It is encouraging to note the potential for bipartisan cooperation at the federal level on the longstanding, thorny issue of illegal immigration, a glimmer of hope no doubt hastened by the Republican Party’s continuing slide in its ability to attract Hispanic voters. (Some are convinced that had Mitt Romney garnered even 50% of the votes of Hispanics rather than the 27% he achieved, that he would today be sitting in the Oval Office).
There are an estimated eleven to twelve million individuals residing in our country in violation of U. S. law. Those illegal immigrants that are found to have committed crimes while within our borders should be dealt with harshly and swiftly.
It is not within the realm of possibility or reason to send federal marshals to round up illegal immigrants and their families and to deport them,
and It is clear that any legislation that is passed will mandate that we treat with humanity the illegal immigrants that have been here for years to work and support their families, and which have not engaged in crimes while “guests” of the United States.
There are several planks which must be cornerstones of whatever legislation ultimately reaches the desk of the president: strong and effective future enforcement of immigration law to preclude our borders from being porous; close scrutiny of employers and severe penalties dispensed to those that are found to have knowingly hired illegal immigrants; those who jumped the line, breaking into the country in violation of the law, should not be rewarded or given priority in seeking citizenship; the children of illegal immigrants should not be punished for the sins of the parents; and those that have been here illegally and wish to pursue a path to citizenship must learn English. The concept of a “melting pot” cannot exist when immigrants establish segregated enclaves in which the English language is a foreign concept.
If Congress and the president can agree on immigration legislation, it will be a miracle. Let us hope that any agreement that is enacted into law will bring sound principles, fairness, and balance to the issue.