Wall in Congress and the Dreamers

Once again President Trump is being unfairly maligned for facing another prickly issue our government has refused to adequately address and certainly failed to resolve.  Like most real problems, Congress has been kicking the illegal immigration can down the road and across borders for decades.  They have passed laws only to be ignored, watched millions invade illegally, and bickered endlessly, but America still doesn’t have a working immigration system.

The failure to enforce laws and absence of a functioning immigration system has only caused widespread unfairness.  Unfairness for children brought to this country illegally to face possible deportation to countries they don’t know, but it’s also unfair to countless other possible immigrants around the world waiting years trying to enter legally.  And most important, it’s patently unfair to American citizens losing jobs to exploited cheap labor and then being taxed to pay benefits for law breakers.

Is America a nation of laws or what?  That’s really the crux of this problem, but it gets lost in hateful manipulative rhetoric.  Hardly anyone is against “legal” immigration as we are a nation of immigrants.  We have a country and culture we love and a way of life and liberty we cherish.  So why is it bigoted or xenophobic to want to preserve our homeland and safeguard freedom?  Any meaningful debate is squelched by silly hyperbole that there are only two positions:  you must support open lawless borders or you are just an intolerant jerk.

The all or nothing nonsensical immigration arguments aren’t working for anyone.  Illegal immigrants are preyed upon on both sides of the border; and then live in fearful shadows.  Legal immigrants are penalized with complex, expensive, and painfully protracted processes to enter legally.  And Americans are left with wide open unsecure borders, mounting bills for people who never paid in, and unfair labor practices taking American jobs.

This whole sad immigration morass is because Congress refuses to do their duty.  They won’t secure the border nor devise effective immigration laws.  When first campaigning, President Obama admitted he didn’t have the authority to change immigration laws; he plainly said any action by him would be unconstitutional.  Perhaps out of frustration, Obama implemented the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) by executive order in 2012.  DACA became known as the Dreamers.

Promising to secure the border and stop illegal immigration, Trump is facing it head on.  Demanding a wall for months, he has now taken up the Dreamers dilemma.  But like Obama, Trump knows this should be resolved by legislative action.  When he mentioned ending the Dreamers, howls went up from both sides of the aisle.  So Trump pointedly laid it right in Congress’s lap giving them 6 months to do their jobs or he like Obama would take executive action.

Politicians and press want the people to believe the Dreamers stand alone as illegal intruders against bigoted animosity.  That’s a huge diversion from the real issue which is decade’s long gross negligence in addressing immigration.  Americans have been played since at least 1986 when President Reagan agreed to amnesty in return for immigration reform.  Reform never happened and the borders have actually become less secure.  There’s no more patience for Congressional ineptitude.  Dreamers simply got caught when the sand ran out.

Oddly enough, the outsider pretty much hated by everyone in Washington may be the genius that will make Congress finally do their jobs and everyone will get most of what they want.  If Congress will fund the wall and pass comprehensive immigration reform, compassion and even concessions will grow for the Dreamers.  Secure the border and working out the Dreamers will be a fairly minor obstacle.

Trump frightened Republicans by making a temporary debt deal with Democrats to keep Hurricane Harvey relief moving.  Democrats just learned they can work with Trump; it’s time Republicans learn it too.  Trump may have just walled in Congress on immigration and the Dreamers might just wake up on the right side of the border wall.

“And the king said, Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other.”  1 Kings 3:25


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