CALIFORNIA February 26, 2013 – Purposeful or not, Obama’s pre-emptive plan for immigration reform was “leaked” outside the government a week ago. Touted as a precautionary action if Congress can’t generate bipartisan support for immigration legislation, it accomplishes nothing except a superficial appearance of leadership.
If Congress does act, Obama can claim he’s the spark plug – never mind his ignoring the issue for four years. If a Congressional plan has some similarities to Obama’s plan, Obama can claim credit while expressing disappointment they didn’t go far enough. Even if there’s nothing in common, Obama can boast he forced Congress to pass the first major piece of immigration reform in a generation. Not only that, if anything he wanted isn’t included in the final legislative package he can blame Republicans for once more being the party of “No”.
This isn’t leadership; it’s a weak attempt to take undeserved recognition and limelight away from the few in Congress trying to address this overwhelming problem.
Let’s be clear, for over twenty five years the illegal immigration issue has exposed our federal government’s disgraceful inability to see past political gain at the expense of our countries welfare. Four different administrations and twelve Congresses have tried to leverage this national embarrassment for their own purposes, with nothing to show for it except a worse situation.
Our nation’s history of compassion and generosity towards the less fortunate is well known – just look at our response with every major local and global disaster. In fact, the Christian legacy of mercy that undergirds our national soul is unmatched throughout history (for some of the reasons see Mark 12:29-31and Matthew 25:35-40).
But there’s a limit to how much willful law breaking and being taken advantage of can be tolerated. It’s also irksome to see our elected representatives over so many years show more interest in votes and financial support from special interest groups than in enforcing the rule of law for our nation’s good.
I readily admit illegal immigration is a very complex issue. It doesn’t just impact the 12 million illegally in this country, it affects our neighborhoods, public safety, public schools, hospitals, jails, businesses, entitlement programs, national security, tax rates, economy, and yes – future voting patterns.
Though I have little confidence in Congress’s ability to create a set of well thought out immigration reform laws, I know that action of some kind is desperately needed. Like many others, I believe measurable benchmarks need to be met before granting any kind of “legal status” to those here illegally. Not only is this fair; but it holds our leaders accountable to do their job instead of allowing a political façade to continue at everyone’s expense. So, what are these phases?
First, completely control our borders before any alien status changes are considered. Without enforcing sovereignty, we cease being a nation (something ordained from the beginning: Acts 17:26). We painfully learned after the passage of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act granting amnesty to illegals that our government lied about its intent to secure our borders. Government has not gained our trust since then, and it shouldn’t be easily given our trust now.
Second, while securing the border, increase and enforce penalties on all businesses employing illegals while providing the necessary tools to verify an employee’s legal status. This will accomplish two things. Begin a slow process of “self-deportation”; and the removal of the attraction of jobs to future illegal entrants. The dramatic downturn in illegal border crossings since our economy slowed is direct evidence that this approach will have a dramatic impact.
Third, reform all discretionary entitlement programs to ensure illegals can no longer benefit from them. Granting government support, access to public school, and automatic citizenship for children born to illegals (e.g. anchor babies) are obvious abuses of our laws. The only exception would be medical care for true emergencies in keeping with the Good Samaritan example of “loving our neighbor” (Luke 10:25-37).
Fourth, deny opportunity for those that have entered illegally to obtain citizenship or gain legal standing (such as a guest worker permit) until they return to their country, apply for legal entry, and pass a background check. Children of illegals born in this country had no say in their situation; therefore, granting them legal status if they have no criminal record makes sense. However, to gain citizenship they need to apply using the same process others must follow.
We can’t allow the current administration and the Congress to take credit for passing “something” and then never looking back. Not only would this be a disservice to our citizens and the rule of law, but it would encourage even greater immigration abuses into the future.
The political theater needs to end, and the good of our country needs to be protected no matter how long it takes.
Follow me on Twitter @FrankKacer or #BiblicalPolitics
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.