The influx of unaccompanied minors to the Texas border continues. While the humanitarian crisis requires immediate attention, it also magnifies the need for comprehensive and long-term immigration reform. President Barack Obama has said he plans to bypass Congress and take executive action to address the strained immigration system, but policy details are forthcoming. Given the limits on executive powers — and considering the complex economic, security and legal issues involved — what can the president actually propose that might work?
When Ronald Regan signed Simpson-Mazzoli into law November 6, 1986, essentially granting amnesty to illegals who had come to the U.S. before January 1, 1982, he was promised, with this “one time amnesty,” that our southern border would be secured.
But, the border was not secured, and now we have a crisis.
From a humanitarian standpoint we should do what we can for these women and children, but we must reform our immigration laws, without interference by those who see illegal immigrants as eventual votes for Democrats. We must close our border and encourage more legal immigration.
But with our president making it up as he goes along and then governing by executive fiat, what makes anyone think he will enforce a new law when he won’t enforce the old ones?
— Hugh T. Lefler Jr., Fort Worth
While it is tempting to dwell on the reasons we have this influx of illegal immigrants, I doubt it solves the problem.
If, as some claim, this is a refugee problem and not a immigration problem, and to send the kids back to their country of origin would somehow be inhumane, we should want to solve the problem with a solution that provides the least risk to the children.
That solution would be to set up refugee camps at the southern border of Mexico, since that border is crossed long before our border is.
We should help the Mexican government pay for it, by reducing the amount of foreign aid given to those governments who fell that someone else has more responsibility for the welfare of they’re children then they do.
— Jerry Treber, Fort Worth
Estimates of babies born on U.S. soil having no U.S. parents is 450,000 per year.
These are the so-called “anchor babies” that are by law U.S. citizens, and can use the current Family Reunification law to bring to the U.S. all of their relatives over a period of time.
When over 200,000 guest workers are allowed in the U.S. what do you think will happen? I don’t think any of the proposed comprehensive immigration reform bills addresses this problem.
President Obama should encourage Congress to get the ball rolling to enact a constitutional amendment to change the law to only allow citizenship if at least one parent is a U.S. citizen.
— Jay V. Beavers, Granbury
Somehow it just doesn’t seem right to allot billions of dollars to take care of those who have come to our country illegally when there are children who were born here going to bed at night hungry and elderly people going without needed medications because their fixed income is insufficient to afford the prescription.
Illegals already have strained our education system, our social service programs and our hospital emergency rooms.
Where are these people going to be housed, where will they be educated and who does the government expect to pay for all of this?
It is not a lack of compassion, it is a lack of money.
Obama needs to issue an executive order immediately nullifying the law that states children from countries other than Mexico cannot be immediately deported.
— Louise Shepherd, Fort Worth
We need reform — a sensible workers’ program that addresses labor realities for agriculture and industry; regularization of status for current illegals to provide them protection of the law and end their exploitation; a path to citizenship for those who desire to renounce allegiance to their home countries.
But how would any of that keep children from leaving Central America?
What choice have we but to continue the current farce of capture, deport, return, recapture, deport that bankrupts our border security forces and enriches the coyotes?
How would any of the suggested changes actually help?
— George Michael Sherry, Fort Worth
There is not much Obama can do regarding immigration legally — but don’t expect the law or that silly thing called a Constitution to stop him.
“Reform” is not massive amnesty for 20 million illegals. It is not free medical care and welfare for people who broke and continue to break the law. It is also not granting more H1-B visas to tech companies so they can hire cheap foreign labor instead of Americans.
How about we criminalize those who knowingly hiring illegals? This means fixing and requiring the use of E-verify.
How about we strictly enforce the existing immigration laws? How about a guest worker program where participants have to pay taxes ?
— Troy Worthy, Hurst