Just as debate over immigration reform is getting underway, the Associated Press is reporting
The Border Patrol made 356,873 arrests along the U.S.-Mexico border in fiscal year 2012, up from 327,577 in 2011 . . . Border Patrol officials estimate that apprehensions are a good proxy for illegal crossings, so when the numbers go up, it means that the flow of illegal immigrants is going up as well.
If that is indeed the case, that accounts for a 9% increase in illegal immigration last year. Granted, this number is way down from a high of 1.17 million arrests in 2005, but there is no reason we should accept any uptick.
I have long stated that we need to secure both our southern AND our northern borders as well as remain watchful over our other ports of entry as this is first and foremost a matter of national security.
What should we do? Well, we have a Department of Defense that has at its disposal troops coming home from two overseas wars. Lots of them are based in places like Fort Drum in Watertown, New York (home to the 10th Mountain Division) and Fort Bliss in Texas (home to the 1st Armored Division that had been stationed in Germany for 40 years until 2011.) One would think that defending our borders should be a top priority for the DEFENSE Department. We have the assets nearby already. They should be deployed immediately. Forget building a fence, real or virtual. Put the full force and might of the United States military up against the terrorists, drug smugglers, and human traffickers who victimize people on both sides of our borders.
As for immigration reform, we need to undo the mess that Ted Kennedy helped create in the reforms of 1965, 1980, and 1986. One of the biggest problems we face with the current system is the focus on family reunification over the consideration for which job sectors need employees to fill openings. Our system is filled with lunacy when someone can come to the U.S. from another country to attend college, be among the best and the brightest, but then is forced to return home or elsewhere with their talents that could have benefitted our country. However, if your best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night, then you get Willie Wonka’s golden ticket in. Ridiculous.
I don’t care where someone is from or what they look or sound like. If they have something to contribute to American society and we have a need for what they’re bringing to the table, then we need to make sure our immigration policy will let them in legally.
The other thing we need to do is get back to the concept of America as the “Melting Pot.”
“We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.” — Jimmy Carter
That from one of the worst presidents in American history. If you think that sounds like a recipe for disaster, you’re right.
You know what a mosaic is? It is where you break different things into many pieces and then put them together in a completely different way to make it look the way that you want it to look. (Although come to think of it that is essentially what some people want to do to our country and its institutions.)
If you’re coming to America, you need to learn our nation’s history and to speak, read, and write in English (if for no other reason than it will benefit YOU and your family in the long-run and enable you to be more successful than you would otherwise be). My grandfather, his parents and his siblings did that when they came here from Poland over 100 years ago and the Polish language is nowhere near as close to English as the Spanish language is.
Go to General District Court in Manassas on any given day and you will see people needing interpreters — not just for Spanish which they have on site, but for languages from all over the world that they have to get a telephone interpreter to handle. Some of these people have been in the United States for years and they still do not speak our language of commerce. Clearly something is wrong here.
No one should be forced to abandon their cultural traditions or family customs, but this hyphenation of America has got to end. If you come here, you become an American. There is no other country where you can move and become that nationality even if you possess a passport from them. This is unique to the United States. THAT is what it means for America to be a Melting Pot.
Once we secure our borders and put in place an immigration policy that actually makes sense from an economic standpoint, then we can finally start to discuss how to handle the 11 million people who have entered the U.S. illegally. (Perhaps some variation of now-Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s Border Integrity and Immigration Reform Act that he introduced while a member of the House in 2006.)