The PJ Tatler

As a Latino, I'm Skeptical of Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Perhaps you’ve heard about the new thing in D.C.  It’s all the rage on Capitol Hill.  It’s called comprehensive immigration reform.  Doesn’t that sound impressive?  But I must confess I’m not at all impressed.  Why on Earth would any patriotic American, much less an educated Latino, be impressed by another Obamacare-like bill making its way through our irresponsible government?  I’m skeptical of CIR because it seems designed to obfuscate, confuse and deflect blame for the immigration mess from resting where it belongs, on the lawmakers of America.  Real reform must address the areas in which our current system has abused the American tax payer.  It must recognize how the current system has ravaged both the legal and illegal community.   And any solution must restore American’s faith in our government, which has so completely failed in the realm of immigration.

The common refrain from both Democrats and Republicans on the Hill is that, “Our immigration system is broken.”  It bears pointing out that it was our elected leaders who broke it.  As usual, our leaders place the responsibility for their failures on the backs of the American tax payer.  Even our esteemed leaders must be familiar with the axiom that speaks of an “ounce of prevention.”  If they had followed the law, the way they expect us to, there would be no need for a bloated, costly, and confusing CIR.  The anti-immigration group FAIR says that illegal immigration cost the tax payers $113 billion dollars a year.  Many left-wing groups dispute the finding.  But aside from FAIR, plenty of services go unmonitored and utilized by the illegal immigrant community.  Even Obamacare is extended, with a wink and a nod, to illegals.  HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced in 2010, the awarding of 28.8 million dollars to access point health services from Obamacare.  The clinics are not allowed to ask for proof of citizenship.  So illegals can, and often do, partake in these and emergency room services for their medical care.  Guess who foots the bill?  It’s just one example of how America’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” immigration policy continues to screw American citizens.  Did the “geniuses,” who fancy themselves leaders, actually think they could ignore our laws for over four decades without consequences?

Our politician’s dereliction of duty has hurt both the legal and illegal Hispanic populations.  Look that the destruction wrought by our leaders’ refusal to follow our immigration laws:

  • Some families have legal and illegal members.  This casts a shadow over the entire family unit.  They fear, one day, a key member of the family may just be uprooted and forced to leave.
  • Some children, who were brought here at a young age, believe they are citizens but have no legal standing.  The tax payers funded their education and for all intents and purposes they are Americans.  But they have no legal status.

There are people here who have no desire to be Americans.  They come here to work. In turn they send the money back to their country of origin to feed their families.  This is a huge detriment to America, but a big benefit to the country of origin.  Before the latest financial crash, remittances sent by illegals back to Mexico accounted for that country’s fourth largest industry.  That’s right, Mexico directly profits off of illegal immigration to America.

Legal immigrants, who waded through the costly mire to come here legally, are forced to watch as illegals get to skip those trials and live blissfully in the shadows. All the while these legal immigrants ask why they even bothered to follow laws that politicians don’t feel compelled to follow.  It’s a sentiment that legal, illegal and citizens share.  We’ve all lost faith in the American government.

Three to 1 tax cuts to tax increases, that was a joke.  Oh, the tax increases came right away.  But the elected folks, who apparently lack the simple ability to balance a check book, promptly ignored the spending cuts Reagan trusted them to make.  So too was it with the 1986 amnesty.  The 40th president trusted that the promised border enforcement would happen in exchange for a “one-time” amnesty.  The American people watched as the legalization came, but no border security.  Illegal immigration sky-rocketed and the problems I’ve already outlined took their toll on America with ever increasing severity.  But government is up to the same old tricks today.  The sequestration “cuts” were nothing of the kind, merely reductions in the rates of increased spending.  And now the “Gang of Eight” Senate immigration bill is poised to pull the same bait and switch Americans witnessed in 1986.  I get the sense that Americans are tired of being played.  Any reform that deals with legal and illegal immigration must include easy following steps.  Each step of reform must activate the next step in a methodical, well-though-out manner.  Not only will this approach increase the likelihood of solving the problem, but it will also restore confidence in a government that has shown evidence of turning on its citizens.  The Obamacare legislation has shown why Americans can’t “wait to pass a bill to find out what’s in it.”

It defies logic and common sense to think that our government can solve a problem, over four decades in the making, in one huge bill.  But that’s been the hallmark of Congress and the White House lately hasn’t it?  They seem devoid of logic and common sense.  Immigration reform must not only fix the problems our elected leaders created.  It must also restore American’s confidence in government, while making sure we never have to deal with this problem again.   One huge comprehensive immigration reform bill will not accomplish these goals.  In fact, it seems our government is taking a page from Obamacare in making a bill so vast that Americans won’t know what they’re in for until it’s already law.  This approach appears designed to obfuscate truth from the people and is wholly unacceptable.   Real reform will require a well-articulated, easy to understand series of bills that will trigger in a sequential order.  One would think that would be an easy lift for an administration that promised to be the most, “open and transparent,” in American history.

In negotiating nuclear arms reductions with the Soviets, Ronald Reagan insisted that America “TRUST BUT VERIFY.”   In an era where government is watching every citizen, where the IRS is targeting the president’s political opponents, where our government lies about four dead Americans killed in a terrorist attack to protect a president’s reelection, Americans must, in self-defense, insist on a “trust and verify” system with our own government.  Let’s start with immigration reform.