This is part 2 of 3 on immigration reform.
As much relief as the president’s order brings it also exposes another flaw in the immigration process, the fear that coming out of the shadows could result in eventual deportation. Not discussed publicly during the 1986 immigration reform bill was the fear many immigrants that qualified had that resulted in some of them forgoing the process to document themselves. There was and continues to be a lack of trust within the immigrant population about the immigration process.
It is likely that many of those who qualify for the president’s actions may be hesitant to report themselves through applications for fear that if the current congressional rhetoric about the legality of the president’s actions and the GOP’s resistance to it could eventually result in mass deportations. It is not about whether it is likely but rather what fears are generated within those that live in fear all of the time. This is only a temporary measure that offers temporary reprieve but does not establish a permanent solution and that fact is not lost in the immigrants who long for immigration reform.
It is also important to note that the president had control of both houses of Congress in 2009 and although he manifested that immigration reform was central to his platform, he nonetheless chose to use his political clout on health reform rather than fixing a broken immigration system.
Yet again, for political expediency immigration reform has been delayed once again.
The Republicans are now focused on the argument about the legality of the president’s unilateral action and not on the underlining problem that is immigration reform.
The GOP Perspective
The Republicans are busy bashing the president for his unilateral action on immigration. This reaction, by the GOP, is expected and betrays the fact that immigration reform for the politicians is nothing more than political gamesmanship for them. The commentary from the right is based on the notion that they support immigration reform and some argue that the Senate version was too “draconian” for them. However, instead of imploring their party to pass an immigration reform bill they instead use it to score political points against the Democrats. Most of the talking heads proclaim they are supporters of immigration reform yet use it only as political ploy.
The central argument posed by the Republicans is that US citizens want border security before immigration reform. This notion further demonstrates that immigration is a political ploy by both sides of the isle designed to be used to pacify the electorate.
The fact is that the US-Mexico border is as secure as a democracy will allow.
To date, there has not been a single incident of a Mexican citizen joining and or acting on behalf of any jihadist movement. Yet terrorism related to the Islamic state has entered and terrorized US citizens via their own citizens and through the citizens of countries that the US extends open borders to, such as England and France. Likewise, there is yet to be any incident of Ebola reported in Latin America, yet Ebola has been introduced to the United States via supposedly secure airports.
As to the notion that immigration reform would invite millions of other Mexican and other Latin American citizens into the US via the US-Mexico border it is likely that undocumented immigrants will continue to enter the US though the 2,000 mile border because of economic opportunities offered in the US.
The thing is that economic opportunities are a two way street. The immigrants are in search of jobs while the US is in need of workers for certain sectors of its economy. This is another fact glossed over by those using immigration as a political tool. Economically, immigrants contribute more to the US economy then they take out. Undocumented immigrants contributed an estimated $10.6 billion to state and local taxes in 2010 according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP). Internal Revenue Service reports that 50 to 75% of undocumented workers file and pay income taxes annually. This is continually documented through the actions of municipal governments and other local entities that depend on immigrants to shore up the local economies. US citizens across the US benefit, as well, by keeping Social Security viable and in lower prices on their vegetables and new homes.
As for the Democrats
The Democrats and the liberal left are basking in the glow of the president’s action but in reality they are silently uttering a sigh of relief. The fact is that the liberal left has a base that needs and demands higher wages through artificial wage control. The unions do not want immigrants to add pressure to the wage structure of the country and therefore quietly work behind the scenes to limit immigrant labor into the country. As much as immigrants are decried for lowering wages the fact remains that many individuals benefit from the lower wages in their everyday lives.
Many of them oblivious to the fact that their daily groceries are attainable because of the immigrants that harvest the crops and build the homes US citizens live in.