he says it is when he says it. When you have a President who decides when or if to enforce a law or parts of a law, then there can be no confidence in any words on paper.
The LAW didn't fail, Senator. The government tasked with enforcing it failed. Why should we ever, for any reason ever, believe that it will enforce a new law? They're not enforcing 0bamacare except on a piece by piece, case by case basis.
“policy to ensure qualified Americans have the first opportunity at U.S. jobs.”
Grassley is wrong here. This provision would be a lawyers full employment law. First up, would be lawsuits in the NBA and Major league baseball. There must be 100 point guards who can play as well as Canadian Steve Nash who at 38 is near the end of his career. Ichiro would never played for Seattle. Tony Parker (France) would have never played for the Spurs. About 4,000 American models would have sued to keep Anna Kournikova out of the country (she is now a USA citizen). You want to see Phil, Tiger and Rory McIlroy play in the US Open golf tournament ? Forget about it as Rory would be taking a spot from and American. Did you think Bela Karoli (romania) did a great job with US women’s gymnastics team when he carried Strugg off the gym after winning the gold medal ? Well he would be gone too.
This provision should be replaced with the Canadian points system. Basically, immigrants are given points for speaking English and/or French, points for college, points for money, points for skills in areas where Canada is lacking (farming for example), points for youth, etc.
...11 million undocumented immigrants....
Hey, Chuck, the word is “illegal” and not “undocumented”. Sorry, I did not read far past that part because I do not trust you now.
Sadly, you are so right.
Its time to fix it so that a legal flow of immigration can help the economy and bolster areas of the workforce that are short of workers, from low-skilled to high-tech workers..I wish he give us a list of all these places.
Not now, never.