A commonsense answer to the immigration problem

A commonsense answer to the immigration problem
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Angela Merkel recently made global waves by announcing that she no longer will seek to head the Christian Democratic Union of Germany and that this will be her last term as chancellor.  In recent years, there has been rising dissatisfaction with and opposition to her leadership, much of it because of her mishandling of a crucial issue: immigration.

The Syrian refugee crisis, and thousands of other refugees fleeing to democratic countries willing to take them in without appropriate preparation, brought disarray and political upheaval to Europe. Tensions continue to rise as the European people navigate the addition of more than 1 million new neighbors and the various challenges to infrastructure, culture and safety.

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While Europe is reckoning with the impact of mass migration, in the United States the Trump administration has taken another, arguably much wiser, approach. A strong insistence on immigration enforcement and reform was a pillar of President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Democrats wary of handing Trump a win on infrastructure MORE’s 2016 campaign and continues to be a central component of his vision to enact sensible policies that protect our citizens and our right to sovereignty.

His is a practical, commonsense approach — a prime example of how the president is unwilling to simply go along with the status quo in Washington. However, based on exit polls and the results of the 2018 midterm elections, some might argue that had the president focused more on his messages about health care reform and the booming economy, Republicans might not have lost control of the House to Democrats.

Regardless of the election results — which, frankly, are not entirely disappointing — we must not forget that there is still a migrant caravan of people who intend to force their way into the United States. Having rejected offers of asylum from Guatemala and Mexico, they’ve continued to push northward toward the United States. Violence broke out when hundreds reached the border town of Tijuana, Mexico, and clashed with residents.

These migrants have made it clear they do not care about our immigration laws — and for that matter, why would they? Until President Trump, every presidential administration in recent history has failed to address the problem of mass immigration, specifically illegal immigration, and the manipulation of asylum claims. For decades, American presidents have failed to effectively enforce our current laws.

This is where President Trump has taken a different direction, one that places America’s interests first. Unlike many of his predecessors, he understands that our laws exist for a reason. The president has made it explicitly clear that the caravan will not be allowed to freely violate our borders and, as a result, he has taken proactive measures to prevent them from doing so by dispatching troops to our southern border. Furthermore, he has warned that any violent actions that might be directed toward American troops or law enforcement will be met with an appropriate response.  

President Trump is demonstrating to the American people — and perhaps more importantly, to the world — that our traditional laissez-faire attitude toward immigration will not continue. For far too long, taxpaying American families have financially supported those who choose to ignore our immigration laws.

Make no mistake, America is a generous and loving country, but there is a limit. We no longer can afford to look the other way as illegal residents within our borders sap our resources.  Taxpaying, law-abiding Americans should not be bankrolling social services and the lifestyles of people who unlawfully enter from other countries.  

The president has demonstrated his trademark unwavering backbone by addressing the immigration issue with fair solutions: fairness to those who spent the time, money and effort to legally become U.S. residents and who passionately strive to assimilate into our vibrant culture;  fairness to our most vulnerable citizens who compete for work with illegal immigrants; fairness to our nation as a whole, whose laws were created to serve us and not the rest of the world. The American people want our immigration laws to be respected. In fact, a recent poll found that most Americans want the caravan should at the border.

While immigration continues to rise to the forefront nationally and globally, it is clear that our country needed President Trump’s resolve. Despite pushback, he has shown America and the world that he not only can deliver the most successful economy in modern history, he also intends to aggressively protect American interests on every position. That includes not allowing the United States to pursue its same failed immigration policies as before, or policies like those that have landed Europe in a difficult situation.

Armstrong Williams (@ARightSide) is author of the book “Reawakening Virtues” and served as an adviser and spokesman for Dr. Ben Carson's 2016 presidential campaign.