The immigration crisis on our southern border has grown even worse with the resignation of Kristjen Nielsen. The controversy is out of control because President Trump is continually at war with fellow Republicans and Democrats alike.
We all know that Trump prefers sycophants who do his bidding, often times in violation of laws, precedents and tradition. The problem is that the president looks at interlopers from the south as invaders, not refugees looking for a better life.
The situation the US now faces is a crisis and a humanitarian disaster. Understandably most blame Trump for the current impasse and contention. But the “blame” also belongs to the presidents, lawmakers and politicians that balked at installing effective immigration policies during the past 20 years.
The current number of illegals in the country is probably about 15 million or just under 5% of the US population. Why has the US turned a blind eye to this situation? Why have the country and border states allowed millions to just walk into the US?
As crazy as it sounds Democrats must be thinking that new, poor immigrants who become citizens will ultimately give liberals an edge politically. Keep in mind that Texas has historically been a red state, and the influx of new Democratic voters could change the political calculus.
Similarly, the liberal stronghold in California would be strengthened by an influx of poor voters. Of course this process would be evolutionary as it takes several years to gain citizenship. Keep in mind that the birth rate of the interlopers is high compared to the US, and all newborns in America are citizens.
The existing situation has caused great consternation in border-states and throughout the country. Millions of poor people have dispersed to places away form the border such as Los Angeles, New York City and Chicago. The stress that these people put on educational and medical institutions has dramatically impacted state and federal resources.
There is no other sensible response to the existing number of interlopers than providing a pathway to citizenship. We could not summarily round up millions of illegals, separate them from their children who are citizens and send them back to their countries of origin.
That brings us to the current problem. The inflow into the US is down from astronomical levels, but it is still large. Thousands of families are approaching our border looking for asylum and support. The response by Trump and Congress has been nothing but confusing and lacking in empathy. Why? Because the policies to deal with immigration have not been settled.
It is perfectly acceptable for the US to take care of the illegals that are already in the country, and do everything possible to end any further illegal immigration. This is the right policy.
Unfortunately the leadership of conservatives is in the hands of a man who fights all opposition with a slap in the face. And the opposition has responded inexplicably by attacking those agencies that protect our borders by establishing sanctuary cities, demanding the dismantling of ICE and resisting all efforts to stop the flow of illegals into the country. The actions by liberals are stunning in so many ways.
The road to good immigration policies will be difficult and controversial. This problem is not unique to the US. Other developed countries around the world are trying to deal with the same issues. Nativism and nationalism is growing globally as citizens rear up and object to illegal and legal immigration for a plethora of reasons. The issue is tearing people apart.
It’s time for maturity, wisdom, empathy, courage and strength. The US cannot adopt all people who approach our borders. Those vying for political power should be prepared to answer very tough questions about how they will deal with illegal immigration.