Reform is knocking on closed doors

Posted Sunday, Sep. 15, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Other burning issues and the long summer recess have pushed immigration reform out of the spotlight but not off the agenda for Congress. Many Democrats are in favor, and the Bush family, including presidential grandson and nephew George P. Bush of Fort Worth, continues to stress the issue to Republicans. Should Congress approve immigration reform this year?

Congress should not approve immigration reform this year or next because it currently is incapable of agreeing to meaningful, fair and lasting reform.

It has deteriorated from a body typifying our best and brightest into an insipid collection of “professional politicians,” dominated by a few opinionated, outspoken Tea Party hacks.

With no regard for the will of the majority, Tea Party conservatives have decided that the country will be run their way or not at all!

So pragmatism, reason, a sense of duty, and basic civility are forsaken in favor of bitter partisanship, rancor and hypocrisy. The resulting infertile blend is dominated by power-hungry individuals fueled by a hatred of President Obama and wearing counterfeit badges of “Patriot.”

Thus Congress earns an approval rating nearing single digits, the needs of the country lie unmet, and “we the people” are left watching playground politics and one-upmanship rather than enjoying the congressional leadership we expect and deserve.

— Robert Moore, Fort Worth

First, no amnesty for those who broke our laws, invaded our country and stole our sovereignty.

Reform of the immigration system should focus primarily on securing the borders.

I don’t trust government that proposes amnesty first, then security. Build the entire double-wall fence, with a road in between. That has been so successful in Southern California.

Institute e-verify to remove the jobs magnet.

Reform the primitive visa-tracking system so that the 30-plus percent of illegals who came here and overstayed visas can be prevented from doing so.

Ten years after these measures have been proven effective, we can talk about new legal immigration procedures and what to do with illegal aliens who remain, never to include citizenship.

Our legislators need to think more about the well-being of U.S. citizens and less about the well-being and ambitions of illegal aliens.

— Daniel OConnor, Euless

American business needs the workers, and consumers want the lower prices.

The broken system seems to work for everyone.

What to do? Pass the Senate bill in the House, create stiff financial penalties for employers who hire undocumented workers and enforce them.

Provide aid to Mexico’s economy. We cannot “seal” the Mexico-U.S. border. Eliminate the work incentive for undocumented workers in the U.S. and they will stop coming.

Fine U.S. employers and they will stop hiring. Redirect Immigration and Naturalization Service folks to employer sanctions, not border patrol.

Eliminate the words alien and amnesty from the conversation.

— Bill Lynch, Arlington

For 26 years, our federal government has failed its citizens on immigration.

It is disheartening to see advocacy groups from both sides of the issue railing one against the other.

Our government should not have put us in this position. There’s a clear answer. We already have laws that provide a path to citizenship. Our government hasn’t enforced our laws.

We should amend the Constitution to eliminate “anchor babies.”

It’s remarkable that any foreigner can cross our border, legally or illegally, give birth, and that child automatically is a U.S. citizen. Should not at least one parent be a U.S. citizen?

Our government has burdened its citizens with $16 trillion of debt. Some say more than a trillion dollars has been spent on illegals since 1986.

The federal government is obligated to protect its borders and its citizens.

— Douglas Moore, Fort Worth

The cost to taxpayers by Congress not legitimizing immigrants is in the millions.

They come, have children born on U.S. soil and it’s like an instant credit card to the welfare system. Whereas, if the immigrants were granted amnesty, they’d likely get jobs and be able to pay for the welfare they now receive for free.

Maybe Hispanics ought to get better lobbyists and organize a march on Washington as black Americans did in 1963 — and use the strategy of “I have a dream,” as did the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

That was about freedom and jobs, and that’s basically what Hispanics want. If they’re legitimized, employers can’t exploit them as some do now, paying them below minimum wage.

As the adage goes, “The wheel that squeaks the loudest gets the grease.”

Immigrants’ time has come. Congress should approve immigration reform without further ado!

— Keon Fields, Fort Worth

My father, if he were alive today, would probably be a supporter of Republicans and the Tea Party.

He would be strict about citizenship.

He had no interest in hearing the languages of immigrants, honoring their holidays or being exposed to their cultures.

If a person came to this country, learned the language and worked, then he/she was a good American.

— Tracey Smith, Fort Worth

Let’s face it. Our immigration system is broken and we already have amnesty.

We have a porous border, we’re wide open to terrorist infiltration, and we lack the manpower to stop serious criminal elements from bringing in drugs and smuggling people — including children for sex-trafficking.

Many conservatives agree that we can’t deport 11 million-plus people and that our nation does, in fact, need a steady labor supply to help grow our economy and create new businesses and opportunities for our families.

The plans in Congress, while by no means perfect, make major improvements to secure the border, help us identify who is actually in our country, and create a tough but workable system to deal with people hiding in the shadows.

These plans aren’t amnesty.

They include fines, have very long waiting times to prove people are doing what we want them to — holding jobs, learning English, not committing crimes, understanding our Constitution and their responsibilities as Americans.

These plans provide a more serious effort to document those in our country, secure our borders and protect our nation.

Let’s recognize this moment and adjust our immigration policies so that America is strengthened for this generation and those to come.

— Duke Machado, Woodway

I trust that our Congress will support us U.S. citizens and not approve this bill.

It’s a very bad bill and studies indicate that it will permit 33 million illegals, not the 11 million already here, to stay or come here over a 10-year period.

I hope that our senators will remember who voted for them and that we don’t want this type of an immigration bill.

We still have too many U.S. citizens out of work.

— Donald Kneram, Fort Worth

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