This questionable approach stops the immediate fracturing of families, but leaves them in a state of limbo. They may not be deported, but they also may not work legally. They are still doomed to a half-life in the shadows.
We must remember that the vast majority of these immigrants have been living and contributing to our nation for over a decade. They came when our economy was strong, and we needed them to be here. For those that have come more recently, we feel that they have a much lesser claim to stay. However, long time immigrants that have established roots in our society should be treated strictly, yet fairly and compassionately. We should determine a rigorous path for them to make amends for coming illegally. After all, we have a co-dependant relationship with them, and we should acknowledge our personal responsibility in their presence here in America. That is the Judeo-Christian way. That is the American way.
Furthermore, while this new direction for ICE may help several tens of thousands of immigrants, it does not do anything substantial to solve our immigration problems as a whole. It doesn’t do anything to further secure the border. It does not do much of anything to help our economy, or to help reduce our budget deficit. It does not do anything to address the need for more highly skilled immigrants, or to allow the students on the STEM program here to stay in this country. It especially does nothing to address the fact that more and more states are passing the mandatory E-Verify. These issues can-and should- be addressed by Congress through conservative comprehensive immigration reform.
Unfortunately, the Administration has been either unwilling or unable to lead Congress on this issue. Therefore, no immigration reform bills are “tee’d up.” That is very unfortunate for our nation. However, while there may not be a comprehensive bill in the offing, there is a partial solution that is almost ready to go, and that is the DREAM Act. The DREAM Act might not solve all, or even most of our immigration problems, but in its own way it does do some very positive things for our nation, and if negotiated conservatively it would be a good, smart,and fiscally sound policy for the economy. It is certainly a step in the right direction, and could help lead the way for a more comprehensive bill.
Therefore, the Conservatives for Comprehensive Immigration Reform coalition is calling on Congress to put politics aside, and come together to work on and pass a middle ground, bipartisan DREAM Act. These kids have done nothing wrong, and most everything right. They are only looking for a path forward that will enable them to contribute to our nation, and to pursue their American Dream. We have already paid for their primary educations. Now America has an opportunity, and our conservative coalition feels that America has the responsibility, to allow these kids to get right with the law, to go either to college or serve in the military, and to eventually become set on a path toward prosperity. Passing the DREAM Act would be the the fair, just, pragmatic, decent, and humane way for our nation to proceed. Finally, passing the DREAM Act will show the nation that Congress is willing and capable of solving the complex and difficult issues that are confronting America today.
Robert Gittelson is Co-Founder, Conservatives for Comprehensive Immigration Reform