Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Political differences keep intruding on badly needed reforms

This year President Donald Trump’s administration and the Republican majority in Congress identified areas of government needing reform. The tax code is huge, complicated and full of negative elements. The health insurance marketplace is collapsing, thanks to the (so-called) Affordable Care Act, under which insurers dropped out of the market and prices continue to grow beyond the ability of millions of Americans to afford them. And the nation’s border security and immigration systems are so bad as to be dangerous.

Efforts to fix the tax code and health insurance ran into political problems, and the immigration and border problem most likely will, too. But we have an opportunity for reform, and we need it.

In our sharply divided society, the political right and left have very different ideas about immigration. One side takes a dim view of controlled immigration, while the other side prefers a strong immigration system.

Generally speaking, why should America not apply the same common sense rules to immigration as its citizens do regarding whom they allow into their homes?
  ** How many of us would leave our doors and windows unlocked all the time?
  ** If one or a few people knock on our front door and say, “I really like your house, and want to live here,” how many of us would invite them in, just because they want to come in?
  ** How many of us, if we found a small group of strangers living in our garage, basement or spare bedroom would merely ask them to leave, instead of calling the police and having them arrested?
  ** How many of us would happily feed and clothe those intruders and allow them to stay without knowing whether they are violent or can be trusted?
  ** How many would allow one of their family members to hide and protect the intruders?

These situations actually exist in our immigration system today.

Most of us insist that we decide if anyone comes into our home, who we allow in and under what circumstances we allow them to come in. But somehow, many Americans don’t see the need to apply the same logical and strict standards to who enters our country.

America has porous borders that have allowed millions of people to come into the country illegally, and it has policies that make life pretty easy for illegal aliens.

But the country is under no obligation to allow immigration, and depending upon several factors, immigration may sometimes not be desirable. We frequently hear people say that immigrants built America, and that is true. But America has already been built; so that factor all by itself does not make the case for more immigration.

No one has a right to come into our country. We get to decide whether to allow immigration, or not; it is our choice. The government has the right and the duty to decide if people come in, and under what circumstances. And we need to choose those immigrants by what the country needs and desires; we do not allow immigration just because people want to come here.

We should choose to allow only those to immigrate that can contribute positively to the country, and keep out those who have little or nothing positive to contribute. We must make sure that those we permit to immigrate understand and agree to assimilate into the existing culture, and bar those who do not agree to assimilate, or who want to change our culture.

Our problems with immigration and border security are many. Despite a federal Border Patrol force determined to prevent illegal entry, the borders are insufficiently protected to accomplish that goal. Trump famously supports a “wall,” which actually means erecting and utilizing many different elements to stop illegal border crossings, not just a huge wall along the southern border.

Certain jurisdictions in the country, known as “sanctuary” jurisdictions, refuse to follow the law and alert federal officials to the presence of illegal aliens so federal authorities can deal with them. Efforts by the Trump administration to “encourage” these sanctuaries to obey the law by withholding federal funding have been thwarted by a federal judge, who ruled Trump cannot change how money approved by Congress is used. So these sanctuary jurisdictions can continue their lawless behavior with this judge’s blessing.

When illegals are caught, they are deported. However, many return and are deported again, repeatedly, and without penalty, other than deportation. Some of them commit criminal acts, often in sanctuaries.

Whether it’s called “political correctness,” or “foolishness,” the fact remains that our country is not being protected from illegal entry and the costs, pain and harm to citizens resulting from illegal entry.

The border must be secured, illegal aliens must be gotten under control, and deported, or perhaps in some cases put on a path to citizenship that includes assimilation or deportation if they do not satisfactorily assimilate, and jailing those who commit crimes.

If America is going to allow immigration, immigrants need to come here for the right reasons: to respect and honor our country and its culture; to possess desirable skills and intentions; and to become honest and productive citizens.

Nothing less is acceptable.

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