Las Vegas Sun

September 2, 2014

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editorial:

Immigration reform

Republicans should quit blocking debate on how to fix a broken policy

The federal immigration court in Las Vegas is swamped. The caseload has more than doubled since May 2009, and that has created a tremendous backlog of cases, as the Las Vegas Sun’s Karoun Demirjian reported this week. In May 2009, it took about 6 1/2 months on average for a case to be resolved. Two years later, it took 9 1/2 months.

Las Vegas isn’t alone in seeing higher caseloads. Immigration courts across the country have been flooded, a spike that has been attributed to the Obama administration’s increased enforcement efforts and issues with judicial staffing.

The situation in the courts is only a symptom of the larger problem with the nation’s immigration policy. That’s no secret — Congress has been confronted with that issue time and again. Republican leaders have blocked any progress by taking a hard-line approach: They have refused to discuss any serious reforms to the law until, they say, the nation’s borders are secure. They have pushed for more fences along the Mexican border and more enforcement, meaning jailing and deporting people.

Such a position has been inflamed by the anti-illegal immigration crowd that wrongly claims that illegal immigration has led to higher unemployment, a drastic increase in crime and billions of dollars in costs to the government. That is not the consensus of the credible research on the issue, which suggests that any negative effect caused by illegal immigrants is relatively modest. As the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and others have noted, that includes the cost to the government because — despite popular belief — illegal immigrants pay a variety of taxes.

The vitriol over the issue is baffling, and the fixation with the Mexican border is simplistic. A recent report to Congress suggested that about half of those people came here legally but overstayed their visas.

Illegal immigration is far more complex than Republican leaders in Congress have made it out to be. Certainly, the nation needs to secure its borders and enforce its laws, but Congress should be able to do that and fix its broken immigration law.

The way the country has approached immigration has been shameful. Consider the many stories about children who were brought to the United States illegally as infants to grow up here and then, as they reach adulthood, face deportation to a country foreign to them. Punishing the children for the sins of the parents doesn’t seem to be American, yet there are people who clamor for such action because it’s “the law.”

Democrats have proposed changing the law with the Dream Act, legislation that would revamp the nation’s policy and give people here illegally a way to gain legal status. The bill has been derailed by many false accusations, including that it would provide “amnesty” for illegal immigrants.

Ironically, the Republican “solution” is to throw more money at building larger walls and deporting more people. But years of doing that hasn’t solved the problem.

It is time for Congress to have an open and honest debate on the issue and fix the problem.

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  1. The more America accepts illegal immigrants from Mexico the more America becomes like Mexico. Anyone visit there lately? Dilapidated housing, crime and corrupt government officials are just a few issues down there....and we want that standard of living here? Does anyone really believe that there is no negative impact to accepting illegal immigrants in mass? Won't more be encouraged to come here illegally? Read the article in the link below and decide for yourself.

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news...

  2. Republican hero Ronald Raygun,s most memorable quote " Mr Gorbachev tear down that wall !" yet they want to copy the model in Germany . Is that America ? 12 million new applicants to social security will make it solvent for many years with no change to eligibility age's . It will put all of them on the tax role . that will raise allot of revenue . We will spend allot less on enforcement. The only people jumping the fence will be smugglers and terrorists .All we need is a line for the pilgrims to get in without a 20 year wait to get in . Think how much money a 5000.00 fine for each immigrant will raise . That is not amnesty it is punishment . Let the punishment fit the crime . Be realistic what will work . Mass deportation will never work .

  3. No matter how the immigration story is written, the FACT remains that, if a person comes into the USA ILLEGALLY, they are a ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT and they are doing a CRIMINAL ACT.

    And just like so much of our so called "justice system" albeit extremely slow,it will process them according to the LAW of the land!

    The actual immigration process needs to be revised to fit current 21st Century technology and be streamlined. The standards should remain.

    Again, the DREAM ACT, as currently written, has too many problematic and unacceptable loopholes, is poorly written, and should not be passed, although we need a path for innocent children to have towards citizenship.

    It does not remove the fact that anyone staying in this country ILLEGALLY is a criminal and should be deported, even if it is their parent(s), who SHOULD have the decency to become naturalized citizens and be role models! "Do as I say, and NOT as I do!" is the usual conversation with our American 2 party political system, and a gigantic reason why nothing appropriate ever seems to get resolved.

  4. What exactly is "broken" with our immigration laws? What needs to be "reformed?" We have laws that describe the process and define the procedures one must take to become a U.S. citizen or be in the country legally.

    Enforce the laws we have, and put some real teeth in the employment laws and employer sanctions.

    The problem of illegal immigration would solve itself almost overnight if there was no work available for those try that path.

  5. LET ME SEE IF I GOT THIS RIGHT!!!

    IF YOU CROSS THE NORTH KOREAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU GET 12 YEARS HARD LABOR

    IF YOU CROSS THE IRANIAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU ARE DETAINED INDEFINITELY.

    IF YOU CROSS THE AFGHAN BORDER ILLEGALLY, YOU GET SHOT.

    IF YOU CROSS THE SAUDI ARABIAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU WILL BE JAILED.

    IF YOU CROSS THE CHINESE BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU MAY NEVER BE HEARD FROM AGAIN.

    IF YOU CROSS THE VENEZUELAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU WILL BE BRANDED A SPY AND YOUR FATE WILL BE SEALED.

    IF YOU CROSS THE CUBAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU WILL BE THROWN INTO POLITICAL PRISON TO ROT.

    IF YOU CROSS THE U.S. BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU GET

    1 - A JOB,
    2 - A DRIVERS LICENSE,
    3 - SOCIAL SECURITY CARD,
    4 - WELFARE,
    5 - FOOD STAMPS,
    6 - CREDIT CARDS,
    7 - SUBSIDIZED RENT OR A LOAN TO BUY A HOUSE,
    8 - FREE EDUCATION,
    9 - FREE HEALTH CARE,
    10 - A LOBBYIST IN WASHINGTON
    11 - BILLIONS OF DOLLARS WORTH OF PUBLIC DOCUMENTS PRINTED IN YOUR LANGUAGE
    12 - AND THE RIGHT TO CARRY YOUR COUNTRY'S FLAG WHILE YOU PROTEST THAT YOU DON'T GET ENOUGH RESPECT.
    13. And now you can SQUAT, too. Ain't America great?

    I JUST WANTED TO MAKE SURE I HAD A FIRM GRASP ON THE SITUATION

  6. Help them out, buy more rubber stamps with " to be deported" on them.
    Why should some kid be allowed to stay here if they are here illegal? The argument is trying to make 2 wrongs a right.
    Go back to Mexico and get in the correct line.
    NO more amnesty deals. You get caught you get deported.
    The Republicans are spot on with this one, I hope they hold their ground.

    Dream Act? Dream ON!

  7. The DREAM Act is not a solution at all. This yet another inane editorial written by someone who really doesn't know how the immigration process works and wants to lay the burden of the problems at the Republican doorstep.

    In many years I have only ever heard one conversation regarding this topic address the need to increase the number of visas issued. I like that idea. We have a good system of rules and requirements to immigrate here. There is the demand so why don't the two houses of the Congress increase the number of visas allowed?

    The DREAM act rewards bad behavior. I'm sympathetic to a degree but the blame need to be laid at the parents feet. They should have planned for the future of their child. Now it's suddenly all our problem? I'd be for giving them a express line pass to getting a visa but of course they would have to go back to their native country for a time.

    We desperately need to increase the number of visas issued. We have a good system and good people will do it the right way as long as it doesn't take 5-10 years to go through the process.

  8. I agree with brianlv, and in fact he is correct. If all the illegals left there would be demand for workers and citizens so the quotas would be changed to reflect this. It is win win

  9. @lyfsaver- As ideal as it may sound, the fact is mass amnesty does not lead to multiculturalism in mass, it doesn't assimilate new immigrants into our society, especially immigrants from Mexico who come here, don't learn our language who then find a section of town in which to live then turns it in to "little Mexico". The 1986 Amnesty brought 2.7 million immigrants from Mexico who settled in America and, under the dominating "family reunification" policy, were able immediately to sponsor almost any number of relatives, some bringing in 80 or 90 persons. I for one don't want America to turn into Mexico. Multiculturalism doesn't work. Read the article below, it explains why multiculturalism doesn't work. Now if those in Mexico want to come here, get a work visa then fine. If they like it here then they can go through the process of gaining a U.S. citizenship. To allow 8 million from Mexico to gain citizenship through amnesty then they turn around and sponsor up to 80-90 more Mexicans to be here is just bad policy. Groups that come here must promote our countries values and show a willingness to assimilate into our culture, not create a bunch of "little Mexico" sections in our cities. If you want to come here, assimilate to our culture. Don't assimilate your culture.

    http://donthategcdaz.wordpress.com/2011/...