The Deportation Myth

The Trump and Cruz Plans

The donald     Most Americans are anxious about our fluid borders and the number of illegal immigrants currently residing in our country. Next to the economy, the immigration issue ranks highest among voters. With approximately 11 million illegals, some of whom engage in criminal activity, it is a valid concern.Ted Cruz

Over the course of this primary season, we have heard all the candidates state their position on immigration reform, and though they differ in their approach, they all agree that we must first secure the border before any real improvement will occur.

The current frontrunner, Donald Trump, has grown his popularity with voters largely because he is so outspoken on this issue. He has called for a “ban on all Muslims” entering the United States, as well as promised to deport all 11 million persons here illegally. In his words, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” His harsh rhetoric scores points with voters who like his tough stance.

Senator Ted Cruz has also portrayed himself as being very hard-lined on the issue. He stopped short of Trump’s “mass deportation”, until this past Monday. In what some believe is an effort to gain the support of Trump voters, Ted Cruz now states that as president, he will also actively hunt down and deport the undocumented, but unlike Trump, he will not allow the “good ones” to reenter the United States legally. They will be permanently ineligible for citizenship.

Appearing on the O’Reilly Factor Tuesday evening, Cruz said he would have ICE agents systematically arrest and deport ANYONE that is here illegally. When Bill O’Reilly gave him a hypothetical scenario of an Irishman illegally residing in New York for decades, but working and law-abiding, and asked if Cruz would deport him as well, Cruz answered affirmatively. There will be no exceptions.

Now, I personally believe that we must seal our border to prevent further immigration issues, not to mention the risk of terrorist infiltration, but I do think there is a more humane approach to those already here, who have no criminal record. For the sake of argument, is a so-called mass deportation even plausible? Aside from the obvious emotional toll of breaking up families, perhaps leaving children with only one parent, is it even legal? As appealing as it may be to some voters, if is not possible to enforce, then it is just another political maneuver designed to attract votes.

According to guests on last night’s O’Reilly Factor, John Yoo, formerly of the DOJ under President George W. Bush, and Stephen Yale-Loehr, an immigration law attorney, everyone here in this country is entitled to due process. It does not matter if they are here illegally. If they are on American soil, they are entitled to make their case before a Judge. ICE agents can legally apprehend them, but they cannot immediately deport them. They must first take them to a detention facility until they can appear before a Judge. There are exceptions for those apprehended at the border and denied entry, and for those who choose to leave voluntarily.

Currently, we have 242 immigration Judges in the United States, and hundreds of thousands of cases pending. There is a backlog of one and half years to three years, depending on the state. Judge Dana Leigh Marks, of San Francisco, said, “I have over 2,400 pending cases…my first date on the docket is three and a half years from now.”

The time and costs involved in deportation cases is significant, including the cost of transportation by air for those here from countries other than Mexico. A more efficient system, with a substantial increase in the number of immigration judges would improve the timeline, but no matter what, this issue is a logistical nightmare. The idea that under a Trump or Cruz presidency, we will witness an exodus of millions of illegals as they disappear over the horizon is mythical.

For Trump and Cruz, it makes for good copy, and it certainly garners votes. It is a contentious issue, and Americans impatiently await a resolution. When a candidate promises to round these people up and ship them out, it sounds like a welcome and swift solution. However, we all know that the wheels of justice turn slowly, and the reality is there is not an easy answer. If this happens to be your “go to” issue when selecting a candidate to support for the Republican nomination, you might want to educate yourself on the probability of them following through on their campaign promise.

 

Sources:

 

“Immigration Controversy”, The O’Reilly Factor, FNC.24Feb2016.Television

Kelly, Erin. “Immigration Judges Call for Reform.” USA Today, 27 Aug. 2014. Web.

 

The Immigration Issue

One of the top issues on voter’s minds going into the 2016 migrantsPresidential election is illegal immigration. Our fluid borders have resulted in a current population of approximately 11 million unauthorized immigrants, half of whom are from Mexico, and 60 percent of whom are located in Texas, Florida, California, New York, New Jersey and Illinois.

The Republican candidates differ in their approach to the resolution of the situation, with Donald Trump being the most outspoken on the subject. His plan is to build a wall to protect our southern borders, (which he says Mexico will pay for) and to deport these 11 million illegals, with the disclaimer that they can reenter the country again, legally. The media has vilified him for his harsh approach, and for the hateful rhetoric he has used to describe the Mexican illegals.

The other GOP candidates vary in their solution to the problem, but all of them concur that we need to secure our borders for the safety of our country. They are correct. We live in an age where there are too many people of various nationalities that wish to do us harm. Our current immigration problem is not just an economic issue; it is a threat to the security and future of the United States, as we know it. Just as we cannot enter Mexico, or any other sovereign country for that matter, illegally, and expect to be welcomed with open arms, we cannot throw open the floodgates to anyone and everyone who crosses the threshold of our country; it simply is not in the best interest of our national security, or the safety of our citizens.

On the other hand, we should not deceive ourselves into thinking that we can gather up 11 million men, women and children, and throw them on a bus and run them across the border. It would be an organizational nightmare, and would most likely result in heavy casualties. We also have to remember that these illegal immigrants make up about 5 percent of the labor force in this country, and that 7 percent of students in grades K-12, have at least one parent that is an unauthorized immigrant, so we are talking about economic repercussions and about destroying families. I know they are breaking the law, and that must be addressed, but we are complicit in them being here in the first place. If we had practiced due diligence in protecting our borders, we would not be dealing with this issue to the extent that we are.

I cannot begin to fathom the solution to this problem, or the most humane way of dealing with those who are currently residing in the United States illegally, many of whom are good people who just want a better life for themselves and their families. What I do know is we have a moral responsibility to put ourselves in the position of these people and ask ourselves what we might do if like them, we were unfortunate enough to be born in a country permeated with violence like Mexico, or other areas of Central and South America. How many of us would not seek every avenue to escape the constant threat of danger to our children that these people have lived under for years? We have to approach the solution with both prudence and compassion.

Frankly, there is no simple solution, and lest we forget, we are a country of immigrants. We are all descendants of people who were fleeing oppression. Jesus said, “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” I do feel strongly that people who seek refuge in the United States must be prepared to learn English, and to pay taxes. If their desire is to become a citizen of this country, and thus entitled to all the freedoms and benefits that we enjoy, then they should also be willing to adhere to the laws that we have determined ensure a just society. Theodore Roosevelt said, “Every immigrant who comes here should be required within five years to learn English or leave the country.” I agree.

I am not personally convinced that building a wall is the answer, but then I am not familiar with the topography of our southern border, or with the logistics of constructing a 2000-mile barrier. I guess I am in favor of starting with a more simple approach like Ted Nugent’s idea of letting the Border Patrol “patrol the border” and the National Guard, “guard the nation”, but then maybe these are too simplistic. I just think that with all the technological advances in surveillance equipment, the intelligence information we have access to, and with over 20,000 border patrol agents we should be able to tighten the reins a bit.

The most important and most urgent action we have to take right now is to secure our border, in whatever manner is determined to be the most effective. We give a tremendous amount of foreign aid to Mexico every year; in 2013, we gave them over 51 million dollars. I think we should begin to deduct a minimum of $20,000 from that amount for every one of their citizens who enters the United States illegally; that should give them some incentive to help stem the flow.

We also have to develop a more efficient path to citizenship, one that does not take 15 or 20 years. We need to revamp the work visa program and green cards, or we need to issue some other type of temporary visa, and monitor the recipients with an entry and exit program. There are always going to be people who want to come to the United States, so this will be an ongoing issue, just as it always has been. We have to devise a way of running background checks, and documenting everyone who enters the country. Fifty years ago, we were sending men to the moon; surely, we have the ingenuity to repair our broken immigration system.

Syrian Refugee Crisis

syrian refugeesI am a faithful viewer of The O’Reilly Factor on Fox News. The show that aired this past Wednesday left me feeling a little unsettled. In a segment featuring Monica Crowley, Bill asked her about a recent trip she made to Austria and Germany. She commented on the thousands of Syrian Refugees that she saw coming through the main train station in Vienna on their way to Germany. She referred to the situation as an “invasion”, and said there are upwards of 10,000 coming in each day. The most disturbing part of her story was that she saw very few women and children. Those she saw were predominantly “fighting-age” males. She continued by saying the Red Cross volunteers that she spoke with said they are experiencing a security problem. Many of these young men are armed with knives, and the volunteers feel threatened. Citizens in Germany that live near the areas these refugees are staying have also said that they feel their personal safety is at risk.

This gives me pause. With President Obama planning to accept 10,000 or more of these refugees, I think we need to be aware of and very cautious of the very real threat that some of these Syrian Muslims may pose to our country. I have the utmost sympathy for anyone wanting to flee a  war-torn and dangerous country, especially women and children. As Americans, we are extremely blessed to live in a place where we are safe and free to raise our families without the constant threat of war and violence. My heart truly goes out to those who do not have these advantages. However, we also have an obligation to protect our citizens and our country from those who wish to do us harm. We have already experienced large-scale terror attacks here in the United States, and our government must be committed to do everything possible to prevent future attacks.

I remember a comment made many years ago by one of my high-school history teachers: the easiest way to take over a country is from the inside. This may sound like fear-mongering, but I do not discount the ingenuity of those who chant, “Death to America!”.